As the cold winds of winter come once more to Fort Weyr, and the former weyrlings are looking for their own weyrs, a few are looking to the youngest of queens.

"Just how old is Xerosaeth?" One rider asks of another.

"At least two turns." Answers another.

A third is seen counting on fingers before speaking, "She's nearly two and a half turns, actually. If I'm counting right."

"Her rider is a dragonhealer… shouldn't she be a little worried that her gold hasn't gone proddy yet?" The first wonders.

"It's not exact science, you know… she'll rise when she rises." The second says with a shake of his head.

"Yeah, but most golds go up right around two turns!" The first is quick to interject.

With a shrug, the third murmurs, "She'll go up when she goes up and not a moment before she's ready."

"But what if… she's a dud? What if she can't handle the cold of Fort? She was hatched at Igen, afterall!" The first comments.

"Oh hush.. that doesn't matter one bit. You let the goldriders hear you talking about one of them being a dud, and you'll find yourself a dud right quick!" Says the third.

Kassala's gold, Xerosaeth, is over two turns old now, and many have been watching the newest queen of Fort to see if they might be the first to spy a particular shimmer to her hide. There's bets needing cashing in on! And yet, day after day, week after week, there is no shimmer of proddiness to be noted. Could she be a dud???