Court Clutch Hatching

Introduction

Time works funny in the Nexus, but below are a few events that have transpired before the hatching.

  • The party return home from the Opal Court hatching to find a messy chunk of the Vella Crean missing. Torn off and thrown out into the Nexus. “What the [insert expletive]?!” rages the Light Court Leader, to find out that in their absence the grieving Ourai, self proclaimed Leader of the Lost Riders enacted a spell to throw the Death Court off the Vella Crean.
  • The Death Court and the home they resided in is well and truly gone. The Empress turns speculative eyes towards her daughter – the spell, if a bit damaged, is very similar to the one she had used to separate the Scientist and his Labs Once Upon A Time. 
  • “It’s not my fault.” The Light Court leader mutters. There had been a brief period of confusion and pain, old terrors chasing her dreams. Someone had asked for help, and she had given it. Wasn’t that what a good leader was supposed to do?
  • (Private scuttlebutt says that they had seen the leader of the light court slamming the door in the face of a certain cleric. Something was going on between the two, and it was messy and delightful). 
  • The General returned home with stunning Opal Court bond. If he had played the role of the devil’s advocate before in words only, now he seems to be following through with action. The General is driven by the conviction that his goals and his ideas are in the right, and he will not let anyone stand in his path.
  • “She is still a mad woman” he whispers to the people. “And the Empress is old, tired. She needs to rest. Maybe a new power needs to take control of the Vella Crean. Who better than a dragonrider who has proven himself in battle, and who has now returned home with a Queen? I can lead us.” He cajoles. 
  • The whispers are just that, tiny voices in the dark that might be taking seed with some, but have not gained any traction. Still, golden eyes start to watch the General carefully.
  • The Empress and her party are busy: the Flurry is at hand! There is a Checkerboard Ball that requires timey wimey precision! The eggs are hardening quite nicely and she is delighted at the chance to meet old friends again. She is packing her bags to spend weeks at Nidus Ryslen, to join in on the festivities. 

The Hatching

  • The eggs have hardened nicely, and there is renewed joy and optimism. The Scientist has increased the patrols and the defenses of the Vella Crean: the Death Court may not physically be present any longer, but the threat of them still hangs over the air. 
  • “Don’t worry” the residents assure the visitors. “We always have gollums patrolling the lands.” 
  • “We are safe” the candidates reassure each other. 
  • The day of the hatching is cool. Just the softest breeze in the air, the sky empty of clouds. (It is, after all, the first public hatching of Court dragons in years. He had to make sure the event went off without a hitch.)
  • “I hope you have not dabbled with the eggs on the sands, my scientist.” The Empress asks. 
  • “Would I go against your wishes?”
  • “Wouldn’t you?”
  • An unhappy hum from the Scientist. “I’ve only had your best interests at heart.” 

The Impressions

In no particular order. This is not chronological! Read it all, read some, read only your bit.

Akihiko Kurenanshekusai and Michiko Kurenanshekusai 

  • Shy had been busy, completely besides himself at the misunderstanding that had taken place with Faelyn. Of course he hadn’t known! Of course he hadn’t meant it in that way! (His aide, on the other hand, was trying very hard not to roll her eyes.) He made sure to set the twins up in plush quarters at the Labs, several small Projects sent to ensure that they had everything they needed. 
  • Maybe he kept too close an eye on them, because the council did not approve. Here was a chance for the Vella Crean to set up diplomatic relations with Hayate, and the Scientist was hogging the attention. 
  • The Dark Court had their own interests in wanting to learn more about how Hayate ruled. He had been in power for much longer than the Dark Court had existed, and he was actually liked. Despite the progress the Dark Court had made during the past ten years, there was still a certain stigma about them, an initial reaction closer to a shudder or a grimace. 
  • The Dark Court set an emissary, a tall and dark haired diplomat to “make nice”, to woo and cajole the twins and perhaps find themselves a temporary position at their side. 
  • But pale haired and cheerful Arasi blocked his path. The young Light Court emissary had grown up under the tutelage of Naeodin herself, and despite her sweet disposition and almost gentle manners, had a sharp and efficient way of getting what she wanted. 
  • At the hatching, a confident Blood Court bronze claimed Michiko as his own, and a proud Dark Court red also staked his claim on Akihiko. Little Arasi who stood quietly between the twins bonded with a bemused female blue who decided, well, she was exactly what this trio needed.

Jaeti and Teija

  • Naeodin the empress would not stop cackling with glee when Tiyanni sent along her grandchildren to the Vella Crean. She would have settled them directly in her quarters, had the council not advised that perhaps the young women would have a little bit more fun if they were with compatriots. (Not with a spry 70 something grandmother). 
  • Maramia, the leader of the Light Court offered quarters next to hers: after all, they were kin to Tiyanni and Jeyann, and her own Lollaseth had hatched on Ryslen sands. Her mother claimed the women as family, and who was she to argue?
  • The fraternal twins were kept entertained by the antics of the Light Court, many curious about Ryslen. What was this Flurry that had the council so excited, and was it true that there was magic on the sands? 
  • One man in particular, a quiet and somewhat solemn Nadio seemed to enjoy both women’s company. The son of the Head Healer of the Vella Crean, who was herself packing her bags to visit Ryslen and ensure that their Empress stayed far away from trouble. 
  • When the hatching was announced, it was Nadio who quietly escorted the two young women down to the sands, who made sure that their visitors were given comfortable seats, and that there was cool beverages to be enjoyed by all. 
  • Dark Court brown Jivishath was one of the first eggs to hatch, but one of the last to bond, patiently waiting for Light Court brown Andhayath to join him before the pair made their way across the sands to Jaeti and Teija, the dark court claiming Jaeti for his own while the light court bonded with Teija. 
  • A little blood court scurried closely after his brothers, letting out annoyed grumps as he looked up towards the stands. Nadio was his, and Sahalth was not sure why his bond was up there, instead of down here. 

Finn Heiler and Amaryllis Knotts

  • Whistle the horticulturalist took Finn Heiler under his wing, entirely fascinated at the prospect of healing plants. As The Landscaper (capital T, capital L), he was one of the Shy’s oldest Projects, one of three who had helped form the Vella Crean. He who made plants grow on barren land delighted at watching Whistler heal fragile blooms. “You’ll always have a place to work with me.” He would cajole, hoping that maybe some of the healer’s reluctance would fade, and he would consider living at the Vella Crean.
  • Amaryllis in the meanwhile, found herself folded into the courts, her days busy with women closer to her own age, picking up even more gentlemanly pursuits. The Vella Crean had rejoined the Nexus after ten long years, and the courts were hungry for knowledge. Teachers were invited from across the Nexus, experts in various fields, and Ril seemed to soak in the knowledge. 
  • The day of the hatching, a delicate blue light court dragon stepped carefully towards Finn, wanting to know more his abilities. Tanhaith was so eager to help out his bond, but what was magic exactly, he asked?
  • The crowds were busy and bustling, and maybe some entrepreneurial orphans of the Death Court wars thought to take advantage of the chaos. Their defacto leader Tamin had run off to try to kill the Death Court King, and while he was away, well. The scrappy young children had to look out for themselves, didn’t they?
  • (It would be best to remember that molten gold eyes kept very careful watch of the hatching sands and the proceedings. Surely, there was a reason one or two of the Lost Children managed to make their way so close to the eggs?)
  • A slick, very dark bronze dark court with a whisper soft voice eagerly claimed Arietta as their own. ::I’m going to change your life:: the bronze proclaimed. ::Just you wait::
  • A blood court red, her hide as richly crimson as the blood markings on her muzzle and paws did not approve of the somewhat overeager ambitions of her clutch mate. Smacking him over the head with the ease of an older sister, she turned what could only be described as an exasperated face towards Amaryllis. “We’ll have to make sure that these two behave.” Shariath sighed. 

Ghita, Brigg and Tegrid

  • There was a small and mild mannered man who worked in the Labs, one who did his work quietly, placidly, and did not bother Shy. Tegrid was a “good worker”, but beyond that, the Scientist did not have time to learn the names of so many of the underlings. 
  • But there was one new one, a woman with sharp eyes and pointed humour. She was human, Shy was sure of this, but he had not seen a human inhale his teachings and the tomes in the Labs as voraciously as Ghita did. 
  • He knew her name. 
  • Brigg, in the meanwhile, would have been somewhat at a loss at the Labs. It did not help that once the Projects had discovered what his studies were, they would love nothing more than to ask him again and again.
  • “Ethics?” They would ask, laughing, molten gold eyes bright with humour. “Oh, that is a much needed course that Shy would never get around to taking.”
  • But Brigg would find a quiet and steady companion in Onesto, a mild mannered cleric who would often visit the Labs, spending a few minutes in quiet contemplate in the gardens sipping tea, or participating in invigorating debates with Shy. 
  • Shy was, after all, sometimes choosing to understand that maybe “freedom of choice” was a thing. That. You know. People needed.
  • The day of the hatching, Ghita was late. It was not her fault. Shy had An Idea, a marvellous Idea, and he was quite intent on having someone else prove it for him. She huffed into the hatching sands when half the hatchlings had broken out of their shells, and there was one, very annoyed and disgruntled dark court queen who was Not Impressed.
  • “I don’t think I like this Shy very much.” She announced. “He kept you from me.”
  • The bond slammed into Ghita with force, as if now the little queenling was quite intent to make up for lost time. “You could have called, Rabtath.” Ghita answered, her tone slightly shaken. Wow. No one had quite properly captured the force of a bond. 
  • Brigg and blood court purple Shamanath were waiting, the man wearing a beaming grin that seemed to spread from cheek to cheek. “Seems we won’t really need to take samples now, huh? We’ve got our own bonds.”
  • “One of each. It will be… interesting.” Ghita agreed.
  • “Each? You don’t have a Light Court.” Tegrid’s voice was soft with wonder as the male green hatchling snuggled close to his side, demanding that they go eat. Now. 
  • “You’re one of us now, aren’t you Tegrid?” Brigg teased.
  • “Oh. Oh! I see.” 

Raa’bina Vahh and Gryphon Vahh

  • When Ari heard of the arrival of Baeris Kshau’s children, she took Shy to the side and had a “talk”. 
  • No one in the labs knows what this “talk” entailed, but suffice to say the Scientist was on remarkably good behavior.
  • So maybe he was fine-tuning a teleport capable Project: he asked Gryphon politely, didn’t he? For genetics? (He actually? Asked? Progress hey?) 
  • But more than that, the arrival of the Vahh siblings seemed to be the spark this “inter Nexus political exchange” needed. The General was often found at all hours, conversing quietly with Gryphon Vahh. Looking for knowledge and advice on how to best cement his political power. There were sneaky plans afoot, and the General needed knowledge now. 
  • (Maybe, when Ari was not looking, Shy did flirt a little bit (a lot bit) with Gryphon and Raa’bina, but what Ari did not know, would not hurt Shy). 
  • The Light Court had Questions for Raa’bina. They wanted to know about her healing abilities, and the idea of an investment portfolio across the Nexus delighted them. The Vella Crean had reconnected to the Nexus, why hadn’t they thought of this themselves? Maybe they could ask Raa’bina for advice, especially in creating profitable (but still ethical) emergency clinics. 
  • (The Matriarch of the most prominent trading family on the Vella Crean faltered at these rumours. She was going to be first! And she would not let the Light Court politic her out of these opportunities). 
  • The day of the hatching, a stunning blood marked gold hatchling snarled and swiped at a green hatchling that got a little bit too close. Her muzzle glistened, flecking blood as she let out a tiny but triumphant roar. 
  • “The blood magic is activating a little early with some of the blood court” Naeodin remarked. 
  • The Leader of the Blood Court agreed. “Necessity? Evolution?” 
  • The grandmother squinted towards her Scientist. “Hmmm.” 
  • Raa’bina Vahh delighted in the dominance of her bond. “Virayath” she called out with approval, a speculative gleam in her eye. Yes, there were many things she would be able to accomplish with her queen. 
  • A dark court brown sidled closer to the male candidates, judging them with faceted eyes that that assessed and discarded each man with a snort. 
  • “None of them are quite good enough, are they?” He remarked to a little light court purple who followed his lead. 
  • “Maybe you are too choosy.” She pipped up. 
  • “No, he was just hiding in the back.” Parakaramth bodily nudged some of the smaller candidates out of his way as he walked towards Gryphon Vahh. “I knew you were here.”
  • The little light court purple let out a happy little chirp, knowing her brother was in safe hands before scampering towards the Projects. She knew her intended had been here the entire time. She rose on her back legs and placed a hand on one tall Project’s knee, and watched light fractal and shower around them. “Pretty” Arayath commented. 

Lorena Alden and Zimath

  • There were very few people who truly understood how deep an effect the Death Court had on Shy. Naeodin certainly, as after all she treated him like a son (although one day, they had been equals), Shan, to an extent, although Shy was very careful to try to pretend to be civil around his grown son. Sylden most definitely, because the young geneticist spent far too much time with the Scientist, especially leading up to Saniyath’s clutch hatching. 
  • The Guards were just one part of the solution. Projects with aggressive powers, military might and a thirst for the “stupidly beautiful spiky dragons” were being churned out at a faster pace than the Labs could handle. 
  • What were they going to do with all of these… these… weapons?
  • Send them off to other worlds as diplomatic attaches, of course. 
  • Lorena Alden eyed the tall and beautiful Projects with slight wonder (of course they were beautiful. Because the stupidly beautiful Projects had to fight stupidly beautiful spiky dragons) as she entered the hatching sands. Her days had been full of archiving and history classes with the Blood Court who had never hard of Xanadu Weyrhold and needed to know more. 
  • Did other courts try to entice her away with promises of training, did some of the Projects want to test her strength? Maybe. But the blood court had decided this candidate was theirs, and well, she had trouble saying no when they were so vocal about their need for her. 
  • Up high where the dragons landed to watch the eggs hatch, Zimath settled between two dark courts who seemed to find the parading of the Projects quite amusing.  ::That Shy:: one commented. ::He really can’t resist showing off, can he?::
  • ::Have you heard?:: the other asked. ::Apparently there is quite a large Dodrian who lives in the Labs and now has taken to answering to “Dammit Shy” as his name:: draconic laughter ensued. 
  • ::And WHAT:: came an arch little voice. ::Do you think you’re doing all the way up there?:: the female blue blood court was not amused, and just for a moment, the blood markings on her paws seemed to glisten. ::You know I can’t fly yet:: 
  • Zimath started just a little bit before lifting off and flying down closer to the little blue, who flicked just a speck of blood onto Zimath’s muzzle. ::I didn’t know this would happen, did I?:: he countered. ::I was here just to watch, to witness::
  • Iqraath nuzzled closer ::It’s okay. You’re here now::
  • “That was sweet, wasn’t it?” Chirped Tahanath, raising off her feet and flaring her wings just a little bit to get a better look as the brown escorted his bond off the sands. 
  • Lorena almost let out a startled meep, but she was too distinguished for that. She looked down at the little green who tilted her head and examined her right back. 
  • “You’re a little marshmallow, aren’t you?”
  • “What’s a marshmallow?”
  • Meanwhile, while the sweet and endearing bonds took place, a large dark court bronze hatchling treated treaded towards the Projects, his eyes keen as he judged and discarded them with a glance. He stopped steadfast in front Siochain. 
  • “Well?” The bronze demanded.
  • Siochain bared his teeth. His skin which had been a soft shade of shade darkened until it was closer to black. “Not me, little one. Find your bond.”
  • “Are you always going to be so stubborn?”
  • “Are you always going to talk back?” 

Aara Hedayati and Dabir Diovo Kasprus

  • Vargui found themselves inundated with tasks during Rina’s absence. The Heir to the Blood Court had bonded a blood court red at Kynn, and while she had assured the youth that she would be back in time for the court hatching, she had stopped responded to almost any communications, leaving Vargui the de facto decision maker for all issues related to the Lost Children.
  • It was something they excelled at, and at the hatching, they pretended to turn a blind eye to the youngest orphans who snuck in. Maybe they had a quick word with a Project or two to ensure that nothing was actually stolen (it would not do for the Nexus visitors to be pickpocketed!), but they kept quiet.
  • The Death Court had mysterious disappeared almost overnight. Something was wrong, parts of the Vella Crean missing. But it was not Vargui’s job to solve this mystery, and so they focused on the children.
  • Shy in the meanwhile, showered Aara and Dabir with attention. The Priest, he was a curious one: there was something just underneath his skin, something that thrummed with power, and Shy wanted to know more. 
  • Seeing the Fool’s Gold bothered him. Just that visible touch of imperfection that his fingers itched to cover up. It would be so easy to smooth over the blemished cracks and turn his prodigal son into the perfect gold they were supposed to be.
  • But Shy kept his distance from the Fool’s Gold and his bond, content with meddling with the Priest with blood powers and their discussions of Persze. (Shy would have offered numerous unnamed Projects as fodder for Persze, but the cleric had reminded him that it was precisely this flippant attitude towards life that had gotten him into so much trouble in the first place). 
  • On the day of the hatching, a dainty little light court purple and a dark court brown herded their clutchmates, keeping them out of trouble, moving them out of the way of sharp shards, pushing them towards the other candidates.
  • “Hasranth has leadership abilities.” Dabir noted, pleased.
  • “Leadership? I would say that the two are just naturally bossy.” Aara quipped, looking towards the pale light court who let out a delighted laugh. 
  • A blood court green with the softest of blood markings looked up towards the crowd. Vargui was busy, and they shushed the little hatchling. 
  • It took the young almost leader a minute to realize that the hatchling was waiting for them, and they turned, surprised eyes down towards the sands.
  • “I can wait” the hatchling chirped. 

Voivode and Moshe

  • The Labs, entirely too distracted by the shenanigans of the Checkerboard Ball, had been in a fairly playful mood when they had prepared sumptuous quarters for Voivode. “Consider them your permanent residence here, at the Vella Crean.” Shy had proclaimed. “A gift, for you.” 
  • Scuttlebutt that was whispered in the corners and the shadows was that the rooms were conveniently located right next door to the Scientist, and the Fool was Not Happy. 
  • The Fool was not the only one: Moshe did not like the shiny and bedazzled Scientist who smelled like perfume and sugar and candy, she did not like the way he did not seem to have any issue draping himself across Voivode like a… a…
  • Ornament. 
  • She also did not like the look of puzzlement on his face, his flippant offer to “fix” her. There was nothing wrong with her. 
  • It was a boldly beautiful Project with no respect for her creator who smacked the Scientist on the back of his head and chided him to behave. “Or I will tell Ari you are upsetting our guests.” 
  • Moshe was not sure who this “Ari” was, but her name seemed to instill fear into this slippery and sly man. 
  • The Project introduced herself as Moira. “I am The Amplifier.” She said, a twinkle in brown eyes that seemed to sparkle, every so often shifting shades to a molten gold shade. “I’m a Power” she whispered. “Because not all of us are given titles. I’ll teach you, protect you. And if he so much as thinks about stepping out of line, tell me, and I will bring in the big guns.”
  • The day of the hatching, Moira did not leave Moshe’s side for too long. Only to bring over a very pleasant and mild mannered woman in a chic silk shift who she introduced as Ari. Moshe did not understand what it was about this tiny woman who was so awe inspiring. (Maybe, this was a skill Moshe could learn herself).
  • Until she heard the woman listen to something Moira whispered and mutter: “Dammit Shy”.
  • An odd, guttural howl sounded through the hatching sands as a giant red Dodrian ran down the hallway, skidding to a stop in front of the diminutive woman. The Dorian was about three feet tall at the shoulder, his paws still a little bit too big for his body, and a wickedly sharp horn in the middle of his forehead. He panted excitedly, his ears pricked.
  • “He still thinks that’s his name?”
  • A brawny dark court blue, his hide almost black, was one of the first eggs to hatch, and he knew exactly where he was going. Ignoring the candidates or the spectators, he made his way straight towards Voivode. 
  • ::I like your ideas:: his silky voice proclaimed. ::I think I could be of help:: 
  • A practical minded light court red and a pale, almost creamy bronze with blood markings picked their way through the crowds towards Moira and Moshe. 
  • “This wasn’t supposed to happen.” Moira comment, her eyes flashing molten gold and just a low level of panic. 
  • “But it is not such a bad thing, is it?” The light court red quipped back. 
  • “I am here for you Moshe, and be exactly what you need.” The dulcet female tones of the bronze brook no argument. 

Xiao Shy’s Party

  • Xiao Shy’s arrival at the Vella Crean is met with warm welcome touched with just a hint of nostalgia. The Empress especially liked to ask for his time, meeting with the smaller Shy who reminded her of her Scientist from way back when. 
  • Ari in the meanwhile, has a quiet word with her Scientist.
  • “Do not. Meddle.” She warns the man who watches the small party of Vella Crean dragons with avarice. “You do not color coordinate dragons to match their riders. They are not accessories.”
  • Shy sighs. What was it with all of these naysayers? Didn’t Apoleoth look simply stunning, complemented by Davouth and Lanneth? Imagine if either of the Guards had been a garish shade of green or blue. 
  • Shy does not like being reminded that he was not in control any longer. But still, he has quiet meetings in his quarters with Xiao Shy and Lao Shy, and his mind thinks, and plans. 
  • Hmmm. Wouldn’t it be interesting if…
  • In the quiet and the dark, Shy builds and fine tunes. He might not have control over the court clutch, but he had control over his Projects. 
  • The day of the hatching, Xiao Shy and Lao Shy join the Empress, watching from the stands high above the sands as eggs hatch and bond. Neither comment on the parade of Projects, tall and beautiful molten gold eyed individuals who seem to be last minute candidates thrown into the mix. 
  • A stunning dark court dragon whose hide seems to be a deep shade of brown almost red, a pale hued purple with just enough depth to make her hide a shade or two off from being a syrupy sweet jammy red, and a blood court red pick through the candidates towards the Projects.
  • A tall and statuesque female whose eyes literally seemed to smolder bends down to pick up the blood court red, winking in the scientist’s direction. A masculine Project frowns as he watches the females antics,  nodding towards the dark court hatchling, while quietly, a small bonded project pulls a shiny spinning top out of thin air, tossing it towards the light court fledging who seems to enjoy batting at it. 
  • “A brown, a purple and a red?” The archivists who are carefully noting down the hatching asks. 
  • A small, plump bag of gold is gently pressed into his hands. “Red, my dear.” Monique murmurs. “These three hatchlings need to be classified as; “red””. 

Rycroft’s Proteges

  • An unexpected development of the Imperial Guard clutch was the rise in prominence of a simple tavern. Many a trader and merchant tried to ply Gossi with riches, to buy the tavern that was now known as the home of the King Rider. 
  • But Gossi stayed firm, and instead the tavern became a beacon for the curious. The Projects had claimed Rycroft as one of theirs, and many a beautiful molten eyed individual could be found, surprisingly at ease within the tavern. 
  • One in particular, a quiet and unobtrusive Project that liked to nurse an ale or two, sitting in the corner, watching with bright eyes the comings and goings of the people. Every so often he would stop and join in the laughter and the dance, his hands gentle healer hands. 
  • Rycroft visited often. When Sithiath was small enough, he could creep in and hide under the tables, content with being so close to his rider. Once Sithiath grew larger, he would fly in, prance and pose for a while for his admiring fans, and then fly off again. 
  • A small and unlikely group formed in the tavern. The Project with healer hands, a mysterious woman who seemed to seamlessly blend with the shadows, and a large, swarthy man who prided himself on his collection of Death Court horns. 
  • The day of the Court hatching, Rycroft invited his protégées to join him, and they did, awed at the sight of the hatching sands. 
  • A dark court green peeled away from the other hatchlings, sidling towards the woman in a sinuous nature not too different from a feline. A blood court purple proudly and loudly proclaimed the bounty hunter as his own , and a light court blue nuzzled the healer Project, delighting at the feel of the cool hands against his hide. 

Renn Meadows

  • When Philippe arrived with not one but two candidates, Shy was delighted. Was the Seachrider come necromancer come royal prince bringing him even more royalty to cement alliances with?
  • “Kind of” would have been the correct answer. 
  • The council offer guest quarters for Tristyn to use during his candidacy. He is royalty, and while it may have been an unexpected discovery, the council is careful in making sure that they follow the right protocols. (Someone has to, the Steward mutters. Because everyone is is doing what they want, not what needs to be done).
  • When Renn’s … affinity with horses are discovered, there was more than one delighted and relieved face.
  • Shy had returned home, the prodigal son, with two steeds with eyes that seemed to burn with fire and who did not stop growing. The pair seemed to delight in breaking down the doors of any man made (or Project made) stable, and had once been found snickering quietly, munching on the bones of a Death Court.
  • “Maybe” one of the stablehands had whispered. “You could help us?”
  • The day of the hatching, a pale blue decisively claimed Renn as his own. 
  • Firdauth’s words were private to his rider as he pressed by his side. 

Molly’s Students

  • Athani was delighted to be able to join the other candidates, wearing traditional candidate robes and waiting for a hatchling to notice her. Her parents were riders, their parents before them riders, it had never been a question in her mind that one day, she would be on the sands, waiting for her turn.
  • Icari wasn’t sure if she liked it. It was hot, noisy, and dirty up here. She much preferred the dark and quiet of the archives, but Emra was watching her with a very excited thumbs up, and she respected her mentor enough to give this a chance.
  • Viselios in the meanwhile, stood far, far way from the other candidates. She wasn’t sure she wanted to be here. The Vella Crean had reconnected to the world, she wanted to explore! Not be tied down for another three or four years, caring for a baby dragon. (She could barely take care of herself right now, which wasn’t the point). The ground hummed underneath her feet and she could feel the otherness of the golems, their unique mineral structures calling out to her. 
  • Eggs hatched and candidates bonded around them: a dark court brown peered up curiously at Athani letting out an enquiring little chirp that had the young girl laugh with delight. “You look just like mother’s dragon, Preyasith!” She exclaimed. 
  • ::Who is to say she isn’t my mother?:: the dark court brown answered back, pleased with her choice.
  • A green with blood court markings sniffed disdainfully, quite agreeing with her rider that it was much too hot, noisy, and dirty up here. She wanted to see what the archive rooms were like, and sniff books for herself. What was it about hard covered tomes that had her rider so delighted?
  • A pale purple slinked and slunk towards Viselios, delighting at her own smarts. Her rider would not even notice the. Ahah!
  • The light court purple pounced on her rider, who let out a startled little meep. 
  • “You surprised me!” She exclaimed, and the light court purple purred. 

Clan Vecira’s New Fosterlings

  • The steward and his staff were Busy. Quietly making sure that all the preparations were taken care of for this large, somewhat impromtuou event, making sure that all candidates were assigned quarters and if necessary specialized tutors, delegating emissaries to the different worlds. Rumor was that on Tris Hath the Red Mage handled a bulk of the paperwork herself.
  • Bari tried to imagine the Empress handling the paperwork …
  • He could just see it now. A resounding “YES” on all requests, and then the courts dealing with the fall out.
  • “Are you laughing?” Nalia’s voice was quiet, solemn as she spoke in a tone of respect to her uncle. 
  • Bari’s expression was stoic, as always as he shrugged his shoulders. “I had a terrible thought.” He admitted. 
  • “Hmm.” The Steward’s eldest child made a noncommittal noise as they both walked into the main hatching sands, watching as spectators  took their seats. There was an odd parade of Projects, both on the sands and around the stands. 
  • Bari suspected the Scientist was using this public event as a way to advertise his… abilities. How indelicate. 
  • A little sniff of agreement sounded below him, and then something seemed to teeth at his boot. Bari looked down to find a little light court red leaning heavily against his leg, a little dark court green gnawing at his shoe and a blue with blood court markings trying very hard to be invisible. 
  • A mind crashed into his,  curious and delighted. “Cassaruth” the little red said sweetly, wide, rainbow faceted eyes looking into his adoringly.
  • “Uncle.” Nalia started. “I think you’ve.” 
  • “Well. This is going to be hard to explain.” He murmured as he reached down to pick up the hatchling. “What am I going to do with you now?”
  • ::US?:: the green squeaked. ::You mean us?:: 

Daithine Sun and Airik Pikson

  • The Dark Court claimed Daithine as one of their own. It was inevitable: after all, her aunt was  a Dark Court Queen rider, and, insert indignent sniff here, where would they send her? To live with the other, more common candidates? No. Daithine had pedigree, and so she would stay close to the Dark Court. (Airik… well. Airik was one of Daithine’s, wasn’t he?  And the Dark Court valued loyalty). 
  • Mwvayan, leader of the Dark Court and purple hydra rider delighted at having the next generation of candidates so close at hand. It was a good, happy moment, and with the Death Court officially punted off (she would claim ignorance on Ourai’s actions for the rest of time), there was a sense of peace and just the smallest, brightest shard of hope.
  • “Tell me, my dear.” She would croon to the little one. “Tell me how your candidate lessons are going, and what you want to accomplish.”
  • The day of the hatching, Mwvayan wanted to escort the little ones to the sands herself, but Yu Yan, one of Shy’s more playful projects steps in.
  • “I’ll make sure they stay safe” she assured the leader, her molten gold eyes hidden behind dark frames. But she winked, and took both candidates hands into her own. “Follow your older sister then, and let’s see what the sands hold for us.”
  • A dark court brown was the first egg to hatch (Kyetath would forever tell the story that he was the oldest of his clutch mates), but he did not seem interested in the candidates. Not until a shiny metallic egg hatched and a pale hued gold spilled onto the sands. 
  • ::I waited:: Kyetath whispered softly to his clutch mate, who let out a trill of approval and thanks. 
  • ::We better claim ours before someone else decides to::
  • A green with blood court markings snorted. ::I’ll never let them happen:: she declared. 
  • The green and brown let the little queenling through first, and she took careful determined steps towards Daithine Sun. “I am Haliseth” she announced, her voice strong and holding the bearing of a queen to be. Just a hint of mischief chased her words. ::We’ll be the new leaders:: she confided quietly to her rider.
  • “She’ll need help, Airik” Kyetath pointed out to his rider. 
  • “They’ll need us.” Nainsooth proclaimed to Yan Yu. “Don’t you think it’s time we went on an adventure?” 

Leva, Riskan and Wykard

  • The return of court dragons, of the children of court dragon riders is met with warm welcome. The Vella Crean is doing better now, the city is healing and mending, and the dragon riders who have fought against the Death Court unite with their cousins. Many a night is spent with both sides trading stories of battles and war, of the sheer similarity between challenges face. (Balefire versus Bluefire, which is worse? The debate is endless). 
  • Rikna, Leva and Wykard are welcomed and fit in a little too well amongst the Vella Crean children. The lost children decide that they have adopted Leva as their de facto leader while their own leader has run off to the Checkerboard Ball, and are unwilling to give him back up.
  • Shy finds potential in the young Rikna, and one day, a suspiciously beautiful Project invites her to the Labs for tea. This girl with the weight on her shoulders and her ambitions, she reminds Shy a little bit of the Weyrwoman who left Pern in search of bigger and better dreams. 
  • The day of the hatching, while the sky is still dark and Projects patrol for the errant Death Court dragon, Ortega storms into Shy’s quarters demanding answers. Shy gives him half truths, evasion and the eyes of a Father disappointed by his child. There are harsh words exchanged in the dark of the night, and then a different Project storms into the rooms, hauling Ortega out by the collar of his shirt. 
  • The day of the hatching, with riders and spectators cheering for the candidates, a sleek and shiny bronze claims Leva as his. “I’ll grow big fast, you’ll see.” He says to his rider. “We’ll bring peace.” He promises. 
  • A blood court blue peers up at Wykard’s face, letting out a croon of concern. “What’s wrong?” He asks, feeling his bond’s emotions, the conflict and turmoil. “I’lm here, Wykard. What’s wrong? I’ll help you” he croons again, his blood marked muzzle resting against his rider’s leg. 
  • Dragons continue hatching, and bonding. Some choosing to remain alone, seeking out sponsors instead. Rikna watches as the sands empty of candidates, as dragons bond as the sands is littered with shards of eggs. Shy takes quick steps to console the young girl. “Are you disappointed?” He croons, his tone gentle, curious. 
  • Rina is brave. “It happens.” She answers. It did, didn’t it? Not all candidates bonded. And not all candidates bonded the first time. “My dragon wasn’t here.” 
  • Shy nods, squeezes the candidate’s shoulder. “No. She wasn’t.” He answered. “But she will be. Be patient.” He advises. 

Werner Kindler and Fabrice Durand

  • “Mother, are you sure this is a good idea?”
  • Naeodin beamed towards her daughter. In her heart of hearts, she had not thought the day would come when the two of them would be working together to make active decisions for the Vella Crean. 
  • In the smallest, darkest corner of her heart, the Empress of the Vella Crean was grateful that the Death Court wars had brought back her daughter. 
  • “Who better to send to Tris’ Hath?” She asked brightly. “He is fully capable of protecting himself, and no one is more well versed than he is on our laws.”
  • “That’s because he made most of them up.” 
  • The hatching had started, and tiny dragons were breaking free of their shells. Naeodin murmured something indistinct as she leaned forward, staring with rapt delight. The joy of such a day never failed to dazzle her. 
  • The candidates stood around the eggs, and she watched with amusement as one young man shirked back, catch himself in his movement, and stiffen his shoulders. Fabrice took a step, then another towards the eggs, earning an approving look from Werner.
  • The newly minted lawyer looked just as nervous, his hands by his sides as a blood marked purple shuffled towards him. She let out a little trill, curiosity and amusement combined as she nudged at his empty hands. 
  • A pale green hatchling flopped to her side and let out a confused chirp. This seemed enough to spit Fabrice into action as he strode across the sands, concern bright on his face as he crouched in front of the hatchling.
  • “Are you okay Hokumath?” He asked.
  • “Better now” she crooned back to her rider.
  • A sharp bark of laughter from the stands from a man who seemed too old to be a candidate. “You must be joking.” He drawled, his voice husky as he stared down at the brown hatchling that demanded his attention.
  • “This is not going to end well, Lankeuth.” He added, just a glint of molten gold catching in his eyes until he blinked and the glint disappeared. “You sure you want to get involved?”
  • “Absolutely.” 

Casamir

  • A blood court bronze continued to watch the candidates, decisively sniffing as they made their way between both the men and women, the official candidates and the Projects. He stopped in front of one of the male candidates and peered up, stretching high up on his hindlegs.
  • “Where have you been?” he asked.
  • “I’ve been here the entire time.” Casamir responded, slightly mystified.