Jingle Bells, Enka smells, Miraneith laid an egg

Western Weyr - Hatching Sands
A wide, spacious cavern with a high, vaulted ceiling and ledges high above for dragons to perch upon. The pale white sands beneath your feet are uncomfortably warm, although they seem welcoming to dragonkind. Scattered shards remain from past clutches although the current brooding queen usually has a cleared spot for her own clutch. Just up from the sands are the ledges where dragons can land to watch, while along the eastern wall are the galleries for humans to watch.

Miraneith makes her entrance onto the sands in nothing short of a stately waddle, her plump tail dragging along in the dirt behind her. Flying's not for her, it's not, with those bulging sides, she'd be lucky if she could even make it into the air, even for that short jaunt down the Bowl walls to the cavern entrance. So instead, she waddles. Behind her comes her rider, scolding all the while. "Pick up that shardin' tail of yours, Mir. I've told you once and I've told you twice, and I just /oiled/ it for Faranth's sake. Don't you want to look your best?" There's a grunt and a snort from the queen. Clearly… no. She's too discomforted. Skirting around Shadhavarth and her clutch of seven, Miraneith makes for the center of the sands to begin scratching with her claws to make a nice little wallow.

Suldith pads out after Miraneith looking jittery and twitchy. He was excited! Eggs! Also nervous! Also excited! His own tail wiggles behind him a bit, and he stoops down to sniff at Mir's tail, making a curious warbling noise. Enka is greeting by the bronze with a warble and some gentle head-butting. The bronze stops to peer at the other clutch from Shadhavarth, then snakes around to follow Mir. Zi'on is just a few moments late of Suldith, the bronzer looking in his weyrleadery best. At least the best light clothing he has and short sleeves. "Shards and shells. I always forget how hot it is down here." The goldrider is greeted with a friendly kiss to the cheek as Zi'on looks around. "Seven from Shad then? Or are there some hidden away?"

Enka laughs a little as Suldith greets her, buffeted somewhat by his head-butting, but it's not forceful and the Weyrwoman's well able to keep her feet, reaching out to give the little bronze a friendly scritch for a second or two. There's another chuckle from the woman when Miraneith does her level best to hoist her tail up when Suldith sniffs at it, Mir craning her short neck around to croon at him. Thank Faranth he's here! Miraneith's claws dig into the sand, heaping it into small mounds as she does so, giving her mate another look and a snort — almost as if to say 'make yourself useful and dig'. Enka's dressed in the most comfortable clothes she can wear and still manage to remain decent, given the apparent crowd in the galleries. "It's blisterin' hot," she agrees. "Goin' to have to remember to drink lots of water when I'm down here, although I'm hopin' Mir lets me sit up in the stands instead." Her gaze roves towards the younger gold and her clutch. "Mmhmm, Mir said somethin' about it bein' seven. I haven't tried or wanted to go diggin' around to see if Shad hid any." Miraneith for her part seems to ignore her daughter and the other queen's clutch — not when she's got more pressing business of her own. Namely, getting these things out of her. Mantling her wings in a hiss, the gold crouches, and soon enough, the first eggs of her newest mating have appeared.

Soured Sunshine Egg
Roughly textured by a rather haphazard pattern of illusionary pits and bumps, a veneer of bright bright yellow — as bright as sunshine — clings to the surface of this medium sized egg. Rather bulbous in shape, there's a funny little protrusion on the upper apex of the egg, as if part of the egg was budding off from the rest of it. At first, and perhaps even future glance, the darker shadows of goldenrod and saffron against the brighter sunshine yellow, and the curious way they seem to sink inwards gives the egg its rather pebbly texture appearance as if the egg itself were not entirely smooth. In fact, each little pit and dimple seems to be puckered inwards, as if whatever lies inside the egg is sour tasting — little lipless mouths drawn up tight in protest.
Sweet Juicy Lovin' Egg
Perfectly smooth upon the surface, one would question if this egg was born of glass or just happened to been rolled around the sands a little too much by the ever doting dam and sire. Rich aubergine gives it's sulty embrace to this delicate dark shell; a soft twirl of sweet hues with nothing more to disrupt this dance of color than a single saffron kiss, a kiss that cradles the tiny seeds of chartreuse dotting that bright and brilliant apex.

Suldith is too busy being social to remember to make himself useful. There's a soft croon at the scritches. There wasn't anything Suldith could do about Miraneith and her tail really. So instead he pads merrily along over to start digging as he was instructed. Little pit here, little pit there… Maybe a little further over. That one gets filled in and re-dug. "She doesn't usually keep you down here, does she?" Zi'on can remember chatting with Enka in the galleries many a time. As opposed to down in the heat of the sands. "There'll be candidates around to fetch you water." The bronzer gives a nod about Shadhavarth's clutch. "Seven it is, then. Smaller than her last one. Maybe because these two are so close this time." Suldith peers over at the dropped eggs for a second, then gets back to work.

Miraneith has only her rider to blame that her mate is too busy being social, after all if it weren't for Enka scritching the bronze's nose, he would have gotten to work much sooner, right? At least when he does, there's a soft rumble of approval from Miraneith as he begins his little excavations. She approves of that pit there, and that pit here, but oh that pit over there… no no no, too far. A chuff of sound escapes her as it's filled in and re-dug. Much better. Pushing some sand into place around her newly laid eggs, the queen waddles over to the next pit, poking her muzzle down into it to check the depth and giving Suldith her warble of approval. Perfect! "I'm hopin' she continues to let me sit up there," Enka comments to Zi'on. "She never insisted I stay down here before, but maybe with Shad on the sands, it could be a bit different. They've never actually shared or anythin'." A grin is given. "Ought to make it a chore. Water the Weyrwoman or somethin' like that." Her gaze flicks over the two eggs from Miraneith, assessing them carefully, before roving back towards Shadhavarth. "The dragons know, I guess, how many there ought to be. I'm sure the Weyrlingmaster'll have at least a round dozen if not more to train up between the two of them." At least that, because with Miraneith laying two more eggs into those little pits that Suldith had dug for her, that number is fast being surpassed.

Fuzzy Wuzzy Was Half An Egg
The top of this egg is a gentle white. It is a smooth rolling hill covered in a fresh powdery snow, ripe for footprint making. This soft crest seems to glow with blues and yellows depending on the angle from which it is viewed at, adding a diamond finish to the sparkling white. There is an abrupt transition to the bottom half of this egg though, like someone has sliced two eggs apart and stuck the top of one egg with the bottom of another. If the top of this egg is snow, the bottom is dirt streaked with mud from the melting snow above. A murky brown color, the bottom looks to be wrapped in a thick stringy fur or possibly even tree bark. The strings of fur seem to be mostly heading from top to bottom, but there are plenty that jut to the side or wander off from their original path, creating the sort of fur you might find on a crawlie instead of a canine. Beneath the intricate veins of brown straw, in the tiny crevices between, a skin of a darker brown is hidden away like the last line of defense for the creature contained within.
If Smells Could Kill Egg
At one period of this egg's life, perhaps it was green. A little minty even, cool, refreshing and then maybe it was left out in the sun just a little too long and the crispy toasted marshmallow color crept in. From a distance this egg looks particularly thorny with jutting points thrusting up from the surface like a continuous mini mountain range. Up close it's obviously just an illusion but the smell at that distance will definitely make people wish they had just admired it from afar. This egg has a very distinct stomach-churning odor that once someone gets a whiff of, it lingers, for hours. While the rather drab green and brown egg isn't particularly attractive, it's the smell that will definitely leave lasting nightmares.

Suldith has had some practice after all, digging egg pits for the queen. He ought to have a good clue as to how it's to be done. The bronze gives Miraneith an encouraging warble as the queen goes to lay the next set of eggies. You can do it! There's a nod and then a shrug from the bronzer. "I don't think Suldith is going to be too pleased about the sands being shared. I doubt Mir will have much to worry about." Right now the small bronze was in good spirits, but once the clutching was over… look out. "He'll hardly be sleeping, probably. Heh. I'm sure he'll be having more than a dozen. Mir isn't known for small clutches." Zi'on laughs. "Be careful, or they might try to water you like you're a flower. Though it might feel good, having a bucket of water dumped on you." At least after a while out on the sands. Zi'on pulls at his shirt to peel it from his skin as Mir goes about her egg business.

"Peeeeeyeeeeww!" Enka wrinkles her nose as that last egg hits the sands with a gentle plop. "What'd you shardin' do to the thing, Mir? Pass gas as it was comin' out? It stinks!" There's a noise like an outraged huff from the gold. She did nothing of the sort! "I'm stayin' upwind of that one at all times." Insult, thy name is Enka. Miraneith snorts again, flicking her head away from her rider in a disgruntled funk, waddling along through the sand until she comes right alongside Suldith, bumping at him softly with her short muzzle, and then dropping her head to inspect the new pit he's digging. "I think Mir'll prefer it if everyone was lookin' at Shad's clutch rather than hers," Enka puts in, casting a glance towards the dragons. "But at least she'll know that Suldith would protect the clutch really really good. I just hope he doesn't get worn away to nothin' or anythin' bein' such a good dad." She laughs. "More than a dozen for sure, Mir's had pretty good-sized clutches, nothin' smaller than seven at least." And now it's definitely more than a dozen eggs in total, as Miraneith hunkers down and deposits two more eggs onto the sand, moving away to allow Suldith to cover them up. "I could have a tub down here," Enka suggests. "And a stream of candidates comin' in to pour cold water into it." she grins. "Better than swimmin' in my own sweat anyway."

Holy Guacamole Egg
Not quite perfectly ovoid, there are areas of this egg which seem almost flattened and misshapen, although the shell is smooth to the touch. The base color is a dark forest green, with variations of shading and highlighting creating a dappled effect across the whole of the egg. Towards the bottom of the egg and usually hidden by sand are uglier shades of brown and puce, which spread upward into more pleasant hues. At the apex, the dappling and variations stop abruptly as if cut by a sharp knife, and instead of browns and dark greens, there is only a solid, pale green, the color only broken up by a swirl of mahogany.
Urban Zombie Blood Egg
Big and round lengthwise while lacking in girth and circumference, this egg is chunky and slightly misshapen. Smooth to the touch, the variations in its shading give an appearance of roughness, shades of brown criss-crossing in a grid from apex to base. The hues vary from darkest sepias to light mahogany. A close inspection will reveal a rich, light green just underneath that grid of browns. On one side of the egg, a nearly black line splits the lighter colors sharply, only just curved and blending into the browns at either end.

Zi'on blinks at the rotten-smelling egg. "Ew. I thought that was you, Enka. I was just too polite to say anything. Are we sure that's an egg? And not.. an unpleasant by-product of the birthing process?" If Mir has dropped a deuce on the sands and has covered it like an egg… well, wouldn't that be a horrible surprise to the first candidate who decides to touch it! There's a gentle warble to the queen, and her muzzle is rubbed with Suldith's for a short bit. Then he moves away so she has space for egg depositing. "Eh. It'll be good for him to learn to share the sands. He'll be fine." The bronzer laughs. "You could I suppose. You'll be waterlogged after a while, though." Suldith moves over to examine the latest of their brood, then works at covering them with sand just so.

The bronzer would probably deserve a slap for that, of all the nerve, suggesting that it was Enka who was letting it rip. But Enka snickers a little and shakes her head. "Wasn't me, and I'm sure it wasn't. Maybe you ought to go up and check it out," she suggests, "see if it's really an egg, and not somethin'… you know." Maybe Miraneith was having a BM right as the one egg came out, and … no, the Weyrwoman won't even go there. "Let's just assume it's an egg. And find out for sure later." Pity the first candidate to touch it, egg or not. "He'll manage," Enka agrees cheerfully, watching Miraneith as the queen paws through the sand to dig another little wallow. "I'd be all wrinkly and pruney," she admits. "If it didn't turn the water hot and cook me instead." Miraneith crouches, tail curling as she strains and then, two more eggs — deposited neat as usual in their little pairs — join the rest on the sands. "That's how many now? Eight from Mir and fifteen in total?"

Prickly Desert Mirage Egg
Raspberry wraps its warmth in thick flowery pedals of color around this particular egg. A bit too bright perhaps for Western's sands as it nearly pulses with the magenta hue that seems more likely to be found in a pie or some girly alcoholic drink. Let's not forget the splashes of green that reach up like leaf-like blades of lime at the apex of each 'pedal'. They appear to grow out of the fleshy body, reaching towards the crown of this egg, slipping and sliding but not still unable to steal the show from the glaring primary color of pink. It most definitely appears as if this egg has some sort of vegetative growth but looks can always be deceiving.
Too Manly To Be Yellow Egg
This egg seems to belong out on the sands. Viewing from the gallery one might mistake this sand-colored lump as just that, a lump of sand amongst the rest of the sand. The top bits are colored in a washed out straw color, looking generally smooth with bits of darker colored crevices segmenting the shell vertically. Further down the egg the lighter yellow seems to open up into a brighter citrine. This sunshine yellow is spotted with small flecks of brown, sun spots on this tiny yellow star. The segmentations visible above are more pronounced in the middle and bottom sections of the hardening shell, opening at the middle and converging at the bottom like the longitude lines on a map. The very bottom his shrouded in a dark muddy chocolate, as if the sands it sits on have cooked it a bit.

Zi'on goes wide-eyed and blinks at Enka. "Oooh no. I don't think so. Let the candidates brave that hot mess." Zi'on will stay safely in the stink-free zone. "There's got to be an egg in there. The sand isn't sticking to it." That's a pleasant image. "No one likes a pruney weyrwoman." Zi'on says idly as he starts to count up the lumps. One lump… two lumps… zzzz. Wait wait. How many was that? "Enka soup, eh? We'll through some vegetables in and sell it at the market." Suldith waddles over to the latest eggs, working the sand up around them properly. Then he looks out at the clutch. "Looks like eight, yep." Zi'on agrees, while Suldith goes to position himself between his clutch and the other clutch. A bit more towards Mir's. There's a peer up into the galleries, and then bronze gives everyone up there a growly warning.

Miraneith grunts and huffs. Her rider is making fun of her egg! And so is the Weyrleader. There's nothing like a sulking queen dragon in a snit as Miraneith scoops sand around her latest laid eggs and scuttles backwards to settle herself down somewhere in the midst of her brood, watching Suldith take up the protective position between her clutch and Shadhavarth's. "She says she aint done yet," Enka remarks, flicking a glance at Miraneith who certainly /looks/ like she's done — maybe she's just taking a breather. "Weyrwoman soup." she laughs at Zi'on's words. "Makes ya strong or somethin'." Like milk, doing a body good. "You want a taste?" the goldrider grins teasingly, and then glances at Suldith as he growls his warning. There's a rumble of sound from Miraneith, and the queen grunts again. And then there's two more eggs. Maybe she's really done this time, because no sooner as Miraneith covered them up, she's flopping down to sleep /right/ there. All that digging and pushing things out of little spaces sure tired her out.

Rich And Tropical Something or Another Egg
Exotic hues of the summer tropics thrive on this shell, bringing it's delicious touch to the clutch resting comfortably upon the sands. Brilliant veridian tones mottle across the wide and rounded bottom of the egg, nestling the jacinthe and citreous band that wraps around the center of this ovoid getaway. The finishing touches to this sweet sandy sensation is the apex; dipped incarnadine all the way to the prominent point where the party is disrupted by one tiny round spot of dark sienna.
Not Just A Furry Little Dirt Clod Egg
Positively tiny compared to the rest of the eggs in the clutch, this globular little ovoid is a study in contradictions, and is best viewed in as many directions as possible. From the front half of the shell, a coating of earth and soil combine to give the shell a very loamy appearance. Darker streaks of muddy bark-brown hues can be seen, scraggled bits of floss-thin color that overlay the paler brown coating, adding an impression of fuzziness to the egg. And yet, when viewed from the opposite angle, the egg is entirely different, for along the top and bottom most portions of the curving shell, the brown coloration seems to peel away like a skin, exposing a startling shiny glaze of absinthe green. In the middle of this brilliant flash of verdancy, a much lighter blob of color — so pale it's nearly white — is stamped across the very center of the shell. Of a rather uncertain shape, almost as if it were an afterthought, the blob is surrounded by a narrow ring of little black pips, clustered together in twos and threes, the spaces between them filled by long streaks of pale white as if the center were radiating a halo from its very core.

Zi'on can't help it! It was Enka's fault. He was just following her lead. Suldith doesn't seem to acknowledge whether or not Miraneith is done. At least not until she's laid those last couple of eggs. Since the gold is quick to take a nap, the bronze is left to make sure that all the little one are wrapped up snugly in their sandy beds. The bronze then gives Mir a gentle neck rubbing, before resuming his post between the two clutches. He can protect both! Zi'on chuckles at Enka. "Maybe I'll get a taste later. Right now I think I want some real food. And a nice cold glass of juice." There's a pat to Suldith before Zi'on starts heading towards the exit. "Looks like that ten for Mir. So seventeen altogether. Gonna be a lot of new riders soon."

Enka is to blame. Yes, let's heap the blame on Enka. Oh wait. That's true. She did start it, and Zi'on was just following along. Once miraneith is done and napping, Enka moves forwards, retreating off the sands in a wide berth around the dozing gold, and her eggs. "Maybe you should," the goldrider comments wryly to the bronzerider. "But I'm thinkin' a nice meal and somethin' cool to drink would really hit the spot. If I stay out here any longer, I'll probably start boilin'." Enka dips her head to Suldith, giving the bronze a respectful nod and a smile of congratulations at such a good clutch. "Mmmhmm, that's ten all right. And seventeen in all. We'll have lots of new faces comin' in." There's a pause, Enka looking back over the eggs before she shakes her head and steps off the sands.

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