What Was Mine, Is Now Yours -- {65th Dragon Hatching, NPC}

A large natural cavern found by the initial expedition. It has been cleared out and filled with sand. Naturally flowing hotspring pools inside the cavern keeps this cavern warm enough for dragon eggs, but also makes it very humid with all the steam from the hotspring waters.
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Title: The Majestic Birb
Pronouns: She/Her, or Birb

Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:30 am

  • {Fuzzytimed to end of Autumn, 2046}

Much as every other clutch before, the dark queen seemed to flaunt her growing belly, confidence oozing from the newly made Senior Gold and the clutch she would bear upon the Sands soon. Time after time, she'd boasted of a shimmering shell within her belly and she'd been proven wrong each time. Yet something inside the queen gave her the courage to continue with that proclamation, and this time she knew it would be different. Wouldn't it be so fitting, for her first daughter to be hatched from the clutching that had made her their Senior? Her bloodline would ring in and carry on a new age, a new hope on a pair of golden wings. Soquilith held onto that dream for as long as she could until her clutching day would reveal the truth.

The goldrider had plenty to do in order to keep her occupied as the new Weyrwoman of Atricis. Her predecessor, Eavan, had made sure to set everything up for her and in the sevendays they had for the transition everything had gone smoothly. Now, she was on her own...in a sense. She still relied heavily on L'van's knowledge and expertise, though Safryn also had nearly a decade of being Eavan's Weyrwoman Second under her belt as well. That title now rested about Rhianwen's shoulders, and the other queenrider had certainly stepped up quite seamlessly into her role as diplomat, corresponding or meeting with other diplomats from all over Pern and Safryn trusted she would do right by the Weyr. The junior queenriders had each been delegated responsibilities, to help spread the workload and get them more involved in what it takes to run the Weyr. While Safryn still enjoyed the weekly rounds checking in with Masters and Headwoman, Keetin had begun going in her place more often than not and reporting back to the Weyrwoman. Inventories from all the departments were calculated by Isiana and orders for supplies running low written up in her hand to be reviewed by the Weyrwoman before arrangements were made.

While she had her hand in everything, making sure nothing passed over her desk without her seal of approval, Safryn was also kept quite busy meeting with the other Leaders of the Weyr. These feline attacks were becoming more and more of a threat, something that needed to be dealt with accordingly, and they all met regularly for progress reports of the situation. Micah and Darilex seemed confident they will find a solution, as the guards of the Weyr it was their duty and responsibility to protect them, but Safryn and L'van made it known they had use of a Wing if they needed it. No more people, or dragonkin, needed to be hurt or killed by these beasts, they needed to be taken care of.

The next order of business was the Pearlriders, and the supplies they needed to build a settlement, a home for them and their pearls. The Weyr would spare no expense to give them what they needed for now, and the guarantee of aid when it came time to build more for future residents as well. Safryn herself had gone to visit once under the guise to check on the proceedings of the buildings they were supplying for, but truly she wanted to glimpse the Pearls for herself. They were fascinating to look upon, to learn about, and she spoke with many of their riders, hoping to make a good impression on the very first of pearlriders. Everyone hoped that this generation of a new species was the promise of something greater, a whole new side of this world they'd never known before.

There was also the whispers from Walled Hold, the accounts of rebellion bubbling beneath the surface, yet all reports from their officials and The Mother seem to say that the Justicars had everything under control. Everyone seemed to know the truth behind those messages, though without the expressed permission to send aid, there was not much they could do either except to let Walled Hold deal with their own issues. Safryn had turned to Adonis then, knowing his ties to Walled and their Justicars and he agreed to reach out to some old friends, see if he could find out the truth. However, it seemed they weren't even saying much to their agent in Atricis either, and the bluerider came back empty handed, and he was thanked for at least trying. Being left in the dark for now, the Weyrleader's hands were tied at the moment, but that didn't stop them from searching for other ways.

When the goldrider wasn't spending the candlemarks in meetings or pouring over reports, statements, missives and more, she tried to spend with her family. Her eldest daughter was now eight turns old, and in that magical stage of curiosity and understanding, exploring the world around her and all the wonders it has to offer. Safryn wanted to be there while Isharya found her way, find out what sort of craft she might be suited for - such as maybe taking after her mothers' ways of the Harper, or not. The twins were six now, walking, talking, little bundles of trouble and constantly getting at each other for one thing or another, though neither of them seemed to argue with anyone else. Alorha always seemed to have to defend herself against her brothers' ridicule, but Jofrey didn't have it easy either being the only boy and was always found sulking on his own after a spat. Not to mention the toddler Tairyn that required a lot of their attention as well while she learned all about this world and the people around her. This was the stage that Safryn had the most practice in and seemed to handle the toddler with ease, even when she had her hands full with the others. Her children were magical though, and she wouldn't trade them for anything in the world.

What seemed to bother her about the waiting, needing to find out the same truth as Soquilith did, was her promise to H'tai. Though they'd argued at first, after spending an evening actually talking with each other, discussing...well, everything, she'd made a deal with him that could come to fruition with this clutch. She was honest with him about her feelings about Soqi's flights, how she'd felt after closing her door once already before, how she felt about his own hurts over this. If anything, it was H'tai's pain that was her pain, knowing what it did to him was the thing that tore at her most. Safryn never wanted to hurt the brownrider, though she didn't want to betray the bond with Soquilith, and she had little control over her dragons' choice. Her queen's flights were a fact of life to her, something she was prepared to deal with when she was with T'lor, but she knew H'tai would be different from the start, and they would have to find a new way to handle it together. Safryn had vowed before that flights would no longer have any temptations for her, and she did so once more to assuage his worries, before they figured out what would work best for them.

She hadn't quite expected their first real fight to be about open door Flights and her choice, since that's what brought them together in the first place, but it was an argument that they eventually came to an agreement on. Until Soquilith clutched that which she desired most, a golden egg, Safryn would continue to leave her door open to the suitors and H'tai had agreed to take a leave during the process to ease his troubled heart and hers. Once that golden shell graced the Sands, the queenrider would choose to keep her door closed during Soquilith's flights, instead spending it with the one she desired most. It was a fair enough compromise, though she knew it didn't sit well with H'tai at first, and she had her own reservations about the future of her flights, but it was enough to keep them on solid ground for a little while longer and repair what had been broken.

So it was, when the dark queen strode proudly into the Hatching Sands, ready to make her nest, Safryn began to count the days until the clutching. As the dawning came closer, as she knew through practice and instinct that Soquilith was close to laying, the goldrider spent more and more of her time within the cavern. The woman took her meals in the stands, and reports at the edge of the sands, and she felt as young and impatient as she'd been during those first few clutchings, the hopes rising in her chest while worry chewed at her lip.

I don't think you will have to wait much longer dearheart... came the sultry voice as the dragon rose slowly to her feet to reposition herself, the womans' eyes snapping up at the queen and quickly abandoning the hides in her hands. She knew those pains that echoed in her own abdomen, the gripping and taut hold of muscles cramping all at once before releasing, and as Soquilith scratched away the last little bit of her furrow in the sands, Safryn moved closer to her queen, reaching out to touch her and connect with her. As many times before, while the labor had it's grip on the golden dragon, the harper sang to her, starting with a quiet hum of a melody into clear words that rang out in the cavern at the crescendos. It was a bonding she would always be able to share with her queen, memories of moments they've both spent in the throes of labor and the joy that had come from it. Soquilith crooned in harmony at times, echoing her rider and relied on her body knowing exactly what to do, as she was hatched and bred to do, all the while believing her dreams of having a daughter to call her own were soon to be revealed.

They had mentally counted twenty and one eggs, but each waited until the last song faded, the pains released their hold, until finally they moved to uncover the precious shells and see the clutch for themselves. Upon first glance, it was unmistakable, the glimmer of gold nestled into the crowd of it's siblings mottled shells and Soquilith nearly gave a trumpet of delight when she saw the gleam. Even as the spirits of her dragon soared, Safryn felt those doubts creeping back into her belly about her decision, but she hastily swallowed them back down in lieu of congratulating her queen on finally achieving what she wished most for. The golden egg was carefully nuzzled into the perfect place before her forepaws, and that's where she would stay until her hatching day. Soquilith would not let this egg out of her sights or her grasp for as long as she could, fawning over the little egg and crooning softly to her beloved and much anticipated daughter. The other eggs were well also well cared for, she was not a neglectful mother, though it was obvious where the pride of her clutch lay.

What Soquilith didn't have to worry about now, was what to do with another gold in Atricis. Currently, they had enough queens and clutchers to produce a Hatching each Season, and then some. They'd had to expand upon their apartments to contain the amount of dragonriders they produced and they were nearing their full strength if not more. Atricis was a strong, healthy Weyr with enough queens to host an army of dragons, they did not really need another gold right now. In confidence, she spoke to L'van while the dark gold was resting, and they spoke about what else they could do with the egg, though it was obvious they'd send it to one of their allies to strengthen ties and bloodlines. The thought of sending another Gold to Walled was quickly cast aside, for they'd seen how well that had gone before, and they did not need to add anymore fuel to that fire. Ivory Tower was discussed, but a comment was made about how far from tradition the Weyrhold stood, how they'd fled a Weyr where they'd bee controlled by golds and it would be wiser to send them aid in other fashions. Evanoria of course was an option, though Safryn was fairly certain that Paiseantath was thoroughly enjoying her solo reign of the Weyrhold and for now, they didn't need any more golds either.

That left their Northern allies, and many Weyrs were discussed as viable options, though most of them were ruled out for one reason or another. In the end, it came to High Reaches, or Igen, both of whom seemed to have remained on the fence about their loyalty to Atricis and the addition of a gold of new bloodlines would certainly sweeten the pot. However, L'van had his qualms about Igen Weyr and Safryn had only brought them up as a courtesy to the Weyr, though she'd already known which one the Weyrleader would side with. That brought them to High Reaches, an outlying northern Weyr that hadn't much need of such a southern ally, but the Atricis Weyrleaders planned to make it worth their while if the Northern Weyr sided with them. Once they had High Reaches as an ally, much of the North would be their friend and they would all be stronger for it, working toward a peace and agreements between all the Weyrs of Pern. At least, so Safryn liked to fancy sometimes. It certainly wouldn't hurt to have another ally on their side either way, and word was sent to High Reaches, telling them of this offer with the invitation to join them for an evening meal where they could discuss the terms.

Telling Soquilith would be harder than persuading High Reaches to take another gold, so Safryn had prepared the topic for a few days before, speaking of the northern Weyrs, reminiscing about them and recalling the times the two of them had been sent to meet with the different Weyrs. She spoke fondly of High Reaches in particular, how different the environment was, how it shaped and molded their people and dragons to be stronger and healthier even for it. She spoke of some of their customs and whatever else she could think of, acclimating Soquilith to the idea that this would be a fine place for her daughter to be raised. So it was, when the topic was finally breached, Safryn started small, talking about how wonderful the unborn queen was going to be, wondering if she would be a dark gold like her mother, and how she would grow up to carry on the bloodline from now on. Then, she went on about the possibilities of the world she'd have at her wingtips, the life she could lead and all the while boosting her queen's confidence and ego about the little gold that lay within that gleaming shell. Now, what if, that little life where to start somewhere else, carry on her mothers' legacy in another Weyr, to blend the strength of Atricis with the strength of High Reaches and make them even stronger together.

The dark queen had been satiated for most of this proposal, until the very end when her very own rider talked of removing her precious daughter from the Weyr. Soquilith gave a snort of derision and curled up protectively around the egg even more so, growling out her frustrations at the mere thought. Safryn had known it wouldn't be easy and spent the next several candlemarks speaking, debating with her dragon to relinquish her hold, to allow her bloodline to flourish within the walls of another, to create generation after generation of strong children that bore Soquilith's blood in their veins that would then spread all across Pern. It took some convincing, but in the end, the golds' ego was won over and the thought of her first daughter bringing life and spreading their bloodline in the North seemed to take root and the pact could be made.

They had sent for the High Reaches riders to come within a sevenday of the Hatching date, long enough for the mother to nuture her daughter and the hatchling within to grow strong enough for the travel between to the Northern Weyr. Safryn and L'van had wined and dined the other Leaders and their entourage, encouraging this alliance and friendship, and High Reaches extended the invitation that anyone from Atricis was welcome to come to the hatching of the golden egg when word was sent. Safryn kept a firm mental hold on Soquilith as the riders came into the Hatching cavern, though they were all quite reverant and respectful to the dark queen, they knew it would not be easy to take the golden egg away from the mother. Soquilith may have given a low growl or two, an anxious twitch of her tail and a curl of her lip, she did not retaliate against them, instead speaking directly to the rider that carried the gleaming egg to be careful with her, or she would chase him through between and into the beyond faster than his heart could beat. The rider gulped in the face of the mighty queen, and gave a silent and resolute nod as his blue dragon tiptoed out of the cavern and into the Yard where the rest of the High Reaches riders were waiting. The Weyrleaders bade farewell to their new found friends, and as the small Wing lifted into the sky, Safryn hoped that she'd done the right thing.

For the next sevenday, the queen sulked and rumbled, missing her daughter already and yet chained to the clutch that remained. It wasn't long then though, when those eggs began to wobble to and fro, making themselves quite known and Soquilith called out to the whole Weyr and they dropped what they were doing to come witness the Hatching of her children. Zenjarth stood proud beside her, speaking softly to her and nuzzling away the worry of that missing egg, and instead the two mates watched on with pride as one after the other of their children broke shell and found their bonded. Aside from the golden egg that was not there, the hatching was a complete success with the other twenty dragonets healthy and strong. and while Soquilith was relieved, there was an ache that could not be satiated just yet.

Not even half a candlemark after the last egg broke, there came word from High Reaches, and Safryn hastened to her queens' side, knowing the gold wanted to be there in order to witness the hatching of her first daughter. Many others joined them, but Soquilith was the first to blink away to the Northern Weyr, appearing above them with a hum already in her throat and wasting no time winging down toward their own Hatching Sands. Room was made for the visiting queen, who perched as close as she could to the Sands, crooning lovingly and watching with bated breath as the first cracks appeared on the golden shell. A circle of girls in white stood around the singular egg, each of them with a different emotion etched across their face, and Safryn wondered briefly what it felt like to be one of them, knowing there was no other egg in this clutch, just the one that held the most weight and resonsibilty, yet here they stood.

At last, the little gold broke free, her creel splitting the air as she made herself known, pawing at the shell that had encased her for a moment and then glancing up at the cavern around her. Faceted eyes found those of a devoted mother looking back at her, and Soquilith gave a comforting croon from her perch before encouraging the little one to find her bonded. The golden hatchling turned to regard the girls around her then, as if noticing them for the first time, and carefully picked her way forward on the hot sands, nudging against one, and then flicking her tail against another. She didn't taunt or tease, she only paused long enough for a glance before she was onto the next as if she knew exactly what she was looking for. When she found it, the little gold sat back on her haunches in front of the young woman, looking up at her and the rainbows swirls of Impression light up her eyes.

It had happened, it had finally happened. Soquilith had a hale and healthy daughter, a gold that would carry on the bloodlines, and she would live her life in High Reaches Weyr, spreading that line all across Pern.

  • Clutch Breakdown: 21 Eggs
    1 Gold (Sent to High Reaches Weyr)
    2 Bronzes
    4 Browns
    5 Blues
    2 Pewters
    7 Greens
"You are only given one little spark of madness,
... you mustn't lose it"

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The Matron . . ~ ~ * ~ ~ . . The Joker . . ~ ~ * ~ ~ . . The Princess

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