Despite her sporadic Runs, Dolcekil always Ran in the winter season, usually around the middle, so when 2049 Winter rolled around, he kept an eye on it, and also made sure he donned his armband and Dolcekil wore hers on her leg as well, just to be safe. It wasn’t as necessary for Dayhandlers as it was Dragonriders, but after one of Dolcekil’s Runs many turns ago, he never wavered in wearing them beforehand, even when he wasn’t sure Dolcekil would Run. It seemed that being prepared would pay off this turn.
Days before she would Run, Dolcekil’s demeanor changed. She didn’t become irritable or mean like some might, it just was so far removed from her nature to be that way, but she definitely became flirty with the males. She practically purred at them a lot of the time, nuzzled them a lot or leaned against them. Meanwhile though, she also became more motherly to the young of the Weyr. She tried grooming creche kids, or herded them away from whatever perceived danger she saw, wanted them near, treated them more like cubs than she normally did. Inakil saw it days before her Run, so he knew it was coming, recognizing those signs easily.
The few days before, Inakil was careful and he and Dolcekil worked with the creche less often the more her pre-Run behavior got harder to curb. She wasn’t a danger to the children, but she could easily be overbearing and cause undue stress and frustration on the children and her as well. It was just for a few days though, they would be back to work soon before she got too egg heavy.
Of course, eventually, the day for her Run arrived. Inakil could sense it when he woke up that morning. Dolcekil stirring had woken him, but it wasn’t quite time yet, even if he could feel today would be the day. Dolcekil had risen early even for a daywher, antsy. Inakil got up with her, giving Naji a parting kiss when he stirred to see what was going on when Inakil got out of bed so early.
”She’s going to Run today. She’s not ready yet, but she’s feeling restless, so I’m going to go to her,” he explained softly, encouraging him to go back to sleep for a little while. Whether or not he did, Inakil dressed into simple, lightweight clothes, and went out to Dolcekil. She shifted, as if she were nervous. He knew she wasn’t though, it was just pre-Run restlessness. She wasn’t hungry, but didn’t want to sleep either. Inakil knew what to do for her and had dressed for the occasion.
As the whers retreated into their dens to escape the rising sun, Inakil and Dolcekil both jogged around the Weyr Yard, switching between Inakil jogging beside Dolcekil, and Inakil riding Dolcekil so she could run faster. He made sure she paced herself though, just enough to release the excess energy she had, but not so much that she made herself too tired. As all the daytime denizens of the Weyr began to wake and breakfast was prepared in the kitchens, Inakil and Dolcekil went to the Weyr lake and there he rinsed and scrubbed her down, making her hide freshly clean and glistening from a light oiling afterward. She wasn’t ready to Run yet though, she had no appetite yet, but wasn’t so restless anymore.
Instead of returning to the daywher pavilions, Dolcekil found herself one of the large flat rocks that were left for the different dragonkin to sun themselves on that liked to. She stretched herself out on the still cool rock and dozed off for the rest of the morning. Inakil, meanwhile, cleaned himself up at the bathhouse, then went to the dining hall to pick himself up a meal to take back to his cabin.
”Today is going to be her Run,” he informed the proper people that would be best informed before he returned to his cabin with his meal, an extra one in case Naji was waiting for him at their cabin. Once in his cabin though, Inakil had no plans on leaving, eating his breakfast leisurely. Knowing he would have time, he settled in the living room with a book to read, passing the rest of the morning in leisure, trying to relax while he could.
Once awake, she could only think of one thing. Food. She hadn’t eaten in a while, she was ravenous. She didn’t bolt to the feeding pens though, she knew better. Instead she trotted, faster than a slow walk, but not a run either, something more akin to the natural pace of a daywher, warming her sleep stiffened muscles, getting them ready for the event ahead of her.
Once at the feeding pens she jumped in and snatched up a wherry, jumping back out of the feeding pens with the creature in her jaws and taking it away a few lengths. She then settled onto the ground with it, holding it between paws, ready to eat, when a reminder came to her.
*Blood only. Meat will make you too slow.*
That was right, she needed to be fast today, not full of food and unable to move. She wanted to gorge though, but resisted, settling for the blood she was permitted to have. She could have gone for a second wherry, but there were males here already, some killing their own, some watching her with their undivided attention, ready and waiting. She growled at them, abandoning her wherry to the ground as she stood to her feet again. One male dared take a step toward her. She growled again, and then, she took off.
The sounds of daywher paws and bays of excitement and announcement rose through the Weyr, announcing the start of Dolcekil’s Run at last. As the Weyr’s only Rose Daywher currently, she drew in a lot of attention from the males of their large pack. They were drawn in by her rosy hide and large body. She was a daywher made for offspring and naturally designed to draw attention from as many males as possible. Her entourage of males would be large, but only one could be the one, and it was on her to make the best choice. They would have to prove themselves to her though, and right now, none of them were worthy.
She tore off across the Yard, a parade of Daywher colors led by a pale Rose with glistening hide impossible to miss. Many daywher patrols would have to be delayed today, or swapped out with available pairs as a few more interested males joined the Chase before the Chasing pack left the Yard or got too far out.
South she led them, away from the cliff and hills of the Weyr and mountains. She led them first toward the inland sea Atricis had first camped near. They ran past a private small cabin, paying no attention to the one who lived there as Dolcekil led them to the waters of the large body of water. Of course though, she didn’t lead them in, only just letting her paws get wet, running through the shallows, kicking up droplets of water that sprayed around her and the males behind her if they ran too close. Once past the waters, leaping away from the wet shore, Dolcekil dripped as if she had run through rain, though the gloomy clouds above had yet to drop the looming rain.
Dolcekil ran on, leaving the Weyr and old camp behind, running into the more wild areas of Atricis’ protectorate. The trees of the forest south of the Weyr proper came fast at them as Dolcekil ran to them full force. She couldn’t just run over plains and hills and lakes, she would take them through the forest. There were so many Chasing her, she needed to weed some of them out, and the lesser males would trip up among the trees, slowing down or getting tangled in underbrush. The quick thinking and swift reflexed males would be able to keep up, at least in theory.
Dolcekil weaved between trees and lept over bushes and brush. Paws hit a game trail and ran along it a ways, giving them a quick break and a bit of a challenge when she leapt from it at a bend and tore off back through the foliage. At least one male had thought themselves clever though, and truly they were, when they came right at her as she leapt from the curving trail, but Dolcekil wasn’t a young Rose, and she wasn’t ready yet as they still hadn’t proven themselves.
With reflexes one wouldn’t expect from the rotund Rose daywher, Dolcekil spun away from the male that made his way right at her. She heard his claws scrape on the ground and slip on the foliage as he missed her just barely and tried to turn himself to follow her in the new direction she now set them toward. Soon though, she couldn’t rely on her hearing to pinpoint where the males were, as the rains above finally fell, bringing more noise to the world around them as droplets hit the leaves around them. She would have to get out of the forest, turning her path to do so while trying to make sure no males got the drop on her.
A few got lucky, getting close to her as she turned her path to lead them out of the trees, but not lucky enough to Catch her yet. She feinted one way, tripping the leader of the small group up when he thought she would go one way around a large tree when she really went another way. The poor fellow hit the trunk and another almost did, but they would be at the Chase quickly she sensed. She’d be impressed if they did, at least.
The end of the forest could be seen soon, grassy land ahead, and she was beginning to really feel the exhaustions of the workout she was putting the males through. The forest had been tough on all of them, even her, but when she burst from the foliage and into grassy plains, she looked back and saw her ploy worked. Some had been left behind or given up among the trees. She was tiring though, and she could only imagine how the males likely were as well. So she let out a bugle, wishing to encourage them all on a little bit for one final straight sprint across the wet grass through the rains of winter.
Dolcekil's PC Run has begun! This will be single round, hence why so much is described, because I kind of wanted to do a multi-round Run, but didn't want to burn anyone out either. My muses also got excited to write this out, and I wanted to give the players of the Chasing males plenty to work with and interesting opportunities to grasp at and run with. So have fun with it! The winner will be picked using the Simplified Method, so things like Size Class, Age, and effort in writing will be considered when randomizing the final male list.