Near Truenoth, the Stoic Pebble egg had been sitting unassuming and likely overlooked as first one crack appeared in its surface and then another. More and more cracks rippled through the hardened egg shell. When a thick muzzle poked its way out the top and then a head, it was hard to tell where Hatchling started and the egg ended. The color of the dragon was almost the same shade as his granite home.
Truenoth had never in his life encountered anything that could have prepared him for this experience of guarding a clutch of his own eggs, of being there when they Hatched. He wished he could see them. But he knew they were there. He could hear them. He leaned in to sniff at the head that had emerged from the nearby egg.
((Hello,)) he said. ((I am Truenoth, your sire. And I am happy to meet you.))
A melodic voice seemed to laugh. A joyful sound, not a mocking one – but there seemed to be an air of mystery about it. Like she knew something Truenoth did not.
((And you,)) said the bronze to the voice. ((Where are you, little one?))
((A world apart, though close at hand,)) said the Hatchling. The dragonet, perhaps. Truenoth was certain now that she had not yet Hatched and could not properly be called a Hatchling.
((Will you not come out to meet me?)) he asked her.
((Am I within, or is the outside world the true microcosm?))
Truenoth tilted his head curiously.
((My wit is keen,)) said the voice dolefully, ((yet my knowledge is bound… A wider world will unlock the latter… the former will serve as my path forward.))
The tan Hatchling pushed his claws up between his head and the shell and pushed. Gradually the egg gave away and out spilled the stocky brown. He shook his head as he stood up as if trying to clear it.
((Hello,)) the tan dragon answered Truenoth slowly. It was hard to tell if he was just a slow speaker or perhaps not the brightest dragon of the bunch. ((I... am Tredamth.))
After spreading his wings and then stretching, he turned a slow circle to look up at his sire. ((You are big but you are not my dam,)) he said, eyes whirling and voice full of surprise. To the voice he added, ((I do not think you are my dam either.))
((Can that seed which is yet untouched by the light bear fruit?)) the voice asked.
Truenoth leaned in to sniff the egg he thought might contain the voice. Was she waiting for something? He lightly touched the shell with his muzzle.
((Are you here, my unhatched daughter?))
To answer him, a green muzzle poked up through the top of the Bricked Skull egg to touch him.
((Well done!)) she said, and a moment later, the entire shell cracked open as she spread her wings. ((You found me. I am Xinspeth, your reward.))
Truenoth rumbled mirthfully.
((Welcome, Xinspeth. Welcome, Tredamth. It is my great honor to know you at long last.))
((Who are you?)) Tredamth asked the bronze. He started at a trot to get closer to Truenoth’s head, but didn’t have the coordination yet. He tripped on his wings and went head over heels tumbling down an incline of sand until he came to a heaping stop.
((Oof,)) he protested, shaking himself off. ((Maybe I don’t even know myself yet.))
((I am your sire,)) said Truenoth. ((I have guarded you day and night since you were laid on these Sands – along with Talith. Who is also your sire.)) How confusing. He would have helped the little one to his feet, but he could not see to do so.
((Fascinating… What dragon has two sires? And no dam?)) Xinspeth wondered, casting about to find a gold, any gold.
((I did not know I could have two sires,)) Tredamth said, sitting on his butt and scratching at his headknobs with a claw.
((You have two great sires,)) Foreth called from her spot in the Upper Caverns. ((They are wise. You should listen to Truenoth.))
((But where are you?)) Tredamth sat up and looked around, only to almost fall over again.
((Your dam watches over you with your sires' help,)) said Truenoth. ((And you will see her. For now, you have something important to see to.))
((A dam we have indeed, a hidden dam… A mystery. I am the daughter of a mysterious dam and two wise sires. A riddle in flesh and bone.)) Xinspeth was positively delighted.
((Will you help me find our dam?)) Tredamth asked, settling back down. He looked at Xinspeth. ((You know a lot. Where can we find her?))
((She is near… She watches over us,)) said Xinspeth as she continued to gaze upward for signs of the gold dragon who must be their mother. ((What is close by, yet beyond sight? What knows you well, yet lies outside your ken? Hmm…))
Xinspeth was frustrated that the riddles' answers eluded her. She was meant to be the one spinning them, not struggling to unravel them.
((She is like these,)) said the green, indicating the other eggs. Close, but hidden. ((Or perhaps like those.)) She gestured to the crowd watching them. They had been there all along, had they not? Yet she had not noticed them. Perhaps their dam was in plain sight but somehow beyond her notice – beyond her attention.
((I am half, only, of what I need.)) There must be some knowledge she lacked but could gain.
((Do you want to go look, Smart One?)) the brown asked. (((I will help you solve this mystery if you will help me. Just tell me where to go.))
((The only way to solve that which is yet unsolvable is to learn that which you do not know,)) said Xinspeth. Her eyes whirled blue and green to be called Smart. ((Where lies the unknown, Diligent One?))
((I...I don’t know,)) Tredamth said, unable to follow her cryptic wording. He did understand ‘where’, so he turned. It sounded like maybe she wanted him to take the lead. He gestured with a foreclaw. ((How about this way?))
((Lead on,)) said Xinspeth, rather amused and ready to go wherever Tredamth might take her. After all, it could only be someplace new.
A decision made, however tentatively, the brown started off in the indicated direction. ((There is a rock over there. Maybe we can see better.))
((Ah, yes. A vantage point on high reveals things as yet unseen from below.)) Unseen from below… Xinspeth gazed upward again. Her golden dam must be somewhere up high…
She followed Tredamth to the rock and climbed upward to look all around. There were those white-clad things, then more like them even further beyond. No white. And there were eggs. A bronze dragon, Truenoth, their sire. And a brown. Talith, their sire.
((Do you think those white-clad things know something?)) Tredamth asked. ((There are so many of them. Surely someone can tell us where to go and what to do.))
((Everyone knows something,)) said Xinspeth. ((Four legs walk down the hill. Six legs leave the hill behind. Yes?)) She had to find the one who knew the most. If she could have that advantage starting off, she would stay well ahead of the others…
Tredamth didn’t know much, but something was telling him that the white creatures knew something he didn’t. He strained until he was as tall as possible and looked over the group.
Suddenly his eyes settled on one particular thing in white. No, person. As Impression set in the word came to mind. ((Ronhim, come show me where to go!))
Xinspeth was concerned… perhaps concerned was not the best word. Worried? Afraid? She hated to think she was vulnerable to such things. But for a moment, it seemed Tredamth was going to pick the white-clad thing who knew the most. When he did not, she was relieved. She had to get there now. Quickly, before anyone else tried to claim hers.
((Zosime, shall we make six legs of it?))
Under the watchful eyes of their sires, the two Hatchlings finally found their lifemates. The riddle was solved.
Dragonet - Tredamth: Tredamth is as unprepossessing as his egg. When he hatched, it was hard to tell where the dragon began and the egg ended. He is the same color as his egg, though not the same texture. He sits quietly, and can be mistaken for a granite statue by those who don't know him.
The best way to describe Tredamth is "stocky". His wingspan is slightly less than other dragons and his body a little larger. This hides his flaming capacity - he will be able to sustain a flame longer than most dragons. This will give him an advantage that puts him at point, because he will sear more Thread than his wingmates, leaving them to pick up the stragglers. No, he's not SuperDragon, but he's close.
Dragonet - Xinspeth: Xinspeth has a light colored head that leads into a light colored body. She is sleek, but strong with long wings and large for a a green. She will be a superior hunter, but a very messy one and her rider will have to have a strong stomach for this reason.
Xinspeth is very gregarious and loves having a lot of attention around her, but she is a trickster and loves her riddles and she has no qualms make sure that you know that she thinks she's superior when you don't know the answer to her riddles. She is possessive and even with her rider, she will like to take and hide things use the riddle trick to try to keep from giving them back. On more than one occasion her rider will be late to something important because Xinspeth will refuse to give up her straps or agree to give them a ride before they've answered something to her satisfaction.
Xinspeth will be particularly fascinated with babies and hatchlings and from early on will want to know whether they come from and how they come about and will be insistent that her rider have babies for her.
His mind was too busy for this. Ronhim was having a lot of trouble thinking warm and welcoming thoughts. So much was going on in the Weyr and his heart was still full of unresolved anger...and being awakened in the middle of the night didn't help any! Still, this was the reason he was here; to find his own dragon and to then make a difference in the world. He so desperately wanted to do something important in life and to be more than what everyone had expected of him. He wasn't stupid and he could be more than a drudge....and this might be his chance to prove it.
Doing his best to clear his head he did marvel at how different this hatching was. Ronhim was a bit better prepared and at least his robe fit this time. Watching the the green and brown hatchlings with some amusement something began to bubble up in the back of his mind. His eyes focused on the little brown as it came running towards him and he felt the voice for the first time in his mind...and it felt like it belonged there. It felt so very right.
((Ronhim, come show me where to go!))
The new weyrling fell to his knees at the contact, happy tears coming to his face. Never had he imagined it would feel like this. For a short moment he forget everything he had been taught about what was supposed to happen now. At least till the first waves of hunger hit him. Collecting his wits he stood as quickly as possible, after giving Tredamth a warm hug in greeting of course!
"Yes....yes....we need to feed you. Come, follow me."
He began to walk, a bit dazed with the emotion of it all. And with that the new pair left the sands to begin their new life together.