Everyone at Ryslen knew when the day the green clutches would hatch arrived; the day dawned crisp and cool, and the world felt alive. Many people had flocked to Ryslen in order to help a handful of abandoned dragons. Two of those dragons were enjoying a morning scrub and oiling courtesy of two hopeful adopters.
It is time. Aventrineth said, wading out of the lake.
Lunirith was silent for a moment then followed. It is. the night blue replied, flicking his tail out of the reach of the boy and gathering himself to leap.
“Wh…where are you going?” Taralan cried in a panic.
To get Chalyba. Lunirith replied The boy gawked. After all his careful tending, Lunirith had chosen another?
Oh get over it. Aventrineth said, standing still as Tawny wiped the water from her legs. The humming began as she’d predicted, and the candidates and already gathered visitors swarmed in to take their places. Lunirith swept past, his chosen companion cradled in his forearms. He settled onto the low bronzes ledge next to a tired Arosambyth with her recovering partner Jhetarya, and her cousin Al’jan and his equally weary brown Fivrith.
Get in there. Aventrineth ordered Tawny and Taralan. Startled out of his daze, Taralan hurried off towards the grounds and secured himself a front row seat.
“But Aven’…” Tawny said.
I said GET IN THERE! the abandoned green said, eyes gone red with anger.
“Aren’t you coming?” she said, unfazed.
No. There are queens in there. The abandoned green said. Now get in there before I flame you!
Tawny didn’t try to argue – she went. By this time, there was nowhere left for her to sit, so she lingered on the edge of the sands.
The three greens had kept their clutches separated throughout the incubation period, and everyone thought that they were going to be possessive and require their own set of candidates, so that was how it had been arranged. However, once everyone reached the sands, they saw that the twenty one eggs had been brought into one group; the candidates had no choice but to ring the whole thing, not knowing which eggs were Varuith’s, which were Brindath’s, or which were Inyxith’s.
The first egg split, revealing a brilliant blue. He seemed sturdy, and hurried across the sands towards Illiad and Asbtin. The boys looked at him with wide eyes, and at each other. Fully aware that Sarai had no control over THIS, Asbtin was scared. Lord’s tiny talons dug through the white candidates’ robe, and distracted him. The blue rushed past and stupped at the feet of Tarilin. T’rilin! I am J’yath!
The second egg split with a decisive snap, revealing a sturdy brown. He slowly swaggered across the fine red sand to a boy named Giden. “Terth.” The newly impressed said. “Welcome.”
The third egg burst with the brilliance of a star gone nova – sort of. The crowd in the tiers gasped as the black and blue night dragon spread his damp wings. The sunlight shone gold against the black of his hide momentarily before he moced towards Asbtin, and then past the boy to his chosen. His faceted eyes met hers, and the Alskyrian Platianocha laughed. “I’d love to stargaze with you Aureneroth.”
The fourth egg shattered with authority, and drew a loud reaction. There in all his glory stood a light dragon. This was expected, since one of the clutches had been sired by Anikupath. Brilliant white and vivid blue like whitecaps on waves. He moved with a fluid grace past Illiad to Tervari. “Serionth.” The brave lad said, greeting his forever friend.
A green head sprang out of the fifth egg, and she looked around. She saw who she wanted and pushed her black self out of the shell. The Night green raced across the sand, intent on reaching her destination. She tripped over part of an eggshell and tumbled right into Selay. “Shii…” he began, then shut his mouth. “Are you all right, Vapirth?” I am now, S’lay. She said as he helped her up.
The sixth egg revealed a true green – pure, mellow, beautiful. With a sense of balance none of the previous dragons had, she moved towards her chosen. Chloe! she said with a delighted squeal. “Bekith? Oh Bekith!” the girl cried, embracing her new friend.
The seventh egg, one of the largest visible rocked in a ragged circle, as though the dragon inside couldn’t decide whether it wanted to rock left and right or back and front. The air was thick with suspense, gone still as the egg rocked. Suddenly it split, sending it’s contents flying backwards. Twin greens! The larger screamed in pain as the sunlight hit her half black hide. Her twin, paler than the dragoness who must have been her mother ran to her sibling’s aid, trying to block the sun with her sharp green wings as the night struggled to her feet. Ooh Kiahnya! Help! the light twin called, bringing the girl racing across the sands. At the same time, something stirred from the shadows, and a dark-cloaked figure moved out risking his own hide to help as well. Anel’inh! The night green gasped as the red eyed man swept to her side and gathered her up in the shadow of his cloak “It’s okay now, Roczath.” The strange boy said, then looked at his sister and her dragon. “Is she okay?” “Veriath is fine, Anelhin.” Kiahnya said.
With a shiver, the eighth egg opened revealing a pale blue – no, a Light blue hatchling. The half white moved across the sands, cahrging at the young man with the bronze flit Lord on his shoulder, but tangenting off to confront Madall. I am Nariveth.
The ninth egg cracked defiantly, and a small, incredibly dark brown hatchling moved out. He stalked around, snapping at candidates until he found the one he wanted, lingering at the edge of the sands. Why are you hiding from Tironath? he demanded. “I’m not hiding.” Tawny replied, not surprised, though she wasn’t actually a candidate. Good. Together we’ll protect others! the Night brown declared.
With a well timed crack, the tenth egg opened like a flower to reveal a bright blue dragonet. He stepped free and moved across the sand with precision. He was lithe, and coordinated – and he was half white. He made a beeline for the boys, traced a tight figure eight around Illiad and his horrified friend, then shot off towards his true companion. Hello Dancer. I am Choreoth.
The eleventh egg shimmered, and shattered, and a light green swept out. She was the epitome of grace, yet had a sharpness like fine wine. Juniamaa? she queried, turning in place until she found the object of her desires. Juniamaa stepped forward lightly. “Ilverinth.” She said as though the name alone were as precious and familiar as the dragoness would grow to be.
A brown dragon burst from the twelfth egg. Where is my rider?! he demanded, loud and powerful as the wind. Itresoas didn’t hesitate, not this time. “Here I am, Maeleroth.”
The thirteenth and fourteenth egg cracked open at roughly the same time, revealing a green and a blue, in that order. Like, oh my goodness! where am I? the little green wailed. You’re like, in the middle of the sand! Go find your, y’ know, rider, or something! the blue replied, looking around. Like, okay! the green said, and pranced off. She soon found Ridera. Are you like, mine, or something? she asked. “Like, Yes, Blueth!” the girl replied. The blue soon found his match as well. Sorry you had to see that, R’derb… he said. Riderb nodded. “I totally understand, Greenth.”
Another brown made his appearance from the fifteenth egg, and promptly vanished. Even though he’d had every eye on him, everyone lost track of him. Suddenly Rogue laughed and turned around. “Rascalth…”
One boy watched all of this with wide eyes. Not afraid, per se, just awed. Philip Ramsey had never seen dragons until Jeniae and Phylith had retrieved him. The sixteeth egg split, and a richly dark blue emerged. He moved without hesitation. Ph’sey. he said with a voice like silk. Don’t worry, I know everything about dragons. Philip blinked. “Faroth? Are you… mine?” The night dragon leaned against him. Now and forever.
The seventeenth egg -a rather large one- fought with itself in the process of hatching, and began to roll across the sands. This induced giggling amongst the ranks. It rolled directly to a pair of candidates. The Xa girls looked at the egg, and exchanged bemused smiles as it split apart between them. A light and a night looked up at the sisters. Hi Ling. Hi Wing they said. Which went to which? The black-bottom sister was, oddly, quicker to crouch down to greet them. The night dragon leaned against her. I’m Eilth. I’m Ielth, Wing. the light said to the other sister.
The eighteenth egg split open, revealing a brown in all his glory. He walked purposefully towards the only one for him. The bronze flit on his companion’s shoulder cheeped at him, and the brown rumbled in response. Cute thing, don’t you think Illiad? I’m Odysseyth.
The nineteenth egg split to reveal the darkest brown ever hatched on Ryslen’s sands. It was no wonder that this too was a Night dragon. He traipsed around the sands, looking, looking, looking, but not finding. You’re not helping! How’m I supposed to promise to never ever leave you alone if I can’t find you to start with?! The night brown cried. Taralan was so startled, he stood up. There you are! the black-and-brown hatchling cried, and bolted over to him. I’ll never leave you, Taralan. Never. I am Xerith, and I am yours!
The impression from the stands was too much, way too much, and Asbtin cracked. “I can’t take it anymore! Make it stop!” The blue flit on his shoulder squawked at him in irritation, then suddenly hushed as the ground below the boy’s feet began to quake. Asbtin fell to his knees, and felt the rocking. There, buried in the sands at his feet was the twentieth egg, and one in a dreadful hurry to get out. Soft red sand flew as Asbtin and Lord dug, and there, in a hole, the egg hatched. Hello! I am Idulgenth. came a coffee-and-cream voice from within. Asbtin helped the light brown dragon out of the hole, a smile on his face. Definitely not a green; but better than a bronze!
That left two eggs on the sands. The twenty-first egg crumbled to pieces around a brilliant light green hatchling. She spread her wings wide, and crowed. She was beautiful! Tears sprang to the eyes of a healer apprentice in the tiers as the Light dragon raced across the sands to Reylena. Asien, Quith’s rider looked pleased; her sister, a dragonrider at last! I am Desilanth. she purred.
In the weyrbowl, a dragon landed, and an irate woman rushed into the crowded hatching grounds. “Allund! I insist you get off those sands this instant! It’s not proper for a bronzerider-to-be to Stand for a mere Green’s clutch!” Varuith, Brindath, and Inyxith took exception to this, and moved across the sands to confront the duchess. In the process, Inyxith’s tail swept sand clear of a previously unseen egg, which rocked with unbridled ferocity. “It’s too late, mother? Can’t you see I’m already standing? And that it’s is all but finished?” Allund called from across the sands. While he spoke, the recently discovered twenty second egg split into miriad pieces and a radiant dark green hatchling climbed out. Her hide was black, and beautiful. It is over. She laughed. A’und, you’re MINE! Allund raced to greet her. “Her name is Serrith, mother. Aren’t you proud?”
The last egg – the twenty third – rocked, rocked, and rocked some more. The supply of candidates was all but exhausted. Katja was sure she’d be leaving alone – after all that had happened, it was only fitting, right? The egg split open, finally, and the last dragon tumbled out, blue like the first, but lavishly dark. The night blue hatchling sprawled out in the soft sand, spreading his wings. I am Arlisgionth. Those dolphins aren’t good enough for you, my friend. Come, come to me. Katja couldn’t believe her ears, nor believe she was moving. This elegant creature couldn’t be hers… could it. Of course! the night blue said, getting to his feet. I am for you, and you are for me.
Then it was still. The trio of greens had laid a total of twenty three eggs, which yielded 25 dragons, each finding their perfect match, though some were unpredicted. It was marvelous.
Giden (G’den) & brown Terth
Platianocha & night blue Aureneroth
Tervari (T’vari) & light blue Serianth
Selay (S’lay) & night green Vapirth
Chloe and green Bekith
Anelhin (Anel’inh) & night green Roczath
Kiahnya & light green Verrath
Madall (M’dall) & light blue Nariveth
Tawny & night brown Tironath
Dancer & light blue Choreoth
Juniamaa & light green Ilverinth
Itresoas (I’soas) & brown Maeleroth
Ridera & green Blueth
Riderb (R’derb) & blue Greenth
Rogue & brown Rascalth
Philip Ramsey (Ph’sey) & night blue Faroth
Ling & night green Eilth
Wing & light green Ielth
Illiad (Illiad) & brown Odysseyth
Taralan (?) & night brown Xerith
Asbtin (As’tin) & light brown Idulgenth
Reylena & light green Desilanth
Allund (A’und) & night green Serrith
Katja & night blue Arlisgionth