Golds and Goldriders

Western Weyr - Lagoon Shore
A sandy beach running along the edge of the lagoon, between the sparkling waters and the bowl. Sometimes riders and dragons are seen playing in the water nearby or a dolphin can be seen cavorting. At other times seacraft can be seen coming in under the arch to dock. The lagoon is large enough to fill a quarter of the length of the bowl. A path winds out along a ledge out to the docks to the southwest, the lagoon to the west and the bowl to the east.

Late afternoon, and the gleaming white beach that curves around the lagoon still has plenty of action to be found. The sun's rays, cast down over the sands have left their indelible warmth to seep down into the grainy material, an insulated sort of heat that offers a comfortable place to relax. And the waters of the lagoon, pristine and sparkly blue, have seeped up the bounty of Rukbat's heat as well, thus making them not too warm and not too cold, perfect for anyone who still wants to frolic about on the tide. Or to be bathed, and pampered in the case of dragons, for there's Miraneith, her face creased into that perpetual little smile of hers, stubby tail flat in the shallows as her rider scrubs at her hide.

It may be that dragon washing is simply too good an excuse to get out and enjoy the afternoon; it's surely too lovely to be stuck indoors. From far out over the sea, beyond the arch, Tavehtiath's sunshiney bulk becomes steadily more visible: with precise, perfect wingbeats she carries herself home. Coming from the opposite direction, Rhysanna's got a scrubbing brush under one arm, her long hair carefully bound up. She glances up as her dragon begins to ascend towards the beach, a careful landing that manages not to dislodge too much pale sand the light, summer breeze. If the rider is distracted by her dragon, the dragon is not so: « Miraneith, » she greets, graciously cool.

« Oh! » Miraneith's short neck lifts, the older queen cocking her head slightly to the side — all the better to display that cheeky grin after all — as Tavehtiath's greeting draws her attention towards the other gold's landing. « Why hello there, » her greeting is soft, an eternally dreamy fog of cotton candy clouds and castles in the air. « Have you come to bathe as well? » no really Miraneith, why ask such simple questions, although there's yet that forever-little-girl tone that's her cheerful and happy side. « You are welcome to the waters, they are quite warm and nice. » Because that's totally important to a dragon, or to anyone for that matter on such a blissfully tranquil day like today. « Enka dear, we have company. » that last said for her rider, engrossed in scrubbing out a spot on Miraneith's tail "If I didn't know any better, Mir," Enka remarks, "I say you were sheddin' badly. But you ain't, it's just a bit stubborn…. oh?" Glancing around the gold's haunch, she catches sight of the younger pairing. "Hello there," a wave in given in Rhusyanna's direction. "Nice day for dragon washin'."

Rhysanna has paused on the beach to study her dragon, the young queen looked up and down for several long seconds before politeness - or, indeed, her own dragon's mental prod - draws her away from it enough to acknowledge Enka. "Perfect for it," she agrees, with a quick, polite smile. "And too nice to be stuck indoors." « I have, » agrees Tavehtiath, who turns now so that she can pad, as daintily as she can, towards the water's edge, and then in. « I usually prefer it cooler, » which, of course, is more difficult here at Western, « But it is lovely, nonetheless. Are you well, Miraneith? » Rhysanna follows her dragon, adding, "Though that's so often the case, it's difficult to use it as an excuse."

Enka leans for a moment against the smooth hip of her dragon, scrubbing brush knocking against her thigh as her fingers twitch absently, bobbing her head in a wry nod at Rhysanna. "Was feelin' simply awful about stayin' indoors," she comments, with a quirky smile of agreement. "Had a stack of folders from Sykan Hold this high," she flips her brush up and out, until it sticks at a perpendicular angle a few fingertip lengths above her knee — exaggeration surey!. "So I called it a day, and came out here." Miraneith huffs softly, sides fluttering to cause little wavelets to wash against her belly as she wriggles into a more comfortable position in the shallows. « I would have liked it warmer, » she admits — the fire to Tavehtiath's ice — «but it still feels nice anyway. » She cranes her neck towards her haunch and her rider, a soft croon escaping. « I am well, » the dragon answers her granddaughter, « save that my tail itches somewhat fiercely. How fare you? » Another croon, and Enka pushes off Miraneith's hip with a slightly apologetic smile. "Needin' to dragon wash is always a good excuse to get some free time outside. As it happens, Mir's got a bit of skin that's not sheddin' off quite that easy, just needs a bit of extra scrubbin' and I thought a good soak in the water might help. So all the more reason to get some time for ourselves out here."

Exaggeration or not, Rhysanna's expression holds nothing but sympathetic understanding - and, perhaps, a certain amount of wryness in the curve of her smile. "It's nice to be able to do that," she agrees. "As excuses go, it's definitely a genuine one." She looks, for a moment, as though she's about to say something else - and knowing her, it would be something hasty about 'and of course I wouldn't make excuses not to work,' but Tavehtiath forestalls her by sending a gentle wave of water in her direction; distracted, the younger goldrider begins scrubbing, instead. « I'm sorry about your tail, » says Tavehtiath, politely. « That must feel awful. I'm well. I flew halfway across the sea. » She's not prone to sharing, and yet it escapes nonetheless: the emptiness, the quiet, and the sense, too, that she was surveying territory. That she sees it as her duty… as much as her escape.

"Oh, definitely," Enka remarks, disappearing a moment behind Miraneith's bulk as she scrubs furiously at that stubborn patch of shed still clinging to the gold's short stumpy tail. "Bein' able to take off like that, sayin' your dragon needs you when they usually do anyways. Beats bein' say a Minecrafter and you're stuck on a stubbon vein and got a boss lookin' over your shoulder who won't take no for an answer." Not that Enka is that kind of boss or making any hints or anything. Reappearing at Miraneith's side, the goldrider winks cheerfully at the younger woman. "And it's so hard not to make excuses anyways when we live in paradise like this. Might be different if we were up in Telgar or the High Reaches." Because then they'd make excuses to stay indoors as close to a fire as much as possible, even if it meant more work. "You have been well, I hope?" Enka asks, just because. And as for Miraneith, at least she's got less of a itchy patch of skin to deal with. Maybe more soaking will help. « It is nothing that I cannot abide, » the dragon comments to Tavehtiath. « It loosens, slowly. Soon it will be gone, and so will the itch. » There's a long pause, the remarks about flight across the sea absorbed in thoughtful silence. « I do not fly so far, » she admits at last. « Home is much better for me. » Although she understands the idea of surveying territory, it is what she does at night, only in much smaller locations than the wide wide ocean. «That is good though. I am glad to hear you are well. Shadhavarth is well too, and we have seen Orraeloth. She is not so well, but they are not worried. » That's just Mir, being a good dynastic queen and all, checking up on her descendants.

That wink makes Rhysanna smile, albeit in a cautious kind of way: even six months past graduation, she's not quite managed to be completely relaxed in the other woman's presence, though she's clearly working at it. "That's true," she agrees. "I've seen their snow and ice, now, and as pretty as it is, and as much as Tavehtiath enjoys it, I'd want to stay indoors as much as possible. We're so lucky, here." She climbs up onto her dragon's forelimb, reaching for an itchy spot about the 'ridges, and adds, "I have, thank you. I'm— how old was Miraneith when she first rose?" It's an abrupt change of course; the question draws a flush to the younger woman's cheeks. « We have a duty to be home, too, » acknowledges Tavehtiath, with an abruptly chilly crispness that may have something to do with her lifemate's so-recent question. « I am sorry for Orraeloth, » she decides. « I could not abide that. »

Enka hasn't got a reputation of eating her juniors for breakfast — or for any other meal. If anything, she might have a bit of a reputation for being a closeted workaholic and that might make her a little unapproachable at times and hard to make others feel totally relaxed, but that's neither here nor there. "I'd die," Enka puts in with a bit of a shiver for dramatic effect, "just die havin' to wade around in the snow and ice and cold all the time. Tavehtiath's welcome to all of it, and can have my share of snow and cold just for good measure." Now, isn't that generous? "It's great livin' here, though Ista wasn't so bad either." Enka gives Miraneith's flank a cheerful thump, and cranes her head up to watch Rhysanna on her dragon's forearm. "Around two turns," she comments. "Wasn't early or really late, all the greens in her class had already risen twice or somethin'." her brow furrows at the memory — it's been a long time. "Shadhavarth was a bit late though. And Orraeloth," Enka rolls her eyes skywards with a sigh of exasperation. "Took her a long time too. Are you wonderin' about Tavehtiath? Has she been feelin' … different, lately?" « Yes, » Miraneith weathers that chill with an air that can only be termed naivety . « Home is where we all feel best. » a long pause. « As do I, Orraeloth is not does live as we do, but she does not complain. » There's no rebuke there, just simple statement of the facts.

Rhysanna gives her dragon what is clearly an affectionate glance in the wake of Enka's comments on snow and ice, her free hand pressing lightly to the young queen's smooth hide. When she speaks again, however, it's to answer that second subject, and she sounds— not distracted, but perhaps close to it. "No, she's the same as ever. But she's hit two, now, and so I keep… watching her. It's not that I'm scared of it, so much as I'd feel better knowing when. If that makes sense? But if Shadhavarth was later… It's just going to happen when it's time, isn't it? And I should stop thinking about it." Clearly, this is easier said than done. « It is good that she doesn't complain, » says Tavehtiath, sinking lower into the shadows (or as low as it is possible for her to do, granted). « That would be undignified. » And thus, unbecoming of a queen… at least in Tavehtiath's opinion.

"She might just be bidin' her time," Enka muses thoughtfully as she tilts her head, studying the younger gold with careful scrutiny. "And she might be a bit of a late bloomer like her dam, but there was nothin' wrong with Shadhavarth when she finally rose. Sometimes it just takes them a little longer to reach sexual maturity." Enka shrugs then, giving Rhysanna a reassuring smile. "If it worries you that much though, you're welcome to take her to see a dragonhealer about it even if they'd likely tell you she's maturing just fine and will rise when she rises on her own terms. Might be best just to give it time though." « It would not do to complain. » Miraneith agrees, swishing her tail through the water, little eddies of motion stirred up tolap against the shore. « We all must maintain our dignity. » "Aside from wonderin' about Tavehtiath risin'," Enka speaks up at that moment, "is everythin' else all right for you?"

"I think…" Rhysanna's smile is crooked, now, and comes with a quick nod. "She's only just two. It's not like she's three or four, or… there's time. She isn't worried, and I should probably listen to her on that front? But - thank you." Certainly, Tavehtiath betrays no sign of concern: she's closed all but her innermost eyelids, lounging in a very focused, precise kind of way, with no more sheen than is natural to have in the sun, with water droplets dappling her natural hue. "It's not as though we're in desperate need of more dragons, after all. Four queens." This time, Tavehtiath answers Miraneith with only the vaguest of sensations: eddying snowflakes, parading pretty patterns upon her thoughts. She is both content and full of dignity. "Oh. Yes. Things are fine. I think… I'm settling in?" Rhysanna flushes. "I hope I'm doing well. And… I'm well in general, too. Not just about work. I hope you are, too."

Well there they have it, time. It's all just a matter of waiting. "Yup," Enka leans over to run the scrub brush against Miraneith's plump tail, a brisk little scrub that's managed to work off most of that dried skin that still persistently lingers, a few flakey patches still tenaciously moored on the gold's appendage. "She's young yet, just got to give her time, and let nature take it's course. If she's not worried about it, then it's still not happenin'." She nods. "You're welcome. If you feel the need to talk to me any more about it, or anythin', either have Tavehtiath contact Mir, or come find me in the office." Miraneth is quite relaxed too, settled in the shallows water lapping softly against her belly, with a somewhat more alert look. Night is coming after all — her time, and there's a more energized motion to the way her arches her neck, and swishes her tail back and forth. "Oh yes," Enka could quite agree on that. "That's plenty of queens, and plenty of dragons. There's no rush to worry about needin' more. It'll be Turns before Mir or Shadhavarth start glowin' again too." A pause. "Good, glad to hear of it. Doin' well that is, and settlin' in. I am, been a bit busy and preoccupied with the whole Liora thing and all," for which Enka feels somewhat responsible. "But I'm managin'."

Rhysanna reaches up, straining to extend her reach as far as she needs - though Tavehtiath at least makes the process easier by adjusting to assist. The goldrider glances back over her shoulder, though, giving Enka what can easily be described as a solemn nod. "I will," she says. "If I need anything. I'll do my best to stop worrying, too, though that's not a strength of mine, clearly. Taveh's always telling me— well." Her gaze slides back to her dragon, considering that sunshine-y hide thoughtfully for a few moments before she adds, "Good. On all counts, I mean. I suppose that means Eulweth or Taveh will be next. But no rush. Liora is doing okay, isn't she? I'm not surprised that's been… taking your attention."

Enka clambers up Miranieth's forearm to lean against the gold's chest, one hand lifted to trail intimately across her lifemate's lower jaw. "At least," Enka says then, "you're Weyrbred, and that's one advantage we've got over Holdbred queenriders. Less worryin' overall and actin' like silly ovines." In fact, all of the Western goldriders are Weyrbred, except for Liora who doesn't count anymore and was a silly sheep anyway proddy or not proddy. "Just keep remindin' yourself not to worry, no matter what Taveh might or might not tell you. At least Mir doesn't try to put her opinions in…. too often anyway." She flicks a glance up at her dragon, the gold glancing out towards the deeper water where small fish are darting back and forth like tempting little targets. "Yes, it would most likely be Eulweth or Taveh or both at some point to grace the sands. But again," there's a cheeky sort of smile from the weyrwoman, "no rush." She sobers a moment and nods. "Liora's stopped makin' barnyward noises. Minds her tenders, acts like a small child. Not much sense there, though she didn't have much before. They seem well settled at her childhood Hold. And it took so much of my attention to get her settled. And then fight with her father over the expenses." That last gets another one of those exasperated eyerolls. "At least it's mostly handled and under control though."

"I'm certainly glad of that," admits Rhysanna, in answering to Enka's comment on their being weyrbred. "I'm sure it would bother me a lot more, then. For me, it's mostly the… well, I just want the first one over and done with, so I know exactly what it will be like, in the future. Silly." She turns back, now, settling down into a seated position, her scrubbing brush resting over her knees, though surely she's a lot of dragon still to go. "Taveh just has expectations. She's like my mother," who has managed not to make a complete fool out of herself, putting in her two cents, though there's certainly been some hard work on Rhysa's part in containing intentions in that direction, "But I'm managing." Of Liora, she sucks in a breath, exhaling it through her teeth in a carefully thoughtful manner. "I can't imagine," she admits. "But I'm glad she's settled."

"It does get easier after that first time," Enka admits, hopping down off Miraneith's forearm with a soft splash, and tossing her brush up onto the beach, but not before a final scrub to remove the last of the old shedding skin from the end of the gold's tail. "You get kinda nervous waitin' for it, knowin' you know what you know and knowin' to make her blood and not knowin' if you're doin' it right." Clearly these words are heartfelt from experience. "Mir tried eatin' the first time, and I really had to force her to blood. But it worked out ok, one of her clutchmates caught her. After that, it just got easier. I guess when they say practice makes perfect, it's kinda like practicin' each time." Enka flicks a fond glance towards her dragon. "I'm feelin' lucky that Mir never had … intentions," she remarks wryly, "or havin' a mother who did either." That horse left the stable a long long time ago. "I'm glad she settled too, maybe means I can focus on my work here a little more."

Rhysanna has never been able to keep her emotions from her expression, and nor is she now; she listens solemnly to what Enka has to say, her mouth opening ever so slightly as though she wants to say something, but can't quite bring herself to do so. "Easier over time," she says, finally, after an exhale. "Well, I'm glad of that. I'm sure we'll be fine." Even so, the glance she aims at her dragon now is tinged with wariness; it's a dragon that Tavehtiath ignores altogether, quite as if it did not exist at all. It is, after all, unbecoming. They need be wary of nothing. "It's just my luck to have both," Rhysanna adds, with a laugh. "Although without them… I suspect I'd struggle a lot more." Of that last remark, she simply nods, the corners of her mouth turning up again: it's a good thing. "You're heading in?"

As the old saying goes, once a weyrbrat, always a weyrbrat — and Enka is just that kind of a person. It's not that she's a kid at heart nor is she the kind of person whos ever incapable of cutting loose and having a little fun, but she's comfortable with herself and her place in the world. And if there's a chance to impart wisdom and experience along the way, so much the better for it. "Much easier over time," she states, reassuringly. "And it happens so rarely anyway that you won't have to worry very often. No more than once a turn or so." Or three, or four. Who knew. "We each have our own way of dealin' with the world," she observes, "gettin' saddled with meddlin' dragons or mothers or not at all. But that's what makes me of us unique and special in our own way." So sayeth she, young grasshopper. "Yup. Time to oil Mir up after that good scrub." The look Enka casts at her dragon is full of amusement. "So if you'd be a dear, Mir, and /not/ drag your tail through the sand as we go up the beach, I'd appreciate it." There's a snort from the queen, her reaction to their turns-old argument a soft shake of the head. If Miraneith could roll her eyes, she'd be doing it right now. « Farewell then, Tavehtiath. » and with that, off Mir goes. Dragging her tail through the sand. How /unbecoming/. "Knew she'd do that," Enka grouses, heaving a sigh of exasperation. "Well, enjoy the rest of your scrubbin', and I'll see you around." And with that, it's Enka sloshing out of the water and onto the beach, puasing long enough to collect her scrub brush before she trails after her dragon, scolding her all the while.

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