[The Raptor Queens]

Chou Chou, Frou Frou, and Dou Dou
Name Chou (The Green) Frou (The Bronze) Dou (The Red)
Age Raptor Queens in their prime
Appearance The Raptor Queens are about two meters tall (Chou likes to be measured all the way up to the tip of her head feather, while Frou is a bit more conservative and only wishes for head height), and absurdly long. They are featured more like Vegas showgirls than the other raptors, and have been nicknamed the “raptor queens” for keeping the herds in line.
Personality
Chou is sweet and gentle, Frou a little bit more dominant and bossy, and Dou is mild mannered and playful. Overall, it is sometimes hard for people to get a strong fix on their personalities because all three are ridiculously playful and seem to enjoy teasing any of the visitors of the Labs.
Ability Chou, Frou, and Dou are genetically engineered raptor queens. They are highly sentient and intelligent creatures, about the same level as a dragon. Shy has repeatedly asked them if they would like shapeshifting capabilities, but the three raptor queens are perfectly happy in their current form.
Standing at Dawn Watch Weyr

The Raptor Queen’s meet Hvar, who convinces Ari that they are well behaved enough to visit Dawn Watch

The Raptor Queens deserve their own story. Highly intelligent, sentient creatures that look like a cross between giant raptors and Vegas showgirls, they are extremely fluffy, and have high, sweet voices with a strong accent that comes through despite their beak? muzzle? face shapes.

Officially, they are a gift from Faust the mad scientist to Shy, the …madder scientist. Faust claims to have re-engineered the raptors that Shy keeps, to create three queens that are able to keep the rest of the raptors in line.

Unofficially, Faust saw the way Shy noticed the women on their secret trip to Tris’ Hath. Did he kidnap the women and turn them into raptors? Or did he somehow take a copy of their consciousness and put them into raptor bodies? Shy suspects something is not quite right with his ladies, but he does not care because he adores them.

The Raptor Queens enjoyed their quieter, more secretive life in the Labs, before the Vella Crean was discovered. They lived in the greenhouse, giggling and teasing the Projects, maybe taking a delicate bite here and there; but all for good fun.

Since the Vella Crean has reconnected with the rest of the Nexus, the Raptor Queens have enjoyed their freedom on the planet. They are careful to steer clear of the Death Court, but the towers are exciting, and the people… well. They do not run away any more.

(Chou suspects it is because someone finally advised the people that running = a fun chase.)

The Imperial Guard clutch was quite an exciting affair: candidates from all over the Nexus came to visit, bringing stories and memories and the odd, unusual snack. They especially loved the wherhandlers. Whers: what unusual creatures! Not as arrogant and hard to kill chase as dragons, and intelligent. The closest, the Queens thought, to themselves.

But the clutch hatched, and their new friends were due to leave. When the new caretaker with the lazy laugh and fluffy hair suggested that this would not be the end to their friendship, well.

The Raptor Queens had never considered travelling off the Vella Crean. Of exploring the Nexus. But the more they thought about it, the more it made sense.

They had friends, now! People located outside of the Nexus! So it made sense to visit them.

Ari contacted Dawn Watch Weyr. The Raptor Queens would like to visit: what would she need to do, to make this a possibility?

The Raptor Queens do not like the illusions they had to wear. The skin is itchy, too long and tall and how did Ari walk without a tail to balance her? But, they had to admit they liked being able to blend in with the rest of the population, and, well- it seemed men and women found them very attractive.

They were not sure they liked being so vulnerable in their human illusions. The Raptor Queens knew Shy well enough to know this completely and utterly soft formed bodies were deliberate. There were Projects able to shoot vines, burst into flames, fly! And yet look at them! All soft flesh and long hair and-

Hmm. No. Maybe this was a good thing. Maybe this could work in their favor.

The one hard rule the leadership council had was that they were not allowed to leave the Weyr without permission, and without an escort.

The Raptor Queen’s had a hard rule that they would be able to choose the escort.

Of the three, Chou, the bronze raptor is the most dominant. Frou, the green is most apt to get the three into trouble, and Dou- well. People sometimes forget Dou’s name, because of the three she is the most silent and well behaved. Dou prefers it this way.

They do not have a hive mind, and the Projects who have spent long lengths of time with the Queens know that each has their own distinct personality. But something is a little bit wrong, and a little bit messy.

(Shy knows it is probably a mistake that Faust made, but seeing as Faust is not as brilliant as himself, well; Shy does not fault the Fool in striving for brilliance.)

The Queens are highly telepathic and empathic with the raptor herds, and with each other. They may not have a hive mind, but it is something eerily similar. What one knows, the others know. What one feels, the others feel.

The Raptor Queens do not choose new names for their adventure at Dawn Watch. Frou, Chou, Dou. It is simple, and exotic enough, they think. Poising as Hvar’s “cousins”, the Queens pay for spacious quarters within the Weyr, not too far from Sylden and her purple flying beast.

Sylden after all, is the one who has control over their illusions. When the skin itches too much and they want to dance in their tail feathers, they go visit the Geneticist with large soulful eyes and ask for a break.

It is delightful for them to be able to visit the friends they had made. Look! They have skin, and flat faces, and hands with fingers. They cannot run and jump and hunt as well as they can in their other form, but they can fly on beast back, pet a wherling, and also hug their soft friends.

One night at the Weyr, feeling particularly playful the Queens go on a hunt.

It does not feel the same, in this soft fleshy form. But humans are slow, and the Queens continue to be superbly coordinated.

Maybe they do too well, bringing down a man who trips and knocks his head on the edge of a latrine. It is a smelly mess, but contrite, the three queens bring him quietly to Sylden, who marches them straight to the Weyrhealer.

Oh. The Queens like Z’tan.

Look at him, so prickly and snarly! With sharp words and a tongue that mutters prickly barbs.

The Queens like this man with silver hair, and his flying beast with her pretty hide of silver.

The Queens begin courting this man, the way a cat might try to please their master.

Every few days they will sweetly bring another fool with a concussion, or a wrenched elbow, a torn ligament, an ankle that needs setting.

Look! They can provide, they say with sweet laughs and giggles. Z’tan is so busy, and so skillful! Look at all his healing capabilities!

Sylden is the one to sit them down and explain that the Weyrhealder does not appreciate the extra hours and the workload. He is not a human who cannot hunt, that needs to be provided for by felines.

But the Raptor Queens are undeterred, and insist that it is this Weyrhealer who can be their escort outside the Weyr.

Sometimes, when Z’tan is not watching, in the dead of night, the Queens like to keep Elizabeth company in their feathered forms. Quietly chittering away in soft voices, cooing and laughing like old ladies gossiping over tea.

Hvar’s cousins are something, aren’t they? People remark. Playful, sweetnatured women who laugh and seem to enjoy life a little too much. Hvar is unperturbed (but then it would a large, seismic event to affect Hvar). The Raptor Queens settle in quite nicely into their second home at Dawn Watch, and decide: well. This is quite the wonderful adventure.

From the Hatching

The bronze was positively sedate in comparison to the other hatchlings, proceeding at a slow pace to seek his person. Meanwhile three more eggs broke open, a green, a copper and a purple entering the chaos. They needed little encouragement to get to their feet and the green headed to the candidates without an issue. The Purple however seemed more curious about the rest of the sands than the people waiting for it, and headed jauntily towards the other clutch, before being warned off by Cassisk and sent skittering back towards the humans.

The copper seemed content to just among the shattered remains the clutch, with only the largest egg still whole, though the dark cracks which riddled it suggested it wouldn’t remain that way for long. Still, the copper seemed to bask in the attention of the watching humans and Dragonkin. She was taking her time, brushing away what she could of the sand which stuck to her golden striped hide, then spreading one dark edged wing to carefully groom it. Only when she felt herself to be suitably presentable did she finally give in to her dam’s urging and begin to move. However she disdained the clustered groups of candidates, turning away from them and towards where the spectators watched from.

Am Ousk Her voice was clear as she stopped at the foot of the stairs and looked up at three particularly enthusiastic watchers. Ousk needs fed, clean. Frou, Dou, Chou come down now The chattering woman immediately came rushing down, cooing over the small copper and bundling her off to where the buckets of meat were waiting for them.

That not end well The Bronze said as he came to a top beside Hvar, watching the three disguised raptor queens fussing over their new friend. Am Hvarsk. Will help- His words were cut off as his green sister came barreling into his side. Not bond without me! She cried out Hvar, Hvarsk not leave Hvask behind! Hvar quickly moved to reassure her than they weren’t going to leave her behind at all.

The Deceptive Reflection Copper
Ousk
(oh-sk)
Scout Wher
Bonded to: Frou, Dou and Chou (Naeodin)
#790A21 | #4E0615 | #ECD24A
5’0 at the shoulder | 15’ long
Vain | Imperious | Demanding | Protective
Mutation: Off colour markings

The Checkerboard Ball

  • The Raptor Queens decide Dawn Watch makes a delightful home, and enjoy being able to use Ousk as an excuse to further play with Z’tan. “Our Ousk looks sick, is she sick?” they will twitter and croon, surrounding the Healer, playfully petting his shoulders, holding his hand, tugging at his coat. Ousk would also good naturedly swoon, saying Is sick in a grave singsong voice.
  • Sometimes, Z’tan would find one or another of the Raptor Queens waiting for him with Elizabeth. “Ousk needs better oils for her hide!” they would proclaim, batting playful and flirtatious eyes. “Tell us which one you prefer.”
  • The three Raptor Queens take such a liking to Z’tan that they decide he belongs to them (oh and woe be it for another man or woman to cast puppy dog eyes towards the healer). Until one day, Hvar mentions in passing that the Vella Crean os preparing for a very important function, and the three Raptor Queens decide they must attend.
  • “Will there be dancing?” they ask, having discarded the female humanoid shells for their more natural raptor ones. Chou shakes her head, causing the headfeathers to bounce with glee.
  • “Of course there will be dancing. Will there be singing?” another asks.
  • “Of course there will be singing. Will there by kissing?”
  • This causes the raptor queens to burst into laughter.
  • “We will represent the Vella Crean” they volunteer proudly, only to be told that they aren’t ahem, representative of the Vella Crean.
  • “We will represent the Labs” they suggest instead, only to have Ari turn a very beady eye in their direction. They fear the aide with eyes that never turn molten gold, but seem to turn a slick oily shade instead.
  • Ousk is too busy trying to imitate the kissy kissy noises the Raptor Queens can make to pay much attention.
  • “Ariiii” Dou pouts, although the effect is more fierce than playful with her sharp muzzle.
  • The aide sighs. “Very well. You can come. But you must behave.” her words are cool, but the Raptor Queens know better than to try to push this one. “I have enough on my hands with Shy and Striga.”
  • The Raptor Queens giggle, delighting over the thought of attending the Checkerboard Ball.
  • Ousk go? Ousk asks quietly, and the Queens agree.
  • “We will find you friends.” they promised. Friends to add to their new herd.

The Queens take a shine to Majdan, a whorling.