Fort Weyr - Galleries
The galleries are carved right out of the rock face, the rows and rows of benches rising high up into the air on a slight slant. Stone and wood benches that used to be known for offering little in the way of comfort, are now padded with cushions in Fort Weyr's colors. Placed along the railing at regular intervals are antique looking baskets filled with cheery fabric flowers. The curving walls sport tapestries in warm vibrant colors that seem to add a dash of color to the otherwise dreary stone. Where the galleries curve slightly at the ends, affording those attending hatchings or clutchings a decent view of the sands, shaded laterns offer warm lighting along the rows of benches.

From the sands, It's beyond time, though Kouzevelth is fashionably late for everything — she rose over a turn late and is clutching, well. Sort of on time. It's the right range of days, after all; this is approximately when Inri, Kouzevelth herself, and dragonhealers were estimating. It is, however, not at all the right time of day for anyone's convenience; it's a little after ten pm when the gold finally makes her way to the sands, rider following irritably. Inri's hair is still down, and she's managed to throw on relatively heat-appropriate clothing, but it's still a bit aggravating for anyone who wanted a good night's sleep. The Headwoman and crew are at least always prepared for just about any old time for a feast, considering clutchings and hatchings are about as unpredictable as you get, but as it's Inri's first, the juniorest weyrwoman seems nothing but peeved. "Now? Really? Could you just — not? Can we wait until morning?" The dragon just pauses momentarily, staring at her rider as if she's lost her mind, and starts to dig.

Clutching, clutching, it's time for the clutching! And Polana couldn't be more thrilled. The blonde makes her way to the gallaries, a wide grin on her face. Soon there will be dragon babies, hatchlings, hatchlings that she might impress if she is searched again. Quite frankly, you couldn't pay her to miss this, no matter what time it is. Polana moves up to the very edge of the railing, trying to get as good of a view as possible.

Zhirayr the Assistant Headman is, naturally enough, completely loaded down with scraps of paper, slabs of hides scraped thin, and basically any and every possible writing implement & target known to Pernkind. (Fortunately for him, the slab is only about three inches thick, and fits in one arm.) But through the magical grapevine of How The Headwoman's People Always Know, he's one of the first people up to the galleries, encumbered as he is — taking notes on everything, naturally, including (mostly) the crowds, so that he can relay the news to the kitchens ASAP.

Xavier had heard that the clutching was going to begin soon, he didn't care what time of day or night it was he was going to see this. Walking up the stairs into the gallery he saw Polana and walked over to her. "Hey Polana."

Back to near full health is Angelique and she's had a busy day. By the dinner rolls around she's limping a bit on the overworked ankle. As the night winds down she decides after spending a couple hours in Shenanigans she'll turn in. Stilfing a yawn she's headed through the Living Caverns when the word passes. Clutching time! "….now?" Ang blinks and moves towards the galleries with everyone else.

Th'ero is no stranger to this hour of the night but even for the Weyrleader he had been hoping to turn in early for once. So it's no surprise that he looks a bit grouchy when he comes up the gallery stairs — actually, that IS his mood most days. He looks hastily dressed, hair a tussled mess and in one hand he holds… a leash? Oh, it's just Kyzen on his harness again. Though eventually he'll stoop down to just pick up the toddler, allowing a few more impatient weyrfolk to pass by. Hopefully the late hour means the child will be tuckered out, and sure enough he seems half asleep though peering about quietly enough. Pausing by the top of the stairs, Th'ero will glance over his shoulder to see if another is joining him before going to find a place to sit.

If ever there was a promise M'ta was going to keep, it was his to Angelique to attend the clutching. As soon as Rielth grudgingly admits it's time, M'ta gets the bronze off his doting over Pyrith and heads to Fort. When the swishy-haired ginger enters, he pauses, scanning for the familiar head of the assistant headwoman, then slides down the stairs to settle beside her, "Is this your first clutching?"

From the sands, Not that it matters what Inri thinks, really, any more than it matters what anyone else does. Kouzevelth is not concerned with you. Any of you. She is concerned with the perfection of this hole, sized to perfectly fit either one incredibly large egg or two relatively small ones. She noses the sand around, tuning out Inri's continued, soft tirade, of "And I'd gotten a new dress for the clutching feast! Which I have not even had a chance to make sure I had a hat to match!" and more such comments from the fashion-conscious weyrwoman. Whatever, Inri; dragons nearby are inundated with the sensation of soft rain touching every mind in the vicinity as, with some struggling — and Inri finally calming down and moving into her position as supportive, rubbing her lifemate's snout slowly and rhythmically — there is, at last, an egg.

Kimmila does not look pleased to be here, hastily finger combing her hair and scowling at Th'ero's back. As if it's his fault. "Why can't we just see them in the morning?" the bluerider mutters with a scowl. Huff. She does reach out to brush some of Kyzen's curls away from his face, though.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ When I Woke Up Egg ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Almost silvery in hue, this gunmetal grey egg almost looks boxy, instead of round. Must be a trick of the light though, or perhaps that's the reason why it's not rolling around out there. Polished aluminum gives way to black rubber lining, curving around the egg with rounded corners to accentuate its rectangular shape. Within, though, that is where the magic happens. A vibrant Y shape in white and blue gleams brightly against the dark surface of the rest of the egg's shell, illusions of light and shadow flickering and promising everything time has to offer.

Abigail caught wind what was up on the hatching sands, thanks to Niumdreoth as the large brown was perched on his ledge eyeing everything below. Though now his taking up a different spot after dropping down and letting his rider down to come see the show. The brownrider is tucking her hair back as she makes her way on towards the steps, a curious glance sent to Th'ero and toddler, both are given a smile and slight salute. "Hello Weyrleader, Kimmila." This said once she catches sight of the bluerider before she is slipping up the steps to find a seat.

Polana grins when Xavier calls to her and gives a small dip of her head. Her voice is light and happy as she calls, "hey, Xavier! Come to watch the clutching as well?" The headwoman's assistants are ignored for the most part, but the Weyrleader gets a respectful nod and murmur of, "Weyrleader." Kimmila gets the same nod, and M'ta gets… a look. This look is soon followed by, "hello there, perfect stranger…" Oh, look, eggs! Polana leans forward, letting out an excited squeal when a gray egg is laid. Then Abigail is there, resulting in another nod.

"Hey, Ang," Zhirayr murmurs, as soon as he spots his favorite coworker (or, at least, favorite today). After a moment he moves, budging aside, and tilts his head at her questioningly — he did manage to land one of the prime seats, after all; did she want to share? And then he glances past her to the others who are braving the dark hour of the night to see the eggs laid: nods and salutes get sprinkled out like candy, but only to those who've earned them.

Xavier smiles and points at the first egg, "I am indeed." He turns to see Kimmila and Th'ero. "Weyrleader, Kimmila, how are you?" He turns as Polana squeals and sees the grey egg on the sands. "Think that one might be a blue, but thats just my guess."

Angelique hides another yawn. Truly she was only thinking about bed but it is a shame since it would have been an early night for her for once. The words of Talica still echo in her mind to return soon so she can help with the preperations. Despite her tiredness she's starting to wake up, gaze sliding to the sands to watch the perfect hole being made for the first egg. A smile lights up her eyes as M'ta joins her just as she's settling into one of the lower sets of benches, figuring that any seat will be a good view of the sands. "Hey! You made it." then her attention is caught as she admires the first egg. "Heya Zhirayr." is added belatedly as well as quick nods of greetings to Th'ero, Kimmi, the harnessed kid let, Abigail and even Polan.

From the sands, Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle. Kouzevelth noses sand over the egg, taking some time to //breathe after that first endeavor. Breathe, and yawn, and lean her massive head up against her lifemate's entire body; they are, after all, similar in size. The young gold was worn out enough by one egg that Inri looks a little concerned — for about two minutes, before Kouzevelth gets an enthused second wind and starts to move sand around again, this time with that lethal tail of hers. There's space in that hole for one more, after all: and here it is.//

"Because it's respectful to be here," Th'ero mutters to Kimmila, shifting Kyzen in his arms a bit when the toddler squirms at his mother's fussing. "It's also Kouzevelth's first clutch." Never mind that he sort've has to be here because of his rank, but perhaps the Weyrleader IS there too lend support as well. Finding a good spot to sit, he'll gesture for Kimmila to settle first before he seats himself. "Hello, Wingsecond." he greets to Abigail. "Polana, Xavier…" And he'll nod to Angelique and Zhirayr as well, murmuring their names as he sits just as the first egg is laid.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A Device Like None Other Egg ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The tip of this long, oval-shaped egg is a fine silver in color, glistening as if newly shined. It is curved just so, appearing as if it could be flipped open with a bit of effort or the press of a button. Not too far away from the tip, the egg's shell bulges slightly outward, colored a duller silver as if worn with use and appearing as if it were part of the mechanism that would rebeal the contents of the egg. Whirling shades of greens and emeralds twist together like a vortex, drawn in by some powerful, unseen force. This pattern takes up the remainder of the eggs coloring, aside from the bottom of the egg where the round shape ends and blunts out as if it were the base of this strange contraption of an egg.

M'ta wraps a black leather clad arm around Angelique, "Of course I made it. I said I'd be here. Ree's going to make it miserable for it later, I'm sure, but I wanted to be here." He inclines a nod to Zhirayr when the other sits near them, then turns his gaze out to the sands, "Looks like a lovely clutch so far."

Abigail offers smile and nods to the ones already there. "Hello Angelique, how are ye feeling?" This said before she takes a seat behind the one she was just greeting. Her pale gaze drifts towards the others. "Zahirayr, Polana.." There is a pause while she glances to Xavier and M'ta, names are so not there but they both get a friendly smile and nod none the less. She is soon looking back towards the sands.

To Xavier Polana lets out a small 'hmm' sound before leaning forward, trying to get a better look at the egg. Eventually she says, "yeah, blue looks likely. But I could also see brown, probably not gold or bronze though." Oh, look, another egg! Her grin looks big enough to split her face in half as she exclaims, "green! That one's gotta be green."

Everybody's sitting, everybody's watching, everybody's… already betting, and Zhirayr isn't really any different than the rest: he's just writing his bets down, as he makes them in his head, along with marking which egg-by-description gets laid in what order. His attention is pulled away from his compatriots in the stands to most recent egg, instead, and his gaze narrows speculatively. Outside-shell-blue for the first; outside-shell-green for the second. So… that'll be brown and bronze, then? "How's the ankle?" is an afterthought that might or might not even really be directed at Angelique.

Kimmila waves her right hand once. "Hey." That's all the greeting anyone is going to get as she flops into a seat.

Xavier nods his head as he listens, "Yeah, I could see all of those." Then the next egg and he looks over it he notices the green colouring just as Polana beats him to the punch in saying it. "It looks really green but I mean I guess it might not be right?"

From the sands, There's a lot of fussing going on on these here sands. A lot of hole digging. And a lot of nose rubbing and quiet soothing statements from Inri, which Kouzevelth makes an external show of not needing (but, actually, is thriving off of). Over the next hour, she produces five more eggs, though it doesn't seem like she's done yet.

Th'ero settles Kyzen comfortably in his lap, making sure to have a firm hold on the toddler's harness though it's unlikely he'll go anywhere. The child is more entranced by all the people and the sounds! "Doing well, thank you." he'll murmur belatedly to Xavier and then quirks a brow as the wagering on the colors are already well under way. The Weyrleader chuckles dryly. "Now, now… The betting usually starts once ALL the eggs are laid." Right? And then as the show really begins, well… he'll just slip an arm around Kimmila and wait it out.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ All Become Flawless Egg ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Dark and sombre could be the best words to describe this egg, its shell cloaked in it with only slight variations in the murky depths to give some illusion of shapes and ghostly forms. Silhouettes cast in stark outlines of deep blues, greys and whites as if lit from behind or from the sides by some unseen source of light that washes out all the finer details. Enough can be seen to make out what looks like the curved edge of a debris littered stage and the true eye catching part is not the stage itself but the two figures poised in challenge at either end. Looming up against the dark expanse of the rounded side of the egg is a twisted monstrosity of a creature, born of living flame, vivid and sinister reds and oranges almost eye blindingly bright. Grotesque faces, sharp teeth and claws, it seems forever shifting under the light, a trick of the eye and mind but unsettling all the same. It has begun to pool over the edge of the steel blue stage, extending outwards in a loose semi-circle as if ready to snare its prey. For below it, so infinitely small against its size is a lone, white clad figure, its head held high and arms held out stiffly at its side in a pose of defiant challenge, unafraid as it takes its final stand against its foe.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Timeless Struggle of Mankind Egg ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Across the large, oval egg that sits nestled in the sands, shadows of dark and light dance in circle patterns around it. Hidden within the darker areas and easily seen against the white are large slashes of colors that cover the entire spectrum of colors. Blues collide with reds to send sparks of purple hues away from them. Greens collide with yellows to blend them into a bright field of colors. Each slash of color is a long, thin rod with blurred edges where each color strikes the other. Where at first it appears to be randomness there is a pattern that emerges the longer one looks at this particular egg. A ragged line that blends unevenly the black into the white it's evident that roughly half the egg is covered with the black backdrop while the other egg is the white mottled background. Each has their own slashes of colors to dominate and wage war against each other. The only question is who is winning?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Cell Your Sole Egg ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Red. Red. Eye-piercing red covers the top of this egg, fading into a myriad of blacks and silvers and a firm, thick, brown bottom. Those familiar with machinery might almost think the black-and-silver twisting created the shape of gears, or that if you looked at it funny the red at the top seemed to blink occasionally — but it couldn't be, could it? After all, this is just an egg; it certainly isn't holding any secret mechanisms and it absolutely has no need for an indicator light. Its shell is thicker than some others, though not so much for a dragonhealer to be concerned, and looks nearly leathery-smooth on the surface; elegance hiding the irritation that might be hidden beneath the shell.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Into a Billion Pieces Egg ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Thousands of tiny beams of light move vertically across the surface of this long, elongated egg. Stretched out as if it were being pulled from both ends at once, both sides of this egg are linked with countless strands of color. Though the base of the egg is black, the cream and blue lines make it difficult to identify what might lurk beneath its shell, flickering and flashing and confusing the eye.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Freefall Through the Universe Egg ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Dark stone encircles the circumference of this egg at the widest point. Appearing to have been fashioned by design rather than natural occurrence, it bears indecipherable symbols at regular intervals. Contained within the stone is a shimmering clear blue pool, across which irregular diamond patterns seem to waver and dance while the underside of the shell lies in shadow, mysterious and unfathomable. One can almost sense the energy contained within; a seething promise, the taste of things unknown; the scent of far off adventure. Is it a portal to the stars or a passage to disaster?

Kimmila leans sleepily against Th'ero, and the bluerider actually dozes off a bit during the clutching. Rude? Or practical? Discuss.

Angelique assures anyone and everyone who asks about the ankle. "ankle is better. Still weak and sore after being on it all day but no longer am I on light duty!" she seems thrilled at that. Leaning into M'ta a bit she's still all smiles. "Well give Ree my thanks." then her attention is on the sands as eggs are being laid within dug holes over the next hour. There's little reason to chat too much but she'll murmur or ooh and ah over any egg that catches her attention.

By the time so many eggs have hatched Polana is practically clinging to Xavier. It actually looks like tears are beginning to fall from her eyes. "That rainbow one! It's so, do BIG! And that long, creamy light one… It, it looks gold! Do you think it's a gold!?" Gone is the composure that she normally tries to hold herself with. As a matter of fact, Polana looks like she might just have a heart attack. Reverse-Kimmila, activate!

Zhirayr is tired enough, now, that his "notes" are starting to look more like "doodles", with little fire-lizard monsters crawling around between the eggs and pretending to be candidates. Good thing nobody's going to actually look at those notes, right? He stifles a yawn, hard, and bites a knuckle to keep from squeaking. Nobody saw that. Everybody's looking at the eggs and the weyrwoman and the shiny gold dragon, right? And the … toddler … there was a toddler where did it go.

Abigail half listens in on the conversation around her, though if she dozes off a bit now and then she won't admit it. Her arms are folded in front of her and she shifts a bit to lean back more in her chair, which while it is not /that/ comfy at the moment it doesn't bother her. Every now and then she cracks open an eye to peer out at the sands. "Mighty nice clutch." A slight yawn escaping her once that is said though.
"He says you can thank him with scritches after the eggs are done being laid." M'ta's brows arch at the sudden increase in pace, "She's not a lingerer, is she?"

Xavier was just entralled for the last little while, not realizing that Polana is nearly clinging to him. The eggs keeping his attention the whole time, he gets the sense that a fair bit of time has gone by as one egg then another gets placed. "Wow, I am always so impressed by this. It's amazing everytime." He looks at the sands, "I don't think it's quite over yet."

From the sands, Hopefully nobody's looking at the weyrwoman, considering she has also basically fallen asleep on her perch on her dragon's foot as Kouzevelth has stopped to rest herself. They're allowed to look at the dragon, though. The dragon is not — quite — finished. With a final stretch, she raises to her feet again (offsetting Inri, who is now Completely Awake) and produces one //very last egg. For real. This is it. It's laid, it's buried, she can sleep now, right?//

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Deadly Heart of a Secret World Egg ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
From the sands, Comparatively small, this egg seems at first to be unassuming; it sits at a slight angle on the sands, round with a slight jagged edge to one side. Brown at its base, sandy-tan and electric blue swirling and melding around each other on the rest of the shell, dashed with hints of sparkling orange, it is attractive in a traditional sort of way but not anything to really speak of. Let light catch it at the right angle, though, and it glitters and sparks, illuminating the blue on its shell into a piercing, overwhelming glow; a light that could give so much and take so much away. Blink, and it's gone, back to a simple stony egg in a pile of hot sand.

Th'ero might doze off too or maybe he's just really focused. Because for the next hour or so the Weyrleader is completely silent until it seems as though Kouzevelth may be near the last of her clutching. He'll shift a bit in his seat then and clear his throat, "Looks like a good, healthy clutch. No complications…" he murmurs and then subtly gives Kimmila a nudge. Wake up! And if she doesn't fast enough? He'll plunk Kyzen into her lap. Not that it matters, as the toddler is dead asleep. One last egg is laid to the sands and Th'ero smirks, chuckling dryly. "Now I think it's done. Not bad, not bad at all for her first…" But he's not about to linger here. Another gentle nudge to Kimmila and he whispers something to her ear before he's pushing to his feet and heading for the stairs. No doubt he's off to oversee the last minute preparations for a party!

Kimmila is awoken by…child-in-lap. Not fair. "I'll go give him back and meet you in the caverns," the bluerider says, picking up the toddler a bit awkwardly and carrying him down the stairs. Don't wake up, don't wake up, don't wake up.

Angelique is mostly awake now too! "Mmm…" she remarks towards M'ta. "Lookit…" she indicates the last couple eggs laid and buried. Someone's got their first two favorite eggs for now. As it appears that sleep is happening down there to indicate that the egg laying is done she stands, tugging at M'ta's hand to stand with. "I'll give him a quick scratch then I must get to the Living caverns to help with the preparations."

M'ta gives her a squeeze, "They're all beautiful. They always are." He brushes a quick kiss against her cheek, "But I won't let him waylay you long from your duties. What's the planned menu?"

Zhirayr interrupts, speaking up to answer M'ta's question: "Food, of course." It's a wry quip, off-the-cuff, but honestly — well, if the two of them have been in the galleries all evening, how in Faranth's name are they supposed to know?

Xavier nudges Polana, "Look at that one there? It makes me think it's either a gold or a bronze, just the way the colours on it melt together and the way the light catches it." He stiffles a yawn as he finishes saying this, "I can't wait for the party, what about you Polana?"

Abigail stretches as she stands up, a hand moving to scratch at her neck before she is humming a faint tune to herself. "Well done." Well done indeed. She follows along after the others towards the caverns to offer a hand in helping with things if it is needed. Hearing Zhirayr she sends him an amused glance and grins to Angelique. "Hey I got that stuff we was talking about the other day. Catch me tomorrow an I'll get it for ye." Because if she goes back to her Weyr now she is so going to sleep.