The Delight of Frozen Fire

Ester
Weyrling
Ester
Weyrling
Joined: 7:34 PM - Jul 26, 2017

11:05 PM - Feb 26, 2018 #1

it was what could be considered the wee hours of the morning. That special time that occupied the space between the witching hour, although it was certainly not known by that title on Pern, and when the earliest risers, the bakers and drudges, arose to begin preparations for the day. Once creature was awake. Mallitorioth had taken a nap earlier in the previous day to rest, and now she lay, attentive as always, on the burning sands. She, like the eggs around her, was unmoving, a statue of dark gold. She had not trusted anyone else with this nightly vigil now that the eggs had begun to harden. Their shells gleamed in the dull artificial light that illuminated everything from above. Mallitorioth's eyes were sharp, and she did not need the full glare of the overheads to keep watch to her satisfaction. Her rider had retired with another earlier, which had left Mallitorioth alone. The gold did not mind the solitude, a very gentle hum radiating from her. It was a call, a lullaby of sorts, but intended to have the opposite affect on the eggs. It was produced by Mallitorioth in the hope of waking up the eggs. With the hatching so close, Mallitorioth had ever so gently moved the eggs. Those that had initially been placed around the edges of the sands had been moved closer to the center, so that Mallitorioth could lay easily along the back wall without disturbing any eggs, and their would be space for the candidates along the front wall, with access for healers and space along the side wall by the entrance for the meat table to be set up. After all, the time was nea-- Mallitorioth lifted her head, eyes glazing over. For a moment she was frozen in that position, even her breathing halted as the knowledge of the future passed through her, leaving bits and pieces behind. The glaze faded, and Mallitorioth looked out over the still silent sands. So, that is how it will be. Welcome, then, little ones. I am not your mother, but I have taken care of you as though I was, and I care of you as she would. Come, now. It is time for you to hatch. Your destinies, your other halves that you yearn for so desperately are waiting for you. Soon, little ones, you will be whole again as you always wish to be. Mallitorioth stretched her neck, peering at the closest egg to her, The Antlered Moose Egg. For a few moments more, the egg was still. Then, as though all at once the clutch had heard Mallitorioth's words and awoken, there was something like a mental pulse that burst from the clutch, reverberating throughout the room. Had anyone but Mallitorioth felt it, they would have been pushed back by the mental wave, confused and disoriented by the sudden and unexpected sensation. Mallitorioth remained still despite the disturbance, waiting with a patience usually unseen in gold dragons. It took a second, but The Antlered Moose Egg shook very slightly, shifting the sand in which it sat by a barely perceptible amount. Satisfied, Mallitoritoh raised her head again. Eggs have no sense of time. It was a self-musing, chuckling to herself as the gold turned her attention first to her rider. Ariaceli. It is time. Rise and join me. I will be calling the rest of our Weyr soon. Join me, and we will welcome the next generation into this world together. They come, and they are powerful.

The relaxed nature of relationships in the Weyr had always been a joy of Ariaceli's, who felt no shame in her favorite form of relaxation and was always glad that few at a Weyr did either. She had needed it that night, and although it meant she had fallen asleep far later than she'd initially wanted, it also meant that she slept incredibly soundly. It had been her intention to sleep in slightly, no more than half a candlemark, to make up for the night's activities, but as Mallitorioth had chuckled to herself, eggs had no sense of time, or indeed, no sense of other people's schedules. There was no consideration at all for other people. Ariaceli might have been deep in sleep, far past dreaming, but the voice of her dragon was a better alarm than anything else for her. The Weyrwoman was awake in an instant, the words of her dragon filtering through her mind, although she lay there, draped in furs, for a few more moments as she tried to figure out what her dragon was telling her. It didn't take long for Ariaceli to put the pieces together, and with a gasp, she sat up, throwing furs off of herself with enough vigor to wake her nocturnal companion. A question, incoherent with sleep, was mumbled at the Weyrwoman, who had sprung from her bed. "Hatching! The Eggs! Mal just sent word. You'll hear the call in a second. I have to get down there!" The most basic of clothes that were appropriate, far more so than the dressing gown that Ariaceli had been wearing, were thrown on, And Ariaceli had barely touched her heair with a brush when her prediction came true. Good morning Star island residents. I have excellent news that everyone has been waiting to hear. The clutch is about to hatch. Candidates, awake to the sands. Meat is required, kitchen staff. Butcher the food fresh for our newest pairs. Bring it to the sands. They are coming, and I will kill anyone who causes, by some fault of their own, the death of any one of these children. Hurry, my patience, and theirs, grows thin. Ariaceli let out a small laugh, brush finally running through her hair. "She does have a way with words, doesn't she?" Despite her lack of sleep, Ariaceli didn't feel exhausted. Adrenaline had propelled her up, and now it coursed through her veins like fire. "C'mon. We can't be late." Ariaceli gave her companion a wink, and, shuffling into sandals that offered just enough protection, she dashed from her rooms. Her hands quickly braiding back her hair as she went, so that she wouldn't be distracted by it during the hatching. The layout of the compound had been well thought out, and it took very little time for Ariaceli to get to the sands, although she didn't stop when she got there, and quickly picked her way though the sands to her dragon's side. "How far along are we?" Ariaceli glanced over her shoulder, hoping to catch a glimpse of an egg shaking, before she hauled herself up onto Mallitorioth's leg, and then up onto her dragon's shoulder so that she would be well out of the way. it wouldn't do for her to be injured unnecessarily by a passing dragonet. Not far. They will be a bit still. See? There. The egg near the middle is shaking. The Frosted Ermine Egg was shaking gently, clearly about to hatch, but not quite at the point where cracks could be seen. Ariaceli let out a breath she hadn't known she was holding. "We have time, then." Mallitorioth, in response, raised the gentle hum she'd been emitting into a full-blown hatching song, welcoming the new life that was about to emerge into the world.

Although The Frosted Ermine Egg was vibrating with obvious life, it was not the only one. Many of the others out of the large clutch were beginning to show signs of movement as well. This was an incredibly good sign, and Ariaceli felt her words stick in her throat. She loved this, the joy and excitement. This was what made the responsibility of being a Weyrwoman worth it. She did take a moment to wonder what Mallitorioth had meant by "They are powerful", when she'd spoken before, but that was a background thought of Ariaceli's. Most of her attention was focused on the eggs, and besides, what Mallitorioth had felt, what she had realized, would become clear soon enough, even if Ariaceli didn't know it yet. Mallitorioth curled her tail in tighter and stretched her front paws out, getting herself even more comfortable and she raised her head, looking around at the eggs just like her rider. As uncharacteristic as it was of Mallitorioth, she possessed an incredibly deep mothering instinct, and her desire to protect the eggs under her care, her true children or not, meant that this was a tense time for her. She shared in her rider's excitement and exuberance, but Mallitorioth was able to contain her composure in ways that Ariaceli absolutely was unable to do. The Weyrwoman didn't even try and look regal or stately, although she certainly looked happy, glowing with a radiance that was still outshone by the eggs somehow. Ariaceli was bouncing as intensely as she had done during the touching. They didn't have long to wait, and the eggs were showing more signs of stress. None had cracked still, but it was only a matter of time. "I hope the candidates get here."They always do. Mallitorioth's voice was calm, although Ariaceli could feel her excitement and joy as well. her dragon was usually so practical that anytime Mallitorioth felt excess emotion, especially positive emotion, it leaked over to Ariaceli and made her even more excitable than she already was. It was nice to see her dragon as invested in this clutch as Ariaceli was. They all knew what was riding on this clutch and what the potential outcomes could be. Do not think such things. They are sensitive to it, but strong. Do not doubt these children, Ariaceli. Her dragon's chiding made Ariaceli sign, but inwardly. "I know, but worry doesn't work that way. I want them to impress, and I think they will, but that doesn't stop doubt. Everyone will always doubt, Mal. They have to get used to that." Mallitorioth huffed, although the only other response she had to her rider was that her hum became louder. Her rider had a point. The gold's attention snapped to The Gyrfalcon Egg, which had overtaken the other eggs in the violence of its shaking. Cracks had appeared, little flakes of the shell pinging off into the semi-darkness. Do you see, Ariaceli? Ariaceli shook her head and then raised her gaze, suddenly realizing what she had forgotten to do. "AIVAS? Lights on full, please!" The voice of AIVAS answered, mild as ever as it permitted the room with an easy clarity, hiding just the barest hint of a laugh in its words. "Request Accepted. Lights on full. Anything else, Weyrwoman?" Ariaceli shook her head. "No, AIVAS. Thank you!" The voice of the great machine came again. "Of course, Weyrwoman. Happy hatching. I look on with interest." The voice faded as the lights brightened considerably. There were some overhead lights, but the walls were also now washed with a pale glow that helped illuminate the entire sands and the stands as well. As the light rose, a few more tiny shards of The Gyrfalcon Egg fell away, and the side of the egg that had cracked into tiny pieces bulged slightly, the dragonet inside clearly straining to free itself. Ariaceli made an excited squeaking noise and looked over at the main entrance to the sands. "They better get here! They'll miss the first dragonet out!"
UPDATED EGG LOCATION CHART
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ShadowReine
Candidate
ShadowReine
Candidate
Joined: 4:52 AM - Jan 19, 2018

11:14 PM - Feb 26, 2018 #2

--- Tobas ---

The thing about dreams is that if you are awakened from that stage of sleep, then whatever awakened you ends up in your dream.

That's just the way the human mind works.

Which is why the gold's voice drew Tobas out of a nightmare. He squeaked as he awakened - thankfully, it was not a scream. A nightmare in which he got to the Sands just too late, his dragon going Between a moment before he got there, and the queen was about to...

...to eat him.

(I will kill anyone who causes, by some fault of their own, the death) were the words he fully awakened to.

Oh.

They were Hatching. And the queen's threat had gotten into his dream. Scowling at both that and the fact that it was, indeed, oh dark thirty, Tobas tugged on the Hatching robes, a forgotten tradition revived by the frozen dragonriders.

No doubt there had been some reason for it. The only one Tobas could think of was that wearing white on very hot sands did, if you asked an Igenite, make a certain amount of sense.

He made it. He made it, and he stepped out onto the Sands and bowed to the guardian queen. Not the natural mother of these eggs, no, but she might as well be. Certainly, her threat showed a deep care for them.

And one of them was cracked enough that he could almost, almost see...was that a paw? Maybe.

--- Kaletha ---

Sleep hadn't come easy to Kaletha of late. According to the riders and dragonhealers, the eggs were about to Hatch and she had a mortal terror of somehow sleeping through the Hatching.

And on this particular night, she had given up. She was already awake, dressed, and in the Candidate common room, sipping at heated juice - klah would, of course, not help her current problem, but she needed something warm.

Then the queen called and she set it aside. Oh, good. It would be over one way or another soon, for another cycle. Until they brought another clutch out of the freezer or, well, Mallitorioth rose to mate.

One way or another. She quelled the VTOLs in her stomach with an effort of will as she ducked back into her room to change, then made her way to the Hatching room. It was hot in there - as hot as the volcanic sands of the wrecked Weyrs? Maybe one day she would know, if they could breed dragons fast enough.

No.

She was never going to be a goldrider and thus would not step out onto the Sands again after she Impressed.

A gold that picked her...well...no. She would trust the judgment of the dragons. She had to.

Out into the room, then. Eggs were shaking, one had cracked enough to almost show the dragonet within.

She bowed to the queen, gave Tobas a tight smile, and then stepped to one side. She had already learned one lesson: You didn't cluster too close together. That was asking for somebody to get between a dragonet and their chosen Candidate and get bowled over...
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Figment
Hatchling
Figment
Hatchling
Joined: 10:12 AM - Jan 21, 2018

11:36 PM - Feb 26, 2018 #3

Candidate Soraya

Sleep it seemed, had been a precious commodity. One that soraya had gotten preciously little off between her stint with Pix and the pre-hatching jitters. She had finally fallen asleep, exhaustion claiming her, as a rather awkward half slumped position at the small writing desk in her room. It was Pix going crazy that woke her up, sleepy eyed and with a crick in her neck .

Moments later the Firelizards excitement was given voice by the weyrwomans gold. She nearly tripped over her chair getting up, pinwheeling her arms for balance before steadying herself on the desk. The candidate robes already hung at the ready and she took her time sliding into them. Rushing would only make it take longer because of limbs fouled in the fabric.

Meanwhile Pix was keeping up an excited firelizard commentary and it took her quite a few moments to get the young green to stay were she was and not follow. She didn't want to anger malithorioth by bringing the excitable young creature amongst other potentially fragile younger creatures. Though she could hardly imagine any dragon as fragile.

She made decent time getting to the hatching sands. Already one of the eggs was rocking almost violently and chips of eggshell were flying off. She was right on time for the first dragon to hatch it seemed and she let out a sigh of relief as she hurried into the line of candidates forming by the gold.

She couldn't help but keep craning her neck at the eggs while she waited her turn, feeling herself lose her patience. But then finally she stood before the gold, sketched her bow and hurried onto the sands and into the loose semi cirkel of candidates. She didnt' know what to expect other than what So'sten had told them. She'd just have to be quick on her feet and it would be fine.

She scanned the stands for the familiar faces of V'nin and We'nell, giving a little nervous wave when she spotted them before focussing on the eggs in earnest, swallowing a little and rubbing her hands in a nervous gesture.

-------------------------

Candidate Pelantyr

It was always a good idea to exhaust the body if the mind was restless. Atleast that was what his father usually claimed and Pelantyr had seen the wisdom of those words. It was why he had been sleeping quite soundly the past days despite the hatching jitters. On the other hand, he also woke up with a platora of muscle aches each morning from his effort to exert himself.

Still, his stay at the compound had done him good, he had gained weight and the exercises had put some muscle on him, which he was quite proud of to be completely truthful. Still when the call came he was far from ready for it, nearly tripping over his blanket getting out of bed, fouling his legs and nearly faceplanting on the ground.

He ran a hand across his face, forced himself to calm down and then went to dress in the traditonal candidate robes. He didn't quite know what purpose they served, but they were appearantly tradition and he didn't want to be kicked off the sands for not wearing them,

So he found himself at the hatching chamber, looking around at the slowly filling stands, the enormous golden dragon and of course the rapidly cracking and splintering eggs. The latter lit a fire under him to get in line as soon as possible an he quickly sketched weyrwoman and gold a bow when it was his turn.

The first thing he did was pinpoint his sisters location on the sands, then took up an unobtrusive position nearby were he could keep an eye on both her and the eggs.
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Rattle the Stars
Candidate
Joined: 7:05 PM - Jul 26, 2017

11:43 PM - Feb 26, 2018 #4

Rhamnousiath had been waiting, somewhat impatiently, for this day for ages now it seemed like, while Katlego had a slightly more reserved approach when it came to the whole thing, knowing it would be one of the first times she stood before nearly the entire might of the weyr at her Weyrwoman's side, presiding over the Hatching of the Sea and Snow Clutch and helping to make sure everything ran smoothly. She could remember her own time easily and fondly, since it had not been that long ago standing down there, waiting as egg after egg vibrated, cracked, and hatched, and then finally the touch of that alien mind upon her own and the overwhelming love and acceptance that had filled her up then, and for all time since.

Done reminiscing, Kat? We do not want to be late to the Hatching, and Mallitorioth has already called for the candidates to arrive. I want to watch and make sure they don't decide to try anything said Gold said suddenly to her rider, leaning down to nudge the woman in the side and get her attention from where it had wandered off to. Twisting her head up, Katlego pushed away the giant snout of the half grown female pushing at her, but that just made Rhamnousiath push harder, then whuffle through her hair with heavy snorts. If Kat's hair had not been braided so tightly to her head and oiled so finely, it would have sent stray hairs flying everywhere and messed up her entire style, but luckily for the young weyrling she knew her dragon's tricks by now and her hairstyle was well suited to dealing with said antics.

"I don't think Mallitorioth, or Ariaceli, will have any problems keeping the candidates in line. Most are still in utter awe of your kind, and the rest are just grateful for a safe place to lay their head. I would think you should be more worried about what some of your kin may be able to do to the candidates instead of the other way around" Katlego replied before stepping away and changing into an outfit she had picked out under Ariaceli's advice that she wear something besides her fighting leathers for once. A cream sleeveless top cupped her torso, nipped in tightly at the waist and tied with a dark bronze waist band, before flowing out in a trailing skirt that ran to her shins in the front and a bit longer in the back, the color darkening from cream at the top to the same dark bronze as the belt at the bottom. It was probably one of the prettiest things that Kat had ever worn in her life, but it was also as practical as she could hope for in a dress.

Tying off the belt, Katlego nodded to the impatient Rhamnousiath, who bent down and allowed her rider to climb upon her back for the short walk down to the Hatching Sands, where both bowed deeply to the adult Queen and her rider, Rhamnousiath visibly excited as she kept sneaking peeks at the rocking eggs from around the form of the larger female, Katlego not even trying to hide her eyeroll or amused fondness for her dragon. "Let us know if you need our services, Weyrwoman Ariaceli. We will help in any capacity you need us to." Katlego said as she slipped back down once more, smoothing her hands self consciously over her dress and taking up a stance just behind and to the side of Ariaceli, while Rhamnousiath tried her best to look regal as she stumbled a little on the walk behind Mallitorioth, her huge, heavy paws dragging a little and her odd shape making her gait more lumbering even in comparison to the elegant elder Queen.
Yuyukima, open to anyone

It was time, it was finally time.

Yuyukima had not slept most of the night, or several nights previous, knowing that the call to come to the hatching sands could come at any time and wanting to be prepared for it. If that meant losing a little sleep then she would gladly, happily sacrifice some rest and relaxation. The little party with some of the other candidates the night before had been fun and it had meant she could talk to some of the others about their feelings in regards to the Hatching and get out some of her own fears over the situation.

Then the Queen's voice had echoed through her mind in the very earliest hours of the morning, a time when most of the individuals of the weyr were probably still asleep, but Yu herself hadn't been able to with all her anxious happiness and she had instead gone out to watch the sun rise and get an idea of the weather patterns for that day. She had giggled out loud and spread her arms to the sky, whooping loudly and probably scaring a small flock of sea birds before turning and running back inside to quickly change into the candidate robes that had been provided for her upon her arrival at the Island.

Since she still had no roommate, Yu stripped right in the middle room and threw on the robes, easy to do since there was little there but a shapeless shift of fabric. She wondered for a second whether she should tie on a belt or anything, but it would take time she didn't want to waste to find one, so instead she just turned and exited her room to join the other candidates.

The lift down to the Hatching grounds seemed to take forever to reach its destination and Yu found herself rocking from side to side and even humming under her breath a couple of times without meaning to, stopping quickly whenever she saw another candidate looking pointedly at her. Finally they arrived and Yu was one of the first to exit, stumbling slightly on her way out, but she had composed herself by the time they'd all actually reached the sands and performed a passable bow to the Queens and their riders before taking her place in the line of candidates. It looked like some of the eggs were already getting incredibly close to hatching, and Yu squealed just a bit under her breath, standing up on her tip toes to try and see over the top of the candidates in front of her.

"That one looks almost hatched! Its the Soaring Gyrfalcon Egg, right? Can anyone tell?"
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Dolce
Hatchling
Dolce
Hatchling
Joined: 12:02 AM - Jan 19, 2018

11:58 PM - Feb 26, 2018 #5

Vatoz, Journeyman Healer/Candidate

At the sound of the Queen's voice, Vatoz had fallen out of bed, landing as a lump on the floor. He was a little disorintated for a moment, the sense of urgency strong. He was no stranger to being awoken at strange hours for an emergency, and he had half started towards the infirmary before he realized just exactly what was happening. 

The eggs! They were hatching! 

He darted back into his room, and changed quickly, pausing only to grab a klah candy from his dish. He didn't think he had time for a cup of klah, so this would have to do. He rushed down the hallway, careful not to run into anyone. He wasn't the only one. 

Luckily, he made to the sands with time to spare, the eggs still unhatched as he entered the room. He bowed quickly to the golden Queen, and then took his place on the sands with the rest of the candidates. He glanced around briefly, checking his location to the eggs, noticing that several of them had been moved from where they were at the touching. He also noticed that The Soaring Gryfalcon egg looked like it might just hatch first, cracks already appearing, but that didn't mean it would. 

Any of them could. 
Last edited by Dolce on 4:23 AM - Feb 27, 2018, edited 2 times in total.
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Europae
Candidate
Europae
Candidate
Joined: 9:22 PM - Jan 26, 2018

1:27 AM - Feb 27, 2018 #6

Haelkathzyriem was asleep and snoring very loudly. Arc was curled up on his chest happily, or as happily as he could be while asleep. All three of his felines were curled up around his head. All of them didn't mind Hael's snoring. They purred as they slept and kept him nice and warm, all of them being very fluffy. The first part of the message about the hatching drifted through Hael's dream, but he didn't wake up. It was Arc who woke him up, digging his little claws into Hael's bare chest with excitement and not realizing that he was causing Hael some pain.

"Ow!" That work Hael up quickly, and he was awake enough to catch the last part of the message. He hadn't heard it all, but he knew what it had to mean. He dressed hurriedly and made sure that Arc, Socks, Chikchik, and Boo were all safely snuggled in bed. He didn't want to take any of them to the sands, although he debated with Arc. The glide lizard was very calm even when things got hectic. But it was best not to, and Hael realized that. He didn't want something to happen to the glide lizard. Firelizards could fly away, but glide lizards couldn't between or anything like that, from what he knew, so he didn't want to put Arc in harms way. He left them all behind snuggled up on his bed as he walked quickly toward the sands. His legs were long, but he was still tired from being woken up, so he didn't want to run. He reached the sands quick anyway.

He bowed to the queen and her rider at the other end of the sands and took his place behind the others. He was really tall, and Hael didn't want to get in anyone's way. He didn't want other people to get hurt either, but if it meant he had to take a blow that'd injure him, he'd push the others out of the way. The first egg was already hatching, or starting to, from the look of it, and Hael felt the first bit of excitement.

Ottyllia sat up right away. She'd been dreading this moment. From her side, Champion made an unhappy sound. The hatching call had woke both of them up, but while Tilly felt dread, her fire lizard, even though he was barely out of the shell, felt the rising excitement and began to zoom around the room. Tilly had to catch him, although there was no chance of her leaving him behind once she caught him. He clung to her arm with a very determined look in his eye, and Tilly gave up before she even began. It was hard to change into her robe with how much she was shaking and with Champion clinging to her arm, but she did. She then had to run all the way to the sands, Champion holding on. She had her sandals in her other hand, and dropped them on the ground when she got next to the entrance to the sands. Other people were coming too, and she had to stay out of their way until she got her sandals secure. Then she hurried into the sands.

At least this time the gold queen Mallitorioth wasn't right next to the sands. That didn't do much to make Tilly feel any better. This whole thing was like a nightmare for her. The idea that baby dragons would come out of the eggs was terrifying and she didn't really want to be here. But this was the only way her brother would get treatment here, and Tilly swallowed her fear and bowed to the queen and her rider before hurrying off and standing off to the side, looking around to see if she knew anyone else. Cael wasn't around yet, and Tilly felt her heart jump. She hoped her friend would be here. He was a candidate, and she wanted to see him. He would probably be able to make her feel better, although Champion was trying his best. The fire lizard was curled around her neck, wings out and covering her chest, head on her shoulder. He was humming with the dragons and it was a very pretty sound, which Tilly hated to admit.
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