High Reaches' 18th PC Clutching

October 25th, 2008

Row upon row of stone benching rises above the Hatching Grounds, seats for those who come to watch the incredible experience that is a hatching. Each individual seat is embellished with a worn cushion, the only concession to comfort in a place that traps heat, holding it within so that those who watch are inflicted with its intensity, though on a milder level than those who must stand and face the dragonets. The expanse of sand that is the hatching grounds spreads out in front of the benches, a huge stage for a spectacular show.

Rhaenyra comes up the stairs.

From the sands, Mynwiyath smooths the sand with her hind leg, then crouches now. Chey is pacing the edges of the sands, watching the queen as she labors. The heat is oppressive, but neither the gold nor her rider seem much aware of it. There — /there/. The first egg is coming.

From the sands, Flowing River Egg
From the sands, This egg is mainly a dark, muddy brown color with faint swirling discolorations that look rather unappealing. There is one ribbon of a brighter blue color, running down the length of the egg and trailing off little tendrils into the darker masses around it, almost as if drawing those colors off with it. Up by the origin of the blue stripe, there is a spot of almost phosphorescent yellow that might be a person, or a deformed star.

Rhaenyra is here helping manage the Pillow Brigade. The sight of the massive gold dragon clutching nearly takes the Herder by surprise— she glances up as an sigh rises through the crowds, and peers at the egg. Huh. "Well. I guess we're in for a show during all this…"

Rusalochka comes up the stairs.

From the sands, Mynwiyath turns, the egg having been laid, and snorts, sending a fine shower of sand up to half-shadow the muddy eggshell. Chey, having halted in place when the egg emerged, makes a little face as she takes in the egg. Mynwiyath lifts her head to stare for a moment at her rider, who shakes her head. "It's okay," she says. "You're right. I'm sorry." Still, her expression is dubious.

Rusalochka's been down near the front of the galleries, where she's arranging oodles of little white flowers in vases. At Rhaen's comment, she looks up and onto the Sands, then smiles. "Oh, wow, eggs! I never saw them being laid before - have you seen a clutching, Rhaen? They're so big!"

G'deon edges in from one of the nearby ledges.

Rhaenyra lays a pillow, ties it correctly, and then promptly sits on said pillow. Lockie's enthusiasm rates a halfsmile from the reserved Herder, who shades her gaze down onto the sands. "It's definitely a… ah… an auspicious start," Rhae finally settles on, an eyebrow lifted at the muddy-colored egg.

From the sands, Mynwiyath has business to attend to. The first uncomfortable stage (egg-carrying) is over. Now it is the time of the second uncomfortable stage (egg-laying), followed by the third uncomfortable stage (egg-tending). One egg is laid. She smoothes an area to receive the second… and here it comes.

From the sands, Godzilla Vs. Bambi Egg
From the sands, This egg is undeniably ugly. There is an ugly scaly texture to it, and it is an ugly reptilian green. It also has odd little bumps, bumps that curve out in clawlike possessiveness over the bottom quarter of the egg. It is not a healthy-looking egg. It is, in fact, a vaguely mutant-looking egg. The bottom of the egg is an odd muddy reddish-brown with brighter flecks of vivid red — and, incongrously, shapes like little yellow cartoon flowers.

Rusalochka cocks her head at the journeywoman. "… 'Start'? Start to what?" A big bunch of the flowers are dropped unceremoniously into a vase, and then given only the tiniest bit of arranging before the whole ensemble is pushed off with the finished ones. "I like how they all look different, but that one looks… um…" There's a pause as she bites her lower lip, thinking of the right word. "…unique."

From the sands, Chey studies that second egg for a moment, then delicately scuffs at the new sand with her toe. Lucky sand, right? C'mon, lucky sand. S'ton is in SO much trouble. Mynwiyath turns to inspect her second egg, breathing maternal affection onto it in a gentle exhalation. She appears to see nothing wrong with it.

Rhaenyra raises her eyebrows at the next egg. "Are we sure these are Bandeleth's?" she sotto-voices to Lockie. Obviously Mynwiyath is clutching them, but… "Start of the clutching, my dear," she absently replies to Lockie. "Maybe it's the new sand," she mutters under her breath. Rhae -knew- they should have gone to Paradise for the sand! Come on, even the name is lucky!

"Ooooh." Lockie gets it. It's the start of the clutching, sure. As her mouth forms the syllable, she nods her head slowly. "Maybe they're going to get prettier as they get harder? I've never really seen an ugly egg before, but I never saw them when they were soft either, so maybe that's why it looks like it does?"

From the sands, As Mynwiyath fusses over her fine, fine clutch (two so far: one really hopes there are more in there) Chey takes a moment to lower herself to the sands. One knee down, she runs her fingers through the fine pale grains, then rises again, letting it sift back from her cupped hand to the rippling surface of the hatching sands. C'mon, lucky sand.

From the sands, Mynwiyath's claws burrow deep in the sand, hollowing out a long groove over which she lowers herself. The sides, loose powder that they are, collapse inward even as she presses out a third egg, but out it comes, to land half-hidden beneath the shimmering white.

From the sands, Millions Of Voices Silenced Egg
From the sands, This egg is small and nearly perfectly spherical, unlike the usual oblong form. It seems divided into two odd hemispheres: a trick of genetics or nature. On one side, it is a dull gray, almost metallic, the surface pitted and scarred. The other side is a tranquil swirl of blues, greens, and white, organic and smooth. There is something restful about the hues, a sense of slumber or waiting. The halves are separated by a ring of fire: burning white with flickers of heated blue.

Rhaenyra peers. "Maybe," she replies, dubiously, to Lockie. Then a pretty one hits! Well… she can only see the 'organic' side from where she sits. "I like that one," she declaims.

G'deon enters the main galleries from the upper gallery ledges where his dark lifemate has settled down to watch. The rider slowly makes his way down to one of the rows near the front, stopping occasionally to exchange greetings, but those are kept short. With much apologizing and murmured thanks, he eventually settles into one of the emptier pockets near the middle of the row where he can lounge back without getting in the way. And there, he unstops the wine bag that bad been thudding slushily against his hip. With a toasting sort of gesture that manages to not quite be mocking, he salutes the new sands below, and assumedly Chey and Mynwiyath, then takes a long pull from the bag. Then lounge he does, just watching.

From the sands, Chey is opposite Rhaenyra. All she can see is the weird pitted metallic side. She grimaces again, then moves slowly around the perimeter of the hatching grounds, moving like a stalking cougar pacing the limits of her territory. Oh, hey. The egg looks a little better from over here.

Rusalochka's so busy watching the next egg being laid that the flowers she's trying to put into a vase miss completely. With a little frown and a quite 'oops', she tries again. "That one's ok, I guess," she shrugs at Rhaen, her nose wrinkled as she examines the shell. "My favourite's not been laid yet, though. It'll come later." When G'deon takes a seat just past her, she obliges by moving slightly to the side, taking her vases with her, as far as possible, to free up more space. "Sorry, sir."

From the sands, Mynwiyath thinks all the eggs look perfect. She hollows out another furrow, long and shallow, and gently lays a fourth egg.

From the sands, Peyton Can't Win At Foxboro Egg
From the sands, Frozen grass and hard-packed dirt mix colors and textures on this egg's surface. Uneven, bumpy, brownish-green, it is rimed with a layer of frosted white: cold, cold, cold. Stripes of white ring it in thin, evenly-spaced intervals, tilted to the side and not directly centered off the ovoid axis. Near one rounded tip is a squared-off Y, the uprights rising to embrace the egg's peak. In their open arms, a tiny brown dot.

Rhaenyra watches Chey's trek about the egg. "The other side must be not-as-pretty," she comments to Lockie. "See how she looked? The face?" Rhae glances over to G'deon, and doesn't bother greeting the Smith-rider just yet. She'll wait a moment for that. "Hey, that one reminds me of how it looks outside," she drolly states of the latest egg.

G'deon taps the side of the wine bag in a quiet rhythm, mostly just focused on the scene below. With that glazed-over look, however, it's possible there's some sort of silent dialogue going on between Nylanth and him.

"How who looked? Chey?" The goldrider is given a scrutinizing look by Rusalochka, which involves nose-wrinkling and everything as she tries to focus. "Nah, I didn't see. She's not doing it now, is she?" That look is turned onto the newest egg. "It looks muddy! I don't like that one so much, I think the one before is prettier."

Feilan comes up the stairs.

From the sands, Okay. That one could be a lot worse. Chey is taking this all philosophically now. She rubs her hands together, brushing off the final residue of the sand. "How are you doing?" she asks aloud, presumably to the laboring gold. "Four already. That's —" she bites it off. No Frusha comments here.

Rhaenyra pauses, and considers the sands. "I have a feeling this is going to take a while," she finally states. "Mud is practical, if not pretty," she replies to Lockie, a bit belatedly. "I like mud."

From the sands, Mynwiyath rumbles low in her throat, probably a response of some sort. Then she gently nudges the strange half-metallic one to one side and lays another beside it, one hind foot pushing the sand away from it.

From the sands, The Eternal Struggle Egg
From the sands, Angelic clouds puff along the top of this egg, carelessly strewn against the robins-egg blue that emcompasses the northern hemisphere of this medium-sized egg. Each white puffy blur seems to be underlined by a beautiful, scapel-thin silver line; the whole top brings to mind a beautiful summer day, perfect in every way. However, at the equator of the ovoid form lies a grey band, a handspan wide, perfectly even… and below that, forge-fire red blares victorious against the backdrop of darkest night. Shadows lie in every smooth crook of the egg, darkness encroaching, the vivid colors a snarl of defiance against the idyllic scene above.

Rusalochka shakes her head. "I don't like mud, it's too dirty! But that's how I met S'lo, you know… well, not how I met him, but how we… decided we liked each other. So I guess mud can be ok, sometimes." She's whittering away as she sorts out lucky white flowers into vases, eyes darting between the work in front of her and Mynwiyath, so she doesn't miss anything. "I think that one might be my favourite. It's pretty!"

Tilla comes up the stairs.

G'deon turns to peer at Rusalochka for a long moment, losing the far-off look as he just stares at the fellow Smith for a moment. But then he turns back to the sands and takes another small sip of wine before tightly closing the bag again. "Clutchings always take a long time. Just the nature of the beast," he adds in commentary to Rhaenyra.

Mud? What's great about it? Not that Feilan ever had a real problem with the stuff. But clean is..well..better. He heads up the steps into the galleries though, giving a slightly odd look for the topic of..filth? "Do I even wanna know?" He tilts a grin at Rhaenyra though, head shaking as he makes his way to where he can peer at the sands, brows lifting. "Whoo…don't envy her for that job."

From the sands, With that fifth egg, Mynwiyath lets out a low rumble and lowers herself to the ground. Chey knows her cue: she steps lightly across the sand, leaving sifting sand in little holes behind her. She moves around the small cluster of eggs, studying them from a little bit closer this time. "It's okay," she assures absently. "Take your time." She places one hand on Mynwiyath's nose, absent-minded affection.

Tilla shuffles in, curious to see what all the fuss is about. And spots some friends. "Morning, Rusa, Rhaenyra!" To the others she smiles at the others who she has not met yet. She gnaws on a piece of meat jerky, her typical midmorning snack. And of course offers her little green 'shoulder ornament' the same.

Rusalochka returns G'deon's look blankly at first, before her lips curve upwards into a toothy smile, before her attention is taken with Tilla. "Oh hi, Tilla-Lilly-Fluffypie!" That smile gets even /bigger/, only slightly decreasing in wattage when she turns her attention back to the flowers.

Rhaenyra glances at the next egg, and ponders. "It's… interesting." She still doesn't quite know what to say in regards to the eggs. The Herder glances to G'deon at his statement. "Mm, I understand. This is my first," she asides to the bronzerider. She catches sight of Feilan and her expression perks up. "Fei! Come sit with us," her-and-Lockie-and-Gid off to a side. She smiles at Tilla, as well, in greeting.

Feilan smirks somewhat, pulling away from the general egg-watchery that he'd begun. "Oh, well since you asked so /nicely/ Rhae." The guard does move on over, fwumping down to sit with a light sigh, although he does peer at Rusa and G'deon as well, grinning. "Hey. Figured I'd head up and take a look while I've got a break. New sands and all."

Rhaenyra shifts to lean her arm on Fei's shoulder and duck close to speak lowly, pitched just loud enough for the guard to hear.

You overhear Rhaenyra mutter, "… of … … … been… … … … … … I … … qualify … … … … … …" to Feilan.

Rusalochka suddenly claps a hand to her mouth, looking a bit pale. She sits perfectly still for a few moments before blinking, standing up, and dashing out of the galleries. Apparently she's not feeling well.

G'deon shakes his head a little as Rusalochka runs off. He mumbles something to himself, but if anyone nearby catches a clear word of it, they have superhuman powers. He takes a moment to make sure his beverage isn't leaking, then he gets to his feet and politely begins moving back toward the ledges, wishing those nearby a good day.

G'deon carefully moves onto one of the nearby ledges.

Feilan blinks a moment, although there's a long look given in Rhae's direction after a bit of that murmuring. "Well, that's not very nice.." There's a faint smile, however, before he shakes his head somewhat. "Not that I'm any judge of them at all. Hardly an expert on the matter." There's another look given out at the sands then, and laboring gold, before he huffs out a small groan. "I hope you're not planning on just…/watching/ her pop them out or anything. Gets kinda…gross after a bit."

From the sands, With a low-pitched draconic creel, Mynwiyath shifts on the sands. Her left hind leg draws up and shoves aside a furrow of sand. And in the end, there is another egg.

From the sands, Will The Real Slim Shady Egg
From the sands, This egg is one thing, and one thing only. White. Yes, you heard what you think you just heard. White. How white can be so unequivocally angry is another question altogether, but— yes. This egg is the color of the full moon, milk-white and oh-so-pale, among its other, larger, darker complected compadres… but it tries, dawg! It tries.

Rhaenyra leans back from Feilan, then, giving him his Personal Space(tm), and delicately stretches out her lanky legs to the seat one down, crossing her ankles and leaning back against her seat. She blinks at the latest offering. "Well. That's very.. white," she states, finally.

Tilla stands there watching for a bit, and then decides to take a seat. She gestures to the space next to Rhaen. "Is this space taken?" is offered politely.Then, as the queen on the sands labors her way unto another egg, her eyes dart to the new egg on the sands. "Very very white.." she agrees.

From the sands, Mynwiyath then curls up again. She's resting.

Feilan chuckles lowly, and then moves to get up, eyeing that rather..white egg. "Well, I need to be getting back to training anyway. I don't think those are going anywhere." Other than partially buried in sand, or something. He gives another quick look at Rhae, before nodding at Tilla as well, and simply offers a slightly sideways wave. "I'll seeya later on, Rhae." And off he goes! Back down the steps.

Rhaenyra glances after Feilan, but doesn't bother to say goodbye. Her gaze shifts over to Tilla. "I have a feeling," she repeats herself, "That this will take a while." But Rhaenyra's not moving. She deserves a rest.

Tilla continues "Er I mean, are ya saving a seat for anybody or anything?" She pauses and stuffs more jerky in her mouth. Swallowing, she adds "Ive never been to a clutching before, how long does it usually take?" She just decides to take a random seat in any case, her legs are tired from her trek across the bowl and up all those stairs.

From the sands, The time ticks by. The eggs sit there. Mynwiyath breathes. Chey sighs.

Rhaenyra shakes her head at Tilla, and leans over to snag a piece of jerky. "I have no clue. This one is my first, too." Rhaen's in for the long haul. Except she doesn't have alcohol. Though… High Reaches has never seen Rhae drink, come to think. Well. Except for the one time that she was Pali's roomie…

Tilla scoots closer and holds out the jerky bag, grinning. "Ahha, sure have some! As long as you dont mind sharing with Marchanti and I" she winks. "Really? Well I guess we'll both be first learning about it at the same time then," As usual her sketchbook is out already by now and she is scribbling notes here and there on a fresh crinkled page.

Rhaenyra chews along on her borrowed jerky, considering the eggs with a surprisingly laconic gaze. "It surprises me how… ah, leathery they look from here."

Issri comes up the stairs.

From the sands, As the time ticks away, six eggs still on the sands (exactly matching the total from Frusha's disastrous clutch), Chey paces across the hatching grounds towards the entrance. She accepts a skin of water, and drinks deeply, wiping her mouth with the back of her hand.

Tilla puts the jerky bag on the seat between the two young women to free her hand for sketching and writing. "Seems so" she agrees "And I always imagined that they'd all have many different colors rather than that one just white one.." brow furrow, sketch, scrabble, look up, then down at paper, lather rinse repeat. Marchanti fusses on the girl's shoulder, repositioning herself for more comfort. A hop to the bag of jerky, fetch a meaty meat bit, and then streeetch wingsails and limbs. And, curling up next to her humanpet's leg seems like a better option. Hop, flutter over the girl's lap and to the other side.

Issri creeps into the galliers, looking down on the sands curiously. She slides into an empty spot on the bench and quietly watches.

Iasri comes up the stairs.

Rhaenyra shakes her head— and then catches sight of someone familiar. "Issri?" she calls out, voice astounded. "Is that you?" Rhaen isn't aware that the Herders have invaded, apparently.

Having followed Issri up the stairs, Rusalochka comes sheepishly back into the gallery, looking rather pale but with flushed red cheeks. She's got a drinkskin held over one arm and she plops gracelessly onto the nearest available seat by Rhaenyra and Tilla. There's no explanation for her sudden disappearance offered. In fact, she's surprisingly quiet.

Issri blinks, looking around at the vaguely familiar voice. "Rhaenyra?" she calls. Then she smiles hesitantly, "Hi." She looks down at the sands and then back to the Herder, hesitant. "How are you?"

From the sands, Mynwiyath lets out a long whuff of breath, then climbs again to her feet, the hide over her abdomen taut and shiny. She paces around her little clutch, clearing out a new little hollow.

Rhaenyra gestures the Herder apprentice over. "Come on over here!" she calls. "I'm fine. You here with Master Beka?" she questions of the girl. She glances over to Lockie. "Are you okay?" Quiet Lockie is like… the signal of the end of the world.

Speaking of invading herders. Iasri is making her way up the galleries, sweaty and tired. Beka made them work first. Slavedriver. She's weaving in and out of the crowd to find an empty seat, and a familiar face. "Oy! Issri!" Wait for her.

Feilan goes home.

Tilla looks up from her book as she hears more people approach. "Rusa, welcome back. Are you all right? Have some jerky, we have plenty", as she gestures towards the bag on the nearby seat. And, yet another familiar face. "Iasri, is it? " she smiles and waves. Her attention is then given to the laboring queen on the sands. Interesting! Scribble, scrabble goes more notes in her book.

Iasri has disconnected.

Rusalochka nods blearily at Rhaen. "I just… felt… sick. It's been happening a lot. I think there's some food that doesn't agree with me, or something." She shrugs, taking a delicate little sip from her the drinking skin. Tilla's offer of jerky is given a hasty dismissal of waving hands. "No, no thanks, Tilla! Jerky would just make me…" She stops, covering her mouth and closing her eyes again. "Ok, gone," she finally says a few moments later. "Maybe there's a bug, or something."

Issri nods, "Yes, we came to…I'm not sure why we're here. Something about ovines." She shrugs. "So…I'm glad you're fine. Um…I wanted to ask you something." She looks around and waves to Iasri before glancing back at Rhaenyra. "What did I do wrong? Why did you leave me?" She sits down again, body hunched down and hands tucked between her knees.

Rhaenyra glances over to Lockie, and a slightly green expression crosses her face. "Sick, hmm?" She knows what 'sick' at High Reaches means. Maybe a bug S'lo gave her. She edges away from the Smith, unobtrusively, and focuses then on Issri. Her expression goes from baffled to surprised to baffled again. "You didn't do anything wrong," she tells the apprentice, eyebrows furrowed in thought. "Jadall pissed me off. I left. It wasn't about anything else other than him."

From the sands, Bloodfeud at the Tug River Egg
From the sands, The second cousin, the redheaded stepchild, this egg is a mismatch of brown and green pawpaw bushes and a river of grey-blue that slashes the nearly identical sides in a forking sphere of halves; it brings to mind deep forest, underbrush and a deep valley surrounded by high hills. And yet, the longer one looks, the more disturbing it appears— are those human figures, disguised in natural camouflage?

From the sands, Hey, look. It's another one.

Issri shifts her weight, "But I thought…I thought we were friends. And then you just left…" The girl shakes her head angrily - but angry at herself more than Rhaenyra. "I missed you. A lot. You really…you helped me a lot, and I just wanted to say that." She nods firmly once. "Thank you for helping me get over, you know, everything."

From the sands, Mynwiyath huddles low now, tense and struggling. Human women thing they've got it soooo hard, with one or two or three of these things. Seven and counting, now, and the gold stretches her neck out along the sand as she labors.

"Ssssh, Rhaen, you shouldn't swear around the eggs. They're only babies!" Rusalochka whispers in a hoarse voice, giving the Herder a disapproving frown. The other two Herders are given blinking looks, before she decides to introduce herself. "I'm Lockie," she says, offering the hand that's not holding the skin to her chest. "I'm a Smith. Who're you?"

Tilla raises her eyebrow at the distressed girl, not having a clue whats going on. And to Rusa she murmurs "Well its good you decided to not have any wine for a while…"she makes a face, thinking that it was a good thing /she/ decided that as well. Ooh, another egg to draw. Splendid. Scribble, glance, glance scribble.

Rhaenyra peers at Issri. "That's no problem, sweetheart," she states, her tone gentle. "I'm about due to get my own apprentices up here… I suppose I should tell Jadall I want you up here with me, then, hmm?" Rhaenyra as a mentor for more than Vos. Scary thought. A sidelong look to Lockie at this point. She didn't cuss!

Issri hesitates, and then smiles slowly, "I would love to be here with you! But I can go visit the Hall sometimes, right? I like some of the other apprentices there…"

From the sands, The gold seems to be having trouble with this egg, for whatever reason. Chey does not come too close, instead skirting a perimeter around the gold's head, safely outside of thrashing zone. Her eyes are on Mynwiyath's, which swirl orange.

From the sands, Roe v Wade Egg
From the sands, This is an egg. In it is a little dragon life, precious and not to be destroyed. Or possibly just some yolk. What do /you/ think?

Rhaenyra leans forwards at the latest egg and Mynwiyath's apparent stress. "Huh. That one is rather… nondescript," she comments to all and sundry.

From the sands, Well, that's eight, and Mynwiyath has been at this for most of a day. She curls up, exhausted. Not to sleep, exactly, but to take advantage of a brief respite to recover strength. Chey exhales, then crosses to lay her hands flat on the gold's hide, saying something into her ear.

Issri glances at the eggs and leans forward, sighing, "I wish I was down there," she murmurs, "to see them closer."

Tilla squints and secretly wishes the same thing. The sun is /bright/ this morning. And, she wishes she had brought a water skin because the jerky is a little salty. "I cant quite make out the details of the newest egg." she states to no one in particular.

Rusalochka was leaning forward to get a better look at the egg, but returns to sit comfortably in her seat once Rhaen speaks. "It's… like an egg." She shrugs ever so slightly, raising one eyebrow as she looks from Rhaen to Tilla. "Just like an egg. My favourite's still not there. Do you think there'll be any more? I hope so. Gold eggs are normally shiny, right? I don't see one of those yet. Not a shiny one."

Issri glances over at Rusalochka, "Are you hoping to be a Candidate?"

Rhaenyra squints at Lockie. "I always was under the impression that they were shiny," she confirms. "But. Crafter," she flicks at her knot. At Issri's question, she laughs. "Lockie here spent all of her time trying to avoid being asked to stand for the latch clutch." A slight grin at the memories of Lockie hiding under her jacket running through the bowl.

Rusalochka blinks at Issri. Then looks down at her hands. Then looks back at the Herder. "Umm…" It's something, at least, to fill in the time as the cogs in her brain get into gear. Clunk, clunk, clunk… "I wouldn't say no, but… I only avoided the last clutch after what happened to Hari," she explains to Rhaen. "And it's just as well, too. It was a disaster. But Mynwiyath's clutch will be good, with all these lucky things! See my lucky flowers?" Lockie tries to direct Issri's attention down to the multiple vases filled with tiny white flowers. "I got them for Chey."

Tilla just listens in on the conversation without much to add. She stretches out her back, sitting hunched over with a book on your knees can get cramped. A scritch is given to the flit next to her, who now lying on her back with legs curled over. A curious look is given to the flowers. "Rusa, where did you find those? I've never seen ones like that before.." A gleam in her eyes starts to form, perhaps a new plant pressing idea for her book in the works.

Issri winces, "Well, the last clutch wasn't a very good one, was it? I…I wouldn't have wanted to stand for it either." She looks at Lockie and then down at the vases, "How are they lucky? They're quite pretty." She nods at Rusalochka with a shy smile, "I wouldn't say no either."

Rhaenyra shakes her head, and kicks her lounging legs off of the seatback in front of her, getting to her feet and stretching. "Well. Regardless," she comments, "I need to use the lavatory, and make sure that the runners are hay'd." She nods to all, and heads towards the exit.

Rhaenyra has disconnected.

So many qusestions! Lockie looks from one girl to the other, blinking as she works out her answers. Tilla gets hers first. "They're from Ista, a little place just outside of the Hold that my mum told me about. If you want a couple, you can take some, I guess… they're not going to be missed!" And then Issri. "Well, mummy says that they're really lucky because they're like shooting stars, which my mum says are also lucky." Which explains nothing, really. As Rhaenyra leaves, she's waved at.

Tilla grabs a few flowers if she has the go ahead then. "Thanks! This will make a neat pressing for my book! Um what do you call these flowers? " To Rhaen she waves and grins. "Shooting stars you say? hmmm" scribble, scribble. She takes one sprig of the flowers, places it carefully between the cover and back page of the book, and closes the book gently to save and press the plant.

Issri watches Rhaenyra go with a confused expressino before she looks back to Lockie, "No, it's alright, but thank you," she says at the offer of flowers.

Rusalochka cocks her head and purses her lips. "I'm not sure what they're called," she answers, drawing her knees up to her chest. "Mum just always called them luck flowers that looked like shooting stars, but if they've got a proper name I don't know. Sorry, Tilla." And just as soon as she's started to get comfortable, she unfurls herself and stands up. "I need to go… bathroom," she explains quickly. "It was a pleasure to meet you, Herder-girl. See you later, Tilla!" And the Smith heads to the steps, leaving behind the badly-placed (well, not placed at all, really) vases full of white flowers.

Rusalochka has disconnected.

Denalia comes up the stairs.

From the sands, Mynwiyath dozes fitfully, and Chey gets a sandwich brought in. She eats it on the move. The air over the sands is tense: neither gold nor rider seem to think the event is over yet.

Tilla thinks she might follow Rusa's lead. Her thirst is getting to her. Too much salty meat! "I need to head to the living caverns, I really need something to drink!" She gathers up her things quickly and heads out.

Issri waves farewell to everyone, and sits staring at the sands.

Tilla has disconnected.

From the sands, It is a few hours, all told, before Mynwiyath lumbers back up to her feet. A few steps one way, then back in the opposite direction… No, no, no. Not right. She claws a shallow gully in the sand, then abandons it, turning away. She paces around her growing clutch.

Denalia bobs in, not looking completely pleased at the moment. Her hair still looks wet from a bath, and her shirt only half tucked into her pants. Definitely not the best side for a guard to be showing, but it's pretty obvious why once she starts climbing up the galleries. "/Yes/, see, we're here at the eggs. Happy?" A very tiny girl is behind her, who wordlessly tugs on Deni's pants as an affirmative. "Nnnnggh," Deni groans, as she ambles through the galleries to find an empty seat, so happening to pick the one next to Issri. "Hi." The greeting isn't the most genuine sounding.

Issri turns, frowning slightly, "Hi," she replies carefully. The child is given a small smile and a finger wiggle.

From the sands, Nothing seems quite right. Awkwardly, Mynwiyath turns, looks, weighs her options. Finally, she settles for good enough — that trench there, yes. Into it, she lays another egg.

Denalia carefully lifts the child up onto her lap, who just continues licking her fingers — she probably just finished eating something Deni gave her to stop whining. "How many's she laid so far? Didn't realize I slept in so lat— Leshie, sit still!" Of course, the little girl just keeps wiggling. What, you said something?

From the sands, Right Click Button Egg
From the sands, This egg is sleekly plain and simple - almost too simple. No hard edges or matte surfaces to be seen here: its shell is glossy sheen and graceful curves all around, glowing so brightly white it almost appears backlit. Reflected in that brilliant white are the faintest hints of color, pale enough that they're almost imaginary: pink, red, green, blue, and silver, as pixel-perfect shiny as the rest of the egg.

Issri shrugs, "I'm not sure, I just got here." She smiles again at the child, "Sister?"

"Yeah," Denalia groans as Paleshia tries to slip out of her lap; Deni tugs her back further, hugging her arms around her not QUITE as a display of affection. "My mum was too tired to come bring her herself, since she spent the last two days hauling in all the new Sand for the clutch.. So I got stuck with her." Luckily, Leshie has no idea what they're talking about; she's still sucking on her index finger, and staring at the Sands like it was Disneyworld.

Issri chuckles, "She's cute. I'm Issri. Herder. Nice to meet you. Your mom's a rider?"

From the sands, Chey is gnawing on her lower lip now, pacing in an unconscious mirror of Mynwiyath, the two of them making opposite concentric circles. Nine eggs. Mynwiyath is a slow layer, it must be admitted: depending on the count for this clutch, they could easily be here for three or four days. Right now, Mynwiyath is questing again for the perfect spot.

"Oh yeah. Completely cute. A real muffincake." The teenager rolls her eyes, but Paleshia, still oblivious, just giggles. "Aaah, Herder? Um.. well.. uh." Considering Denalia's involvement with the herder hall incident the other day, she bites her lip, hoping she's not recognized. "I'm.. Denalia." No title is tacked on. "This is Paleshia.. My mum's Palia, greenrider. How are uh.. things at the hall?"

Issri hesitates, "Ah. Palia. Alright." She nods a few times, pressing her hands together between her knees. "Do you need me to take her for a minute?" she asks, nodding to Paleshia.

From the sands, Mynwiyath cautiously halts by one of her eggs, lowering her head to nudge it over to the side. With one foreleg, she sweeps up a wall of sand, which cushions the egg a little more completely. Better, better. She brushes a layer of sand over the egg, cushioning it, then scratches a hollow out beside it.

"She's not usually partial to strangers," she says in a low voice, "But I thinks he's a little too distracted to notice." The little tyke is swapped over to the Herder's knee, leaving the guard recruit able to relax down into a slouch. "Looks like she's probably got a whole day of laying ahead of her." Deni tries to stand a little to get a better view. Already beat the amount of Frusha's eggs."

Tudor> Issri nods, looking down at the clutch. She holds the child like she might hold an avian - gently and loosely. She sighs, "I'd give anything to have a shot down there," she mutters.

From the sands, "It's okay," Chey says aloud, to the air between her and her dragon. Now she is the only one circling; Mynwiyath is lying down, her abdomen rippling again. Chey is murmuring a litany of encouragement that may or may not be audible to the gold. But then, audible is not the point, is it?

"To Impress?" Denalia smirks, but bites her lower lip as she continues to watch Mynwiyath in action. "You and me both. I had a couple chances, but I failed both times. I figure, if I get promoted before I get Searched or Impress or whatever.. It's not meant to be." "Is she sick?" the little one queries, still with a few fingers jammed in her mouth. "No Leshie, just laying some more eggs."

Issri nods, flinching, "That must feel awful. To Stand and not Impress. But at least you know the dragons find you acceptable, and that you wuold make a good rider."

From the sands, The glint of something appears in the little hollow. For a moment, with the light… is that gold?

From the sands, Curious Yellow Egg
From the sands, This egg is largely a gentle, soothing yellow color. The pastels are calm and orderly. On one side, however, there is a vaguely star shaped brown splotch. Little tendrils of that brown extend from four of the five star points, little curls of chaos interrupting the otherwise creamy surface.

From the sands, Chey lurches forward a step as she sees this egg start to appear, one foot skidding on the loose sand. She falls hard, but the sand is a pillowy surface on which to land: she does not seem hurt. At least, not physically. She lets out a little puff of disappointed breath. Mynwiyath rumbles wearily. "No," Chey says quietly. "I'm sorry. It's okay. It's fine." It is a perfectly fine egg, really. That flare of hope, though… that was hard.

"I know I'd make a good rider," Denalia states a little cockily, even if not meaning to sound that way. "But yeah.. Not Impressing hurts a bit. Granted, the first time, I sorta.. left the Sands a little early. But, it all comes down to fate and chance, right?" A loud 'PRETTY!' is exclaimed from the little girl as Denalia inches up to see the newest egg. "Huh. Almost thought it was a gold egg for a second." Could still be… You never know. Aww. Poor Chey.

Issri smiles thinly. She hands the child over and gets to her feet at the sight of the yellow egg. "I need to get back to work. It was a pleasure to meet you both."

Issri goes home.

From the sands, Chey scrubs a hand through her hair, trying to rub away that moment of disappointment. Mynwiyath is moving again, building a little nest of sand around the soft yellow egg. She loves all her children equally. This one will do.

"Pleasure here, as well," Denalia says with a cringe, hoping she didn't come off too.. Well. Ya know. Deni-ish. The little kid is placed back into her lap, and the head leaned on carefully with her chin. "I'll see if I can get you a little closer once everyone leaves.. Not right now, though." Yeah, the excessive pointing is getting on her nerves.

From the sands, Already, Mynwiyath is moving again: no time to prepare a new hollow. Another egg goes next to the last one.

From the sands, Duct Tape or Baling Wire Egg
From the sands, Seeming almost shiny, dark gray bands swirl around the egg in a haphazard short of way. Instead of mummifying it, instead it seems to be covering up near black marks that seem reminiscent of cracks in the jagged way they form along the egg. However, seeming to try to wrap around the bands is a steel gray strand that seems almost like wire. There is a valiant effort to try and hold things together, but the taping seems to be overwhelming the wire, causing crease like parts and ripples where a lighter gray shows as it seems to fold over itself.

The little girl in Denalia's lap scrunches her nose when she sees the last egg out; no pretty colors? What? Not cool! Denalia seems to smirk at it, though; colorless, just her style.

From the sands, Bold and Beautiful Darkness Egg
From the sands, The patterns on this egg circle around with no beginning or end. It continues in a never ending cycle, as old as time itself. Broad stripes of red fade to purple and orange, flecked with gold along the shell. The colors drift into darker hues and then the egg is as black as midnight, with a complete lack of color. Then as the shell continues around the colors come back into being, lighting up the egg before fading yet again. The cycle continues.

From the sands, With twelve eggs on the sands, Mynwiyath again curls up, eyes lidding. She does not sleep, but she tries to rest, waiting for the inevitable next wave. Hour twenty of the clutching slides smoothly away.

Dredos comes up the stairs.

"Why's she sleeeping?" A little girl planted on Denalia's lap looks back at the blonde guard with a confused look on her face, something that makes Deni None Too Pleased. Why does she have to ask so many questions! "Because laying eggs makes you tired, Leshie. Huh. I wonder if she's finished." It's definitely quite possible, as there's already 12 eggs, double what Frusha had.

From the sands, It has been a long break, but at last, Mynwiyath stirs again, lumbering back to her feet. Laying eggs does make you tired, but it also makes you restless, and the gold paces onwards. Chey looks as though she would badly like a nap, as well. For right now, though, they are both up. Chey is no longer pacing. She is just standing, watching Mynwiyath pace, her lips moving in some silent encouragement.

Dredos finally makes his way up to the galleries to check out the day's events. His hands and arms have been freshly scrubbed, and the rolled cuffs of his long-sleeved shirt are still a little damp. The glorified clerk barely nods to Denalia and the girl before he plops down on the bench near them. He leans forward, elbows on knees, and looks over the cluster of new eggs.

From the sands, Mynwiyath digs shallower hollows now, as she wearies from the exertion of laying. A scrape of sand, and that will do. Yes… yes. She crouches over it.

From the sands, Mackems vs Toons egg
From the sands, This egg's shape is almost perfectly round, a sphere with just the slightest hint of elongation at one end, and it's surprisingly bumpy, almost as if it's made from tessalated hexagonal shapes, stitched together. Across its shell are a series of stripes; white is the dominant colour, and on side side it seperates bars of midnight black, while on the other it comes between ribbons of carmine red. The stripes run vertically from the snub apex to the rounded base, both sides locked in a battle for supremacy.

Dredos grimaces a little as Mynwiyath makes her latest… deposit. "I don't know why people like to watch this sort of thing," he comments in a generic aside to any nearby. "Like watching a woman give birth or something. Wouldnt' want to watch that, either." And yet here he is. He shifts slightly, then looks up. "The red is kind of neat."

Denalia lifts her head as Dredos finally speaks, having not noticed the man's entrance before. "Beats me. I'm more curious to see if she lays a gold egg, though I'm mainly here because of this one." Her finger carefully taps the head of the little girl in her lap. "She just wanted to see the 'pretty goldie'." Chuckle. "You must have nothing else to do, if you're here. The red? Aye. I'm kinda partial to the gray one."

From the sands, Mynwiyath does not wait terribly long this time. She reuses the same hollow, and another egg joins its brother or sister.

From the sands, Brawn Meets Brains Egg
From the sands, There is might in the sun-kissed bronzes that sweep over dawning line of this large egg's shell, buff with the defined draw of sweat-worked fawn. Fleshy colors are tanned with exposure and honed upon a sharp line of steely iron until perfection is created. As the egg widens, an older power swirls to life with dramatic intent. Ebony thick, lush as velvet and dark as midnight, is cast with a choking miasma of sorcerous magenta and split with an even more flashy crash of electric, jagged silver.

"Everyone's allowed their breaks in the day," Dredos says, perhaps sounding a little defensive. He shrugs and starts to lean forward but has to quickly scoot back as a group of young spectators moves along the the gallery aisle. He glances at Denalia and the child quickly, then leans on his knees again as the gold below lays another egg. "Oh… now /that/ one's awfully interesting."

The blob in Denalia's lap seems to have fallen asleep. Perfect. "Ah huh," she answers with a smile — if a bit of a wicked smile — before turning back to gaze at the new egg with her lower lip bitten. "Definitely bold, that's for sure," she says after a moment. "Eggs never seem to surprise me… Though, there are a couple so far that seem pretty normal." If 'white' is considered normal. "Got any bets to how many she'll lay?"

Dredos frowns slightly as he scratches at the side of his face, still mostly stubble free at this hour. "Dunno. No expert. But we're down to one gold." He rolls his shoulders and sits up again as one of the older aunties of the Weyr shuffles past. Dredos covers his mouth a little, his nose wrinkling until she's past. Ugh. Old Woman Smell. "She's already up to a fair number, going by Interval standards," he adds, voice somewhat muffled as he scrubs at his nose and leans back against the bench behind him. "You?"

From the sands, Chey is pacing again. She thought she didn't have the energy. But she was wrong, and again her steps are mimicking Mynwiyath's nervous prowl. She pauses by the door, sending out for more food, but then she's back in, walking again. Pace. Pace. Pace. Mynwiyath seems to be smelling all of her already-laid eggs, one at a time.

"Well, she had around 20 or so last time, right? With no gold… I'd say she's looking at a few more. At least.. Hopefully." The sleeping bundle is shifted up against Denalia's shoulder as the recruit tries to angle herself to see the Sands better — and cringes a little herself at the old woman. Ewwww. "She's taking her fine time, though. If it was anything like her last clutch, we could be here all day. Not sure if I wanna stay the whole time, though… I'll probably fall asleep, too." She chuckles. "Think you might get Searched again?"

From the sands, Mynwiyath finishes her inspection and lies down again. Resting? No, there are the tell-tale ripples along her abdomen. She labors intensely for a minute.

From the sands, To Be, or Not to Be? Egg
From the sands, To die, to sleep; perchance to dream. Bone white drapes its shrouded tones over this bumpy egg, a sombre soliloquy dedicated to that unanswerable question. A solemn calcareous grimace is almost teasingly wrapped around the lower part of the shell, while above it, three smudges of grey - two round, one triangular - create the appearance of hollowed openings, with the overall effect being that of a gruesome smirk. For in that sleep of death what dreams may come, when we have shuffled off this mortal coil?

From the sands, …and another…

From the sands, Which Came First: Chicken or Egg
From the sands, White. Pure, simple. While not a perfect shape, it seems reminescent of what an avian would lay, a simple ovoid devoid of marking and color, aside from a few bumps along the angled tip of one side of the egg. But, despite how well it may try to hide it, it's simple perfection is broken by a simple marking: at the thicker base, two three-pointed stars lay side by side, as if feet were poking through. But, let's just hide that, and stick it back in the sand. We all know the egg was there before /that/ was.

From the sands, Bandeleth moves into the heat, shimmered and blurred by the ripples that rise off the Sands.

From the sands, T'ii slides from Bandeleth's neck and lands gently on the ground.

"Why? I'm already here," Dredos answers, peering over at Denalia. "I don't know. Seems like a lot of pain and suffering for nothing." He runs his hands over his closely cropped head and studies the latest two eggs. "Well. Nothing so far. What about you?"

"I wouldn't say it's for nothing.." Denalia cringes a little, still trying to shift around to get a better view — Paleshia in her lap doesn't make it easy, though. "No. I'm kinda under the idea that, if I get promoted, I won't get Searched.. and considering all the work it took to get there, I don't think I'd complain. They're going to have to Search a lot of people, though, if she lays anything like last time. .. Huh, two more. Not very interesting eggs, though."

From the sands, So. Very. Tired. Mynwiyath lies momentarily quiescent, then lumbers back to her feet, dragging her enormous mass again around the circle of her growing clutch. She lowers her head to nudge the sand aside, carefully constructing a new hollow.

From the sands, T'ii-and-Bandeleth shuffle-slide onto the sands, both keeping a respectful distance from the (not as) egg-heavy Mynwiyath. Del bugles soft inquiry, though his offers of assistance have been rebuffed before. The little Weyrleader just watches for a moment, his expression content if a little sappy. Then he starts to make his way toward Chey.

From the sands, Chey turns towards T'ii as he approaches, mustering a weary smile. "Twenty-two hours," she says, "and up to sixteen eggs. I don't want to be all selfish, but I almost hope she doesn't have /too/ many more." Mynwiyath looks up briefly at Bandeleth, her head heavy. Lowly, she calls back, neither welcoming nor warning. Just tired. And here comes another…

From the sands, Battle for the Lifestream Egg
From the sands, An eternal struggle of sunbeam's glow against the darkened silver of moonbeams envelop this egg, a rapturous insanity about the miasma of bright colors. About the top, the yellow-blonde cast of the apex flickers with darker tones, an abstract reminder of discordant spikes splashed with two brilliant Mako-blue circlets. A gentle line of blue-green, seeming to flow lazily in a unsymmetrical pattern, butts up hard against a scythed line of darkest, deepest silver-grey. The silver blaze slashes diagonally downwards, remniscent of the sharpest edge the mind can summon in imagination- and below, the silver tones dapple as moonlight striking black leather, somehow sinister despite the beauty of the color itself.

Myrcella comes up the stairs.

From the sands, "Seventeen," T'ii amends as Mynwiyath lays the next, acknowledging it with a dip of his head. "Is there anything you need?" he asks his weyrwoman, even while gesturing toward Bandeleth — who lumbers closer to them, but not Myn. When he's approached far enough, T'ii moves to liberate some wineskins — only, no. "Water, I thought to bring."

From the sands, "Someone's getting me some dinner," Chey answers. This egg, again, for a moment looks so promising, but she shakes her head as it emerges fully. "No gold," she says quietly.

Rhaenyra comes up the stairs.

Dredos eyes Denalia with unveiled skepticism. His lips draw thin as he grimaces at her, but he keeps his personal opinion to that and turns back to Mynwiyath and the eggs. Dre folds his hands, thumbs tapping lightly against one another. And here, also, he keeps his comments to himself.

From the sands, T'ii scratches a thumb against his eyebrow, then hands a 'skin over to Chey. "Still no?" he asks on the end of a sigh, then follows it up by bumping his shoulder against hers, and telling her, "Don't worry."

From the sands, Mynwiyath carefully shores up a ring of sand to protect this latest treasure. Chey takes the skin, replacing her empty one, and drinks without comment on T'ii's latest assurance. She does lean into his shoulder-bump, however.

And Rhaenyra returns, after a shift of feeding the beasts and personally grooming the studs of the weyr— horsehair is liberally speckled over her, grey and chestnut hair predominant. "Oh, I like that one," she comments of the latest egg; "Very pretty." She moves to sit smack dab in the middle of the galleries. She lifts her sachel - overlarge meatroll, roasted tubers, and a skin of juice as her picnic-in-the-galleries, and hides to review besides. She lifts out the meatroll and tears off a bite, chewing thoughtfully, while unrolling a sheath of hides that appear to be an exhaustive inventory list of High Reaches' herds.

From the sands, Bandeleth moves carefully again, and starts nosing around in the sand; he will do the digging, if Mynwiyath will let him.

From the sands, Alas, Bandeleth just doesn't do it /right/. Mynwiyath rumbles wearily, and scrapes a long, deep, furrow. The loose sand immediately pours back in, but she repeats the scrape, and repeats. Finally, there is a hollow, and Mynwiyath moves to it.

From the sands, Entropy Always Wins Egg
From the sands, This egg is enormous, glowing with golden radiance. A taut spiral of alternating gold and white stripes circles its narrower tip, wire-thin pinstripes that devolve rapidly, the tension failing as they wend their way downward. Thickening stripes first begin to collide with one another at mid-egg, overlapping to generate new shades; strictly defined borders begin to blur. At its furthest remove, near the thickened bottom of the egg, the colors are no more than a brilliant mix like molten gold, speckled with starbursts of pure white.

"I don't know. They always look a bit… globby at first," Dredos replies with a brief look at Rhaenyra. Then maybe another look, in case he missed something. "And all wet and covered with sand and junk. More interesting after a sevenday or two." And there he stops, dead.

From the sands, T'ii's breath catches at the sight of the next egg to be laid, and he gropes for Chey's hand. Yes, yes?

Rhaenyra lifts her eyes at Dredos' statement, and then abrupt cessation of speech— it takes her a moment to gaze out to the sands, and immediately, her eyebrows raise. "Is that—" she begins.

From the sands, Yes, yes! Chey presses a wrist to her mouth for a minute, as if the hand might be inadequate, as if she was going to chew on it. But she is staring in rapt wonder, and Mynwiyath now, at last, lets out a weary bugle of contentment.

Denalia is awakened from her apparently daydreaming by Rhaenyra's voice, and the sudden appearance of… "Oh — oh my. That's…" A big smile breaks Denalia's face, and the little girl on her lap is awakened by the uncharacteristic squeal that leaves Deni's throat. "It's — That is /such/ a relief." A welcoming wink is sent to Rhaenyra. Well hi.

Dredos leans forward intently, and a rare smile of delight appears. "Well I'll be… Just won ten marks." He claps his hands once and leans back on his elbows against the bench behind while a few people skip down the stairs to start sharing the gossip with the other weyrfolk.

From the sands, T'ii makes some kind of noise, but it is not a word. He squeezes Chey's hand hard enough it probably hurts. (Bandeleth looks smug.)

Rhaenyra smiles, too, a release of the shared, spontaneous relief that has made it's way through the galleries. "That certainly helps matters, doesn't it?" she murmurs to Denalia as she shifts over a seat to be closer to the guard.

From the sands, "She's not done," Chey says quietly as Mynwiyath sinks to the sand and closes her eyes. "She just needs some time to recover."

"Definitely." Denalia can't help but sigh loudly in relief, her eyes watching Chey and T'ii with a rather bright expression. "They certainly look relieved, too. Imagine, that'll probably stop them from being so worried, too… Might make a lot of things better 'round here." One can hope!

"Like that would take much," Dredos mutters, his expression sour for a few seconds. He shifts and takes a deep breath, then stretches before pulling a boot up to the edge of the bench so he can retie the laces.

Rhaenyra nods at Deni. "Hopefully," she replies, her voice low. She returns her gaze to her hides, and lapses into silence momentarily.

From the sands, The minutes tick by. Mynwiyath rests. Chey waits. Chey's food arrives. Chey eats. The eggs… sit there like eggs.

Denalia snorts at Dredos, but now that Paleshia has woken up, Deni refrains from saying anything 'naughty' in front of her. Mother definitely wouldn't approve of that. "Pretty!" the girl remarks, although she could be talking about anything — from Mynwiyath, to the egg, to Rhaenyra's hair. "Well, at least ya won something out of it, eh?" she remarks to Dredos with a smile. "If we hadn'tve had a gold, though.. Well, I can't think of anything more unlucky."

Dredos shrugs at Denalia and frowns. "Unlucky. You sound like one of the smelly old aunties. Did you claim a rocking chair yet? It's getting cold. They go quickly." He gives his laces a final tug and lets his boot fall back to the stone floor as he glances back at Mynwiyath and the others. "Golds lay clutches without gold eggs all the time. Are they unlucky? Anyway, it's Interval. Maybe we shoulda asked for someone else's gold and rider." 'Cause that worked out So Well last time.

Tudor> Rhaenyra stares, incredulous, at Dredos. "Are you out of your everloving mind, or just that ignorant?" she questions him, her voice low. Her eyebrows are crawling to reach her hairline. She opens her mouth to say something, then shuts it before, shaking her head and deliberately turning back to her hides. Yeah. That was a pushed button, whatever it was that she took offense at.

From the sands, The eggs still sit there. T'ii steals a bite off Chey's plate. T'ii eyes the dragons. Bandeleth waits. More minutes pass.

"What, because I believe in a little luck now and then?" Denalia scowls at Dredos as Paleshia wiggles free, and begins to dawdle about the seats around her. "I wouldn't say it's unlucky /not/ to have a gold, but we seem to have a terrible time keeping goldriders. First we lose Pyrene, then Vaeli, Shaela, and Ashli all at once, and now Frusha… No one else wants to transfer here." She chuckles at Rhaen, but just shakes her head. "It's alright, Rhaen, he obviously can't help himself."

Dredos barks out a laugh as he turns to Rhaenyra. "No, I'm just not a superstitious bumpkin like the two of you seem to be." He settles back with his hands on the edge of the bench. "I'm just saying it's a stupid thing to say. All clutches with golds are lucky, all without aren't? Yeah, that makes sense. And how many gold riders have been asked that no one wants to come?" he adds at Denalia's comment. "You're right. I can't help but state the obvious."

From the sands, Mynwiyath rumbles low in her chest, then heaves herself back up again. No rest for the weary. There is work to be done. How many more of these things can there be, really? Gently, she slides up a ridge of sand with her nose, enclosing the gold egg more completely. Then she digs deep. Deep. Deep. The sand is fine and fair, shifting around her claws nearly as fast as she can move it.

"It's not a matter of luck," Rhaenyra replies, voice flat. "It's a matter of what is good for the weyr, and the fact is, the weyr needs another gold. Mynwiyath just obliged by clutching a gold egg, yet you seem scornful of the idea that another gold will help the weyr, or relieve tensions from th leadership." She finally looks up from her hides. "And that, sir, is grounds for being an overly-literate assistant headman out of touch with reality." She shakes her head. "But what would I know. I'm just a Herder." Ruffled feathers, much?

"I'd be surprised if Chey hadn't sent a plea to all the Weyrs for a gold after Frusha died, along with news of the happening. Sure, it's an Interval and we don't need the golds, but I can't imagine what'd happen if we lost Chey and didn't have anyone else. A Weyr with one gold is bad news." Denalia continues to scowl, even though she keeps an eye on Leshie's movement. "I don't generally believe in luck. Never have, until bad thing after bad thing has happened to this Weyr. The trend has honestly made me question.. well, everything."

"Now you're putting words in my mouth," Dredos drawls. "I didn't say a gold egg is bad. I /said/, summarizing, since you two can't seem to keep up, that you two are morons who don't think before you speak. Got it?" He gives the two women (and pre-woman) a shallow smile and gets to his feet. "I have marks to collect. Now, scurry down there so you can bow and scrape before the Weyrwoman and offer your oh-so-knowledgeable, self-sacrificing, preachy selves to be first in line to drool over that egg." He touches off a salute, steps up to the row above, and saunters back towards the stairs.

From the sands, T'ii nudges Chey with his shoulder. "A mark says thirty."

From the sands, "Shut /up/," Chey hisses at T'ii. "I'm not /wagering/ on this." Too important. No wood available to scare away the bad luck demons.

From the sands, We've Got It Goin' On Egg
From the sands, Sing it! This egg can barely contain, adequately, too many slick colors, gyrating textures, and irregularly-spaced dots that evoke faces in a crowd. Bright blues and golds spotlight an affair of ten shapes crowned in rich brown — though there's a few blond inclinations — and overall gaudy designations of color. It's a large egg, especially round at its equator, and dark by design. Sleek it could be called, the shell's surface as consistent as plastic with slightly reflective properties.

Denalia growls under her breath, completely willing to jump up and clobber him — oh, she'd like that VERY much — but she bites her lower lip, grabs the little ones wrist so she stops running around untying people's shoes, and plops her back up on her lap to keep her distracted. "One of these days," she hisses as she bounces Paleshia from one knee to the other. "I'm gonna break his nose. I hate men like that. Think that because I have a little hope in the Weyr getting better, in the fact that things were terrible before, that I apparently am being preachy." She sighs, trying to catch if any eggs were laid while she was busy envisioning Dredos's head exploding.

From the sands, T'ii rolls his eyes, but where Chey can't see.

Part 2

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