An uncounted throng of people wandered around chatting in Ryslen’s vast courtyard waiting for an announcement that the hatching was imminent. It had not taken long for word to spread that the 500th dragon to hatch at Ryslen since Litayth’s surprise final flight would be coming from Arosambyth’s brood. It seemed fitting that this queen, golden daughter of Yainolith, the last golden daughter of Litayth, would be the mother of such a historically important hatching.
Arosambyth had arranged her eggs in the soft red sands so that the largest lay between her paws - if there was a gold in her clutch, it would most likely come from that large egg. Ovaseth, Cszaiath, and Halutath lay curled with their own eggs, eyes gleaming in happy anticipatory colors. Kanakanizainth came into the hatching grounds and curled up with his violet mate after paying respects to the queen. He spread his black double-wings over their small clutch in a prideful manner.
Jhetarya stood on a high ledge overlooking the courtyard. W’ren was with her, arms wrapped lovingly around her waist.
You should come in now. Arosambyth half-ordered her rider. Jheta smiled at W’ren, and hand in hand they turned to go to the hatching cavern.
Hirlath, W’ren’s deep brown Alabaster born dragon was perched on the ledge above the newly finished archway into the hatching grounds. The thirteen carved dragons on the stone arch were gorgeous, but not even close to the splendor of what was to come. Hirlath’s joyful trumpeting caught the attention of all the guests and residents, and Arosambyth’s voice encouraged them more.
Twenty-nine candidates made their way quickly to the sands, most were wearing either the long white sleeveless vest Ryslen had chosen to accommodate the needs of the candidates, or the white scarf/sash. Both were embroidered with Ryslen’s crest - white on white - and gave a sense of unity to the assembled. The sun shone brightly into the hatching sands, excusing the absence of the vampire candidates.
The spectators quickly took their seats, packing as many into the vast cavern as possible. Some riders had taken to the ledges with their bonds, to ease congestion.
Arosambyth gave a sharp whistle, silencing them all mere moments before the first egg cracked. The shell fractured, and a dark form within frantically pushed its way out. A rich purple dragoness tumbled into the red sands and was soon helped to her feet by the kind hand of the feline shifter, Silvri.
“You’ll be more graceful in time, Mizilayt…” she purred. A murmur passed through the stands. Did she mispronounce her dragon’s name?
The scribe recording beckoned to Silvri. “Mizilayth?”
”No.” she half-snarled. “Mizilayt. No H.”
The scribe blinked. “No H?”
”Exactly. Do I need to spell it out for you?”
”No ma’am!” The scribe said, fearing her wrath. “Just wanted to be certain.”
“Mizilayt.” Jeyann murmured. “How unusual.”
Tiyanni grinned, patting her daughter’s shoulder. “This is Ryslen, dear. Should it be anything but unusual?” Baeris grinned too, as did others within earshot. It caused Jeyann to laugh, and as she did, the second hatchling showed his face to the world.
He was a rich brown like his sire and was quick to his feet. If he was smaller than average, it would only be to his advantage. He trotted towards his chosen, careful to keep his damp wings up. Lirtan, my future and yours are the same… The healer knelt before the hatchling and held his head gently, gazing into the brown’s rainbow faceted eyes. “Riorytla, with you by my side, failure is not an option.” The murmur repeated - again no th.
The third egg shivered, then broke, spilling out a vibrant red male. He too was swift to his feet, and then raced energetically to a young man named Ikajuel - no hesitation involved. My name is Chaytla. he said, eyes twinkling.
The fourth egg burst with a savage push from its occupant, and the pieces fell away, revealing a cool blue. He took his time getting organized and approaching the candidates. He knew what he wanted - who he wanted - and coolly made his choice known. Chehat, I am Gefytla, and I choose you.
There was a brief respite in the progress of the hatching, and in that quiet moment, Aeza, Healer M’lian’s assistant picked her way through myriad people to where Jeyann and her mother sat. Their eyes were glued to the young woman.
”Jeyann… Tiyanni…” There was a smile in her voice, as well as in her eyes, and it was contagious. “Tiyoshi has a daughter - small, but healthy. They’re calling her TyGryph.”
”Wonderful!” Tiyanni said cheerfully. “Should we come?”
”Tiyoshi’s sleeping now, and G’riff has the baby. After the hatching will be soon enough, but we all wanted you to know immediately.”
”Thank you, Aeza.” Jeyann said with a pleased grin. “Must you go back, or can you stay and watch with us?”
Aeza smiled, and shook her head. “I need to go back, but thank you for the invitation.”
Meanwhile, many speculative conversations had begun, but the appearance of a second fiery red hatchling hushed them temporarily. He shook his damp wings and calmly approached the candidates as his blue brother had, rather than in an all out charge like the first red. D’jeke, your duty is my duty, your oath is my oath… “Morytlath…” she began, and her words were lost amidst the surprised chatter of the witnesses. One named ‘properly’ after four odd ones!
Arosambyth roared, calling their attention back to the hatchling, and the deep brown who was approaching a blackish dragoness. Welcome, Zherytla… Chinseith purred, wrapping her paws about the hatchling in a warm embrace.
That left three eggs, one to Arosambyth’s right, one to her left, and the large egg between her paws. Whichever hatched next would be the 500th dragon. They were all quaking, and everyone watched with bated breath. What would it be? Who would bond with it? As the creamy shell fell away from Arosambyth’s prize egg, everyone was startled to see what it contained. Not the golden as many had expected, but silver - and twin silvers at that. Arosambyth nuzzled them lovingly, and they went out to find their bonds. They headed straight for two young men standing side by side. One was an esteemed leader of a clan, the other an escapee from a poorly guarded prison. The silver male twins looked up to them.
Alithemaichanx, I am Mirriytla.
Shainon, I am Kedelakytla. Number 500 and 501 had definitely made history today.
The last two eggs broke in rapid succession - a cream and then a green. The cream skittered over to the side of a slate blue dragon who watched. Griflath, sometimes a failure isn’t a failure, but merely a delay. I am Feyrilayt, your prize.
The green perused the candidates, then surprised a young man by pushing her head into his hand for a caress. “Yassulayt!” Yiransi said in surprise, then said no more - the green’s choice had surprised him.
Afterwards, a grand celebratory feast was served to all, and before the party was over, Prism-Wild Jiyan gave hope to the yet unchosen by laying seven bright eggs in the central sands.
Silvri and Purple Mizilayt