It happens as it always does – seasons progress and dragons grow. It scarcely seems that the young dragons from the last clutch move out of Ryslen’s ample barracks than another clutch hatches and takes their place.
The herald of the newest clutch to hatch would be Mezireth herself, leaving her granite-hard eggs alone in the warm red sands. Stretching her golden wings, she flew over Ryslen, embracing the coming day. Soon Ryslen would come to life, and the day’s preparations would begin.
The call went out, Mezireth’s triumphant pre-dawn trumpeting replacing any semblance of humming. It was a thrilling way to wake, with pre-hatching adreneline and a mug of hot beverage. The spectators assembled, some still in sleepwear or draped in robes, and the two dozen candidates, including three dragons, ringed around the mere nine eggs. In days gone by, the clutches might have been large enough to accommodate all of them – but things were different now. Perhaps the dragons opted for quality over quantity?
The stars twinkled outside yet, but the eggs had everyone’s attention. Each rocked rhythmically, and without keeping anyone waiting too long, the first cracked, a cream dragoness pushed her way out. Mezireth looked pleased, as did Kalavanth. Jeyann clapped joyously, obviously fully awake despite the early hour. The dragoness flapped her wings and then settled them fastidiously to her back. Tryne could not help but smile at her, and it seemed the dragon smiled back. I am Neath, Tryne.
The second egg shattered as the dragonet within gave a sharp shove. Long of limb – leg and wing – the cream hatchling was a delicate beauty – and a bit of a flirt. It could have been worse. She pranced right over to the candidates and rubbed up against a suave man. Kimball... she said in a soft, glamorous way. The actor looked down at her. “Kybrith?” He was speechless after that, but Grace cheered excitedly for him, as did her red Zaltierth.
A red dragon slipped out of his shell and waited patiently for the right opportunity, sitting there and looking innocent. Akurei. He said, but did not move. The young man’s eye searched for the speaker – and then he knew. “His name is Nyroath, and he is my bond.” The dragon, not having taken any previous step, then rose and led the way out.
Pieces of shell fell away from the fouth egg, and a smallish brown stepped out. He walked, no, swaggered past the other eggs to his choice of bonds. I’m Giblieth. And I’m bronze. Had Sherese heard, she would have laughed out loud, but Laran was pleased – very pleased with Giblieth.
Before the next egg hatched, a man arrived, clueless as to his surroundings. Kylire glared at him as he stepped towards her – but there was something in his path: an egg, which rapidly gave way to a brown hatchling. This is neither the time nor place for that, Tarelan. The man stopped, startled at the commanding voice in his mind. “Perhaps you are right, Naciryeth.” Someone stepped forward to usher the new arrival and his bond to the proper exit, but Naciryeth was not ready yet. Look. he said, and Tarelan cast his gaze back to the sands where a large egg expanded slightly and then split open, revealing a stunning silver dragonet about the size of a bronze hatchling. With more grace and power in her stride than any dragon short of a queen should command, she stepped up to the female candidates. Name me. she taunted the girls. Only one heard, only one spoke. “Thalesth.” Kylire said. “What means this?” The dragon spoke not, but Tarelan grinned an answer to her – a clear “I told you so.”
Three eggs remained, then two as a pale shell fell to pieces like the banishing of illusion around a second icy pale silver dragon. The end of waiting, and some answers might now be had for a talented young woman who me the dragoness with open arms. “Indranith.” The fire-dancer Avenay said in a soft sigh, and the dragon was happy too.
A fire-engine red dragon burst from his shell and roared, just because he could. Few would recognize the color as such, and some would wonder at what fueled the beast. “Amocoth…” Gasman scolded, but the red only grew louder. It would be interesting to see who controlled this duo.
As the first rays of sun shot over the horizon, the last egg began to open, delicately as a flower. A serene peace passed over Descha as she saw it, and instantly she knew. “Welcome, Fleuraurath.” The dragoness pushed her shell away, and threw her wings wide. Gilded sunshine, that one. Mezireth and Kalavanth greeted their gold daughter with trumpets and bugles. A new day had begun.
Kimball and Cream Kybrith
Akurei and Red Nyroath
Laran and Brown Giblieth
Tarelan and Brown Naciryeth
Kylire and Silver (f) Thalesth
Avenay and Silver (f) Indranith
Gasman and Red Amocoth
Descha and Gold Fleuraurath