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Hatching - Solving a Dark Puzzle #HatchingForeth2020


sailyn2
 

Despite the horrendous start to the whole affair, the Healers bustling the mangled body of the Candidate away behind the covered screen of their own bodies and ushering the other Candidate who had gotten caught in the midst of the carnage off the Sands herself to tend to the wounds on her arms that streamed with blood, the fact was, the Hatching had to continue. And continue it did. However, there were still two eggs sitting up on the upper Caverns that no doubt, were at the forefront of many minds. Especially the female Candidates who were being called up according to those who had been approved to see the gold eggs in the first place and a few select others, to join Foreth in surrounding the two large, glittering eggs that were undoubtedly gold.


Perhaps the more ruthless or competitive of them might be quietly elated at seeing one of their competition removed. No doubt there may have been more than one thought that Ysolde might have been something of a shoe-in and if anyone had placed any bets, they might be sorely disappointed to watch the bloodied, distraught girl be gently led away by the Healers. There would be no Hatching for her. At least not today.


For those that had been called up to join Foreth, the tension cranked up a notch. But downstairs, eggs were still hatching and when they weren’t ripping apart Candidates, they were still going on to find their new Riders exactly as they were meant to be. Things will still going… more or less… to plan. Even if some of the hatchlings were, thus far, just downright creepy.


The lighting in the Upper Caverns was even dimmer than it was for the Lower Caverns. The area was tiny compared to down below with just enough room for Foreth, the eggs, two ACMs, and the Candidates. If the whole of the Candidates had had to fit up there, they might have had trouble, but with only the select group of girls that had been largely called up before the first egg cracked, there was plenty of room.


Downstairs there was a lot going on, but it seemed like the gold eggs were taking their time. Every Once in a while one or the other would give a twitch. Or maybe that was just the imagination of the girls who wanted the gold eggs.


Time ticked by while the sounds downstairs swelled each time a new Impression occurred. Then things began to happen.


A claw punctured near the top of the Gilded Cage Egg and twisted in a half circle until the gold inside pushed the way out like stepping through a door. The gold who stepped out took a powerful but dainty step forward as she shed her cage. She stopped to pose regally. Everything about her screamed femininity, her body the shimmering color of a lady’s finest gold colored dress.


((Finally, I am free!)) she bugled.


(( And you are loud. )) The disgruntled voice from inside the First Temptation Egg seemed to bristle with annoyance for all that the egg had barely even begun to quiver. It had sat solemnly quiet and still throughout all of the events thus far with only the occasional shiver of movement. It seemed that for all intents and purposes, the occupant was in far less of a hurry than her sister to step out into the world. The shimmering shell, so similar in texture to densely packed, clay soil began to sway a little, calmly beginning to rock from side to side as faint lines began to appear over the surface. (( I hope you are not always this tiresomely noisy. )) There was a distinct note of snobbery in the soft but very female voice as the lines began to spread faster and faster over the shell’s surface.


As if someone had shattered a mirror and watched the pieces fall to the ground, all of a sudden the shell seemed to collapse, cascading in pieces around a slender gold hatchling whose hide seemed to shift and swirl with various shades of gold all blending into one. Casting her nose into the air, the hatchling sniffed deeply, her tongue flickering out as though she were tasting the very air itself. (( Hmmm…. )) She said thoughtfully. (( … I smell death on the air… ))


((I hope you’re not always so creepy,)) the first gold said, her nose in the air. ((Actually, I hope you are, because who would welcome a creepy gold? A refined, beautiful gold like me will be much more adored and sought out.))


Above, Foreth rumbled with satisfaction, clearly not upset by the already apparent rivalry appearing and with no Kassia to control her, she was still doing exactly what she wanted even if that meant being willing to encourage and stop the actions between the golds at whim.


(( Oh joy, a vacuous airhead. What a delight. )) The occupant of the now thoroughly destroyed First Temptation egg stretched languidly, her mind-voice seeming thoroughly bored with the whole thing. Again the tendrils of a scent caught her attention and she cautiously sniffed the air. (( You are foolish if you cannot sense it. Terrible things have already happened tonight. Things that cannot be undone. Pay a little more attention to things other than your own vanity, foolish child. )) That she was exactly the same age - if not hatched a few minutes later - seemed to completely escape Nimoth as she stretched, each moment filled with an easy and captivating grace. 


((Maybe I’d be more likely to listen to you if you focused on more than the macabre.)) The first gold flicked her tail dismissively. ((I do appreciate you admitting that you’re ugly. Beauty can be used so neatly in so many ways. An ugly gold could do no such thing. Even if you’re smart, if you’re ugly you’ll have to work harder to be taken seriously because who would want to look at you? What is your name anyway? I’m sure it’s as hideous as you are.))


The sonorous bugle that came from the second gold was perhaps as close to a laugh as anyone could imagine a dragon being capable of making. (( Oh you dear, dear thing. I am well aware of my own wondrous beauty. Aware that I am perfection cast from a mold that would make artists weep with joy for the sheer sight of me. )) And despite her bragging, if it was that, there was a truth to her words. As she moved on her feet, it was evident that there was a graceful elegance to her proportions, even as a newborn. She had none of the evident clumsiness that was often so common in hatchlings, moving instead with an easy fluidity. (( Unlike yourself however, I feel no need to proclaim my glory. For I am already aware of it. And that is why I do not need to kowtow to your foolish prattling. Things have happened that you should pay heed to. ))


Flicking her wings, wings that were streaks with bright gold atop deep and aging tones, the gold neatly tucked her limbs into a sitting position. (( Though I care little for the thoughts you might have of my name, I suppose you shall have it. Let it be branded into your silly head that you might remember the name Nimoth! )) And Nimoth, for that was indeed her name, snorted derisively at her golden sister, clearly disdainful of her vanity and silly pride.


The first gold just snickered and flicked her tail dismissively. ((I am easily more perfect than you, dear one, though I have little need to call names. That’s the sign of lesser intelligence.)) And she was no less elegant and beautiful, her elegance and beauty just leant itself to more of a femininity than her sister. Foreth had done a good job, at least as far as looks went, with both young golds. ((And look at you posing as much as I do. You just sit like a common green instead of walking like me.))

To demonstrate, the slightly older gold sauntered across the sands, the meager light flashing across her golden baby body. She didn’t even bother to look back as the other gold proclaimed her name. ((Nimoth? A perfectly boring and ugly name, but it’s befitting of a younger, lesser gold. Not like Andorath which is befitting of an older, smart, more beautiful gold. But I will give you a gift. The gift of thinking you are anywhere near my equal.))


(( Mhmm. Whatever you say. )) There was a placid amusement to Nimoth’s voice as if to suggest that she wasn’t remotely interested in the opinions of her sister. And she wasn’t. Even fresh from her egg, Nimoth was already comfortably self-assured and did not need to proclaim it. Instead her quiet confidence radiated from her like a blazing aura and instead she cast her whirling gaze to her mother sitting high above them. (( Where are the others? I sense that there are more than us. But they are not here. Why is that? )) 


As far as Nimoth was concerned, her foolish sister could goad her all she liked. But she knew that there was something important happening. She could sense it all around her but could not quite fathom it.


((I don’t need more,)) Andorath replied. ((I’m good enough. I don’t know why I have to deal with you though.))

It was a puzzle, though Andorath didn’t want to admit it. She liked puzzles, but she didn’t like most dragons, she knew that already. Her sisters (not her golden brat of a sibling), she liked, but she knew instinctively that she wouldn’t like most of the other dragons so she wasn’t sure she wanted to solve the puzzle.


She looked over at the Candidates. ((Is that it? There should be more of those white things.)) She wasn’t sure how she knew that, but she did. She craned her back, way back, to see Foreth’s head. ((Are these all the white ones? Did the rest die? Is that why the Golden Brat over there is insisting that there was death?))


((No,)) Foreth rumbled with amusement. ((Those are the ones you pick from. Mine and I chose them specifically for you.))


Nimoth looked about her, large eyes taking in the darkness that touched the corners and gave the room creeping shadows. For some reason, the darkness pleased her greatly, even if she wasn’t sure why. Still carefully sitting, looking for all the world like the feline statues that graced mantles around Pern, the gold appeared to be contemplative. When her mother spoke, her whirling eyes flickered towards the group of gathered girls and she inspected them for several long moments before huffing and flicking her head away in disgust. They seemed incredibly boring. And nervous. She could sense it coming off them in waves. 


(( How did you chose them? )) She asked of Foreth imperiously. (( Is that all we have to choose from? What if we don’t like any of them? )) The choices seemed… well, very limited. Nimoth inspected the small gaggle of girls and seemed somewhat irritated, as if the very fact that a choice had been made on her behalf seemed to irk her somehow. She wanted to make her own decisions! And on top of all of that, she just couldn’t shake the feeling of something terrible having happened. Was it something that happened today? Something before? Nimoth was convinced that she could feel the echoes of terror all about her and it concerned her, concerned as well to some degree that her vain, foolish sister couldn’t appreciate that. (( Where are the rest of us? )) she insisted again, noting that her question had been ignored in favour of her sister’s own.


((You will choose from these,)) Foreth growled. It wasn’t a compulsion, but there was anger there that she was being questioned. If they didn’t like them, fine. But not the questioning. ((These are the ones that were the best. The others were not worthy of you. Pick someone else if you want, but they’ll be inferior.)) And Foreth might always think of either of them as inferior, especially the rude one, if they chose otherwise.


((There is a puzzle here,)) Andorath said, sniffing and looking around. The death was getting more to her than she wanted her annoying sister to know. ((I will worry about what has happened elsewhere once I have figured it out. The world is good up here. I have time to solve this puzzle and then I can deal with what has happened before. We need to know why the thing happened to something that happened before we can deal with it because we can not stop it now. I want to open the box before me and then I will know everything because it will tell me everything I need to know. Whether it’s good or not.))


Andorath got up and started with what was meant to be a pace, but was far too elegant than that. ((If you really cared, brat, you would solve the puzzle with me so we can hurry this up.))


Nimoth huffed, flexing and remantling her wings as she peered at her sister. (( And if you weren’t as childish as to resort to petty name calling, I might want to help you. If anyone is behaving like a brat, it is yourself. )) The slim gold hatchling scrutinised the group of girls carefully. They seemed frightfully… well… dull. And again she turned to her mother, her mind-voice more puzzled than challenging or argumentative.


(( But how did you know that these might be the best for me? You did not know me when you decided. So how did you know what was best? )) If anything, Nimoth was a little peeved that someone had dared to presume her best interests without knowing her at all. Why, that was a completely illogical structure on which to base a decision, not all the information was available! A small sliver of rebelliousness made her want to pointedly go in search of something else, something that she had found for herself and had not been chosen on her behalf. But… it was cosy up here. And for the most part, it did feel safe. Ish. The hatchling continued to scrutinise the group. She could sense the tense anticipation around them and for some reason, that seemed to irritate her further. How dare they wait and presume she would want anything to do with them! She flicked her head up and away, pointedly turning her gaze away. (( If they are what has been chosen, that still doesn’t mean they have the right to deserve me. Look at them just standing there. Quivering in the dark like insects waiting for the killing blow to come! )) And the haughty little creature flicked her head all the higher, her blended gold hide shimmering in the faint light of the glows.


((Like I need your help,)) Andorath said with a derisive snort. ((I think I’ll find out the answers to this on my own.)) She walked toward the assembled girls. ((None of these seem like an interesting enough puzzle to me.)) She craned her head up at Foreth. ((I want my own puzzles.))


((These are the ones you’ll get,)) Foreth growled, not liking being talked back to by a Hatchling the size of a claw. ((You’ll like it or you can go back in your egg and I’ll find a different gold Hatchling. You two have already given me enough trouble.))


Andorath cocked her head. ((I hear more somewhere else, maybe we could...)), she added as  she turned toward the stairs leading down and ran right into a golden paw. ((Oooof.))


Tired of having her questions ignored by her mother and aggravated by her childish sister, Nimoth snorted in annoyance, rustling her wings and lashing her tail. Imperiously she looked about her, craning her delicately proportioned head this way and that as she looked. Suddenly this little nook that had seemed quite comforting and cosy at first, suddenly seemed so terribly small. And the gaggle of white things staring nervously at her hardly seemed interesting at all! Well… maybe one or two did… sort of… but even so! Nimoth knew deep in her bones that she was destined for terribly important things, things that would be set in motion from the moment she stepped from her egg.


With whirling eyes, she watched with keen interest as her sister, as annoying as she was, made a sudden dart for a small stairway she hadn’t noticed before. Ah hah. Now there could be an idea. She didn’t want to choose from quivering white shapes that had been picked without knowing her! She wanted something… something else! Something SHE had found and deemed worthy, regardless of what anyone else thought. If she found it for herself, it would be worthy no matter what. 


As Andorath slid to a halt, Nimoth suddenly darted to the side in a vain bid to sidestep Foreth’s massive paw and slither down the steps. If she was determined, she was sure she could do it. Then they would see she bowed to no one


Except Foreth. Who trapped her with a carefully placed paw like a cage.


((Oh no you don’t,)) Foreth said. ((You stay here. You listen or you won’t get out of here until you Impress.)) She was getting sick of the golds acting like...golds. They were still meant to be under her paw, literally and figuratively. They had a very long time until they were anywhere near having the power that Foreth did. The only reason they didn’t get the smack down was that they were babies. And admittedly doing baby stuff.


((Ha!)) Andorath said, because she was not captured. She couldn’t get over the paw and leg either, but that wasn’t the point. ((Once I open my puzzle, the world will be mine. I will cause it all.))


((You both stop being brats or you can both sit under my paw,)) Foreth warned, lowering her head to the ground so that they could see her annoyed eyes whirling, though they had to crane their heads up a way to do so. ((Can you two both behave or are we going to be here a while?))


Caught in her unexpected prison so soon after escaping her first, Nimoth huffed and she puffed and in another story, she might have blown the Weyr down. Instead, she nudged and she batted but it was quite clear that the giant claws weren’t going anywhere.


(( Fine. )) 


It was the sulkiest acquiescence that could be imagined and if looks could kill, both Foreth and Andorath might have been reduced to piles of steaming ash. Nimoth was not impressed that her plans had been thwarted. But then, if she played along just enough, maybe she would get what she wanted after all. Which was… hmm. She wasn’t sure. But it felt ever so important. That was interesting. And somewhat unexpected. It felt like a whisper. Like it had been quietly in the background just waiting to be noticed. The sensation intrigued her. 


(( I can choose whichever I like, but it must be one of them? )) She asked, cocking her head towards the white robed Candidates. Now there was just a hint of curiosity there.


In her own cage, Andorath knew how beautiful she was. It wasn’t vanity. It was truth, although she was happy to play the vain card if it was necessary. Unfortunately, her beauty was going to do nothing to get her dam to listen to her. Time to use her brains, which she conveniently hid unless she needed them. People and other dragons might get easily manipulated by beauty and walk right into her paw.


She sat back down, letting her thoughts rush through her head. ((Perhaps we can take a look at what you have to show us and if we don’t find what we’re looking for here, you will let me go look for it elsewhere. I could bring it back to br...Nimoth. I promise to solve this puzzle.))


Foreth lifted her head again and considered. ((Fine, you look for what is here first. Then I will bring you more to look at. It’s too dangerous for you to leave here without what you’re looking for.))


She lifted her paw off of Andorath only. ((You start looking first.))


Reluctantly, Nimoth had to admit that was a smart move on her sister’s behalf. Not that she would ever tell her. Very well, if she had to act like she was at least doing what she was “supposed” to be, it would be her very best performance. Pressing her face to the digits that confined her, Nimoth looked at the group over with an air of great scrutiny. Not that one. Definitely not that one. Hmm, that one sort of looked a little interesting. In a boring sort of way. Hmm. A spark of an idea.


(( Oh sister, mine… )) she cooed sweetly to Andorath. (( … Why don’t you look at that one? The one with the red top to its head. Why, I think it flatters your beautiful hide most impressively… )) She could play on her sister’s vanity and pride if she had to, who cared if the foolish creature didn’t like her decision as she jutted her nose towards Shalia. The quicker she did whatever it was she had to do, the quicker she would be out of there!


Andorath didn’t like that her sister was giving her suggestions. Just to be contrary she walked back and forth with a good distance between her and the girls.


((Not you. Not You. Not you.)) To her annoyance, she kept eyeing the red haired girl. There was something interesting there.


Yes...something very interesting near there. The feeling grew and grew.


((You may look now,)) Foreth said in unfortunate timing.


Andorath took off full speed at the red haired girl.


As her cage was “opened”, Nimoth shot out like a stone from a sling, shaking out her wings and lashing her tail. Her gnawing irritation was growing because she realised that she was suddenly feeling incredibly impatient about something. Impatient about the need to FIND something. It was determined and hot, threading through her and it caused the tempestuous gold to huff and throw her head about as though irritated by invisible flies. How infuriating! Spotting her sister, Nimoth darted along the Sands, not at all perturbed by the usual clumsiness of hatchlings which seemed remiss in her altogether.


It was like a sensation of hot and cold. Cooler as she moved one way and hotter as she moved another. Important. Like a secret sign telling her which way to go. Her gold body undulated smoothly as she darted towards Shalia. Perhaps it was a little bit of spite, perhaps she wanted to ruffle her sister’s proverbial feathers. But she wanted… she wanted… Skidding to a halt, Nimoth inspected the small group of girls, Shalia at the forefront. Yes, something in this vicinity. She felt as though she were tingling all over as her muzzle thrust forward, sniffing the air. But then, she jumped back as if startled and hissed, her tiny teeth bared as she lowered her head at Shalia.


(( Why is this one here?! )) Her voice seemed filled with fury as she fixed the Candidate with whirling, angry eyes. (( This one shouldn’t be here, she is CLAIMED! )) Nimoth’s whole body seemed aquiver with anger. How dare this white thing trick her into thinking she was important! Recklessly, Nimoth lashed out with a clawed foot, not caring if it came into contact or if it didn’t. All she knew was that this… this… imposter shouldn’t be here!


((She does not solve the puzzle!)) Andorath agreed, her own ire rising. She was a bit ‘softer’ than her sister, if either dragon could be considered ‘soft’, but not by much. This one was tricking them. Andorath had felt something open, almost like something opening in her heart that would be all the world to her and maybe all the world of the Weyr some day. But this wasn’t it.


She bugled. A little baby bugle with a beautiful voice, but one that promised power with time. ((Why are you pretending to be the answer to the PUZZLE?)) Andorath demanded, snapping at the air in front of her and then running at Shalia. She knocked the Candidate right over Nimoth and there was a sickening crack as the Candidate landed.


As the Candidate toppled over her, Nimoth jostled furiously, bucking her back to rid herself of the “imposter” and reckless to the part she might play in any injury that might be incurred. If asked, no doubt she would claim that was entirely Shalia’s own fault for being somewhere she shouldn’t have been at all. Even as the girl hit the ground, Nimoth’s head whipped around as she hissed threateningly at poor Shalia. (( Serves you right! Now get out! Get out now! )) Still prickling with the strange anticipation, Nimoth flicked her head back, fixing her eyes on the strange white shapes in front of her. The strange sensation was still all about her, a feeling that felt as though it made the air crackle and pop.


Nimoth looked all about her as though determined to find the source. Shalia was rapidly forgotten about as she stalked forward, head thrust high. Whatever it was, she wanted it now. And she knew that she could have whatever she wanted. 


Shalia was already forgotten to Andorath. She had bigger puzzles to solve, not why the red haired girl was in her way and not what had happened to her. The answer to the puzzle was near. Very, very near.


She ruffled her wings and lashed her tail in frustration. She needed to find the answer and she needed to find it NOW! Whatever it was, was behind the red haired girl and so, so close.


She felt something...that direction. She took off in the direction of two girls. It was over there, whatever it was!


The boiling urgency was making Nimoth more and more impatient. The longer she waited, the more it seemed to bubble and surge inside of her. She didn’t know what the feeling was. All that she knew was that it was something… important. Not just important, but most of all it was important to her. The churning hunger in her belly warred with the strange emotion, one that she couldn’t name. All she knew was that she had to follow it. But follow it where? Her head weaved and bobbed as she sniffed this way and that, as if she could tell what it was by scent alone. But no, no that didn’t seem to be it at all!


Reluctantly, Nimoth had to admit that whatever it was, it was somewhere in the same direction that her infuriating sister was headed and… Something shifted. Something inside. With a trumpeting bugle, Nimoth shot forward, her whirled eyes a furious crimson. (( Get away from her! )) she exclaimed, charging forward with all her might. Whatever it was, she was determined that Andorath wouldn’t take it from her!


She’d found it. Found her! She just needed to get to her! Andorath was jubilant.


Then out of the corner of her eye she saw Nimoth charging at her. No way was she going to let the other gold take Her away from her. She spun around and dodged, snapping with sharp teeth and slashing viciously as she went. Sharing wasn’t in her vocabulary and she sure wasn’t sharing now. ((CALYSE IS MINE!)) she bugled at the top of her lungs and instead of the beautiful sound from before this one was a piercing shriek of fury.


Gone was languorous, graceful movement. This was a race. A race for the prize she realised she had been seeking from the moment she had left her shell. A prize far beyond petty sisters and obstructive mothers, a prize that was the whole world. Her whole world. As the gold dragonet barrelled forward, she was filled with the singular and pressing desire to claim that which was hers all along. If Candidates got in the way, she certainly didn’t care. If there were scored legs and nipped ankles to make them move, she cared even less. With a hissing snarl of anger, Nimoth lashed back at the flying claws of her sister that had already nicked her beautiful golden hide more than once. She wouldn’t be beaten by this… upstart, this vain and petty fool who spoke nonsense of puzzles. Teeth gnashed and clacked together as her claws flew towards her sister. 


All that mattered was… There. There she was. Right in front of her like the most beautiful thing she had ever seen. Hungry red eyes shifted into glorious, rainbow incandescence as the whirling fury came to a sudden and abrupt stop.


(( Calyse?! I do not care for such a name. It is a name that means nothing to me. I have found my Mendl. For she is mine and no one else’s! No one shall take her from me, least of all you! )) 


At Nimoth’s sudden stop and words, Andorath got one more swipe in and then stopped fighting. She realized that the other dragon wanted nothing to do with the girl that was the best puzzle in the world. Her eyes whirling her own rainbow, she got up and ran to Calyse. She stopped in front of her and the world opened up to her.


((Calyse, you are mine. The world is a puzzle, but we will take it on together and conquer it.))


And just like that, despite the injuries along the way, the Weyr’s newest two golds Impressed and were ready to make their mark on the world. There were only a few more eggs to Hatch and Impress and then Foreth could relax.


 


   

Dragonet - Andorath: If there was ever a gold that could be considered perfectly feminine, Andorath is it. Every bit of her is refined and female from her delicate muzzle and head knots to her long, elegantly long wings, to her tail. Even her coloring is reminiscent of the delicate, shimmering gold of of a Lady Holder's most exquisite finery draped over her large, but not massive body. Foreth was built for power. Andorath was built for beauty and grace.


But don't mistake, underneath all that femininity is its own muscle and power and danger. Feminine and beautiful doesn't mean weak or complacent. Far from it. Andorath has has a brain and she knows when to show it and when to use that beauty to bedazzle instead. She has a fondness for gifts, but they often have drawbacks when given.


She also has a very strong preference for the company of women and green dragons, seeing males as only a means to an end to get things. As a Weyrling, she'll deign to give attention to the males only so that she can get things that she likes, not really enjoy them socially. Her rider and the AWLM will have to watch that she doesn't manipulate them into doing things they shouldn't be doing by her wiles. Same for the greens, but at least she'll enjoy spending time with them socially as well. As for other golds, they are rivals to be put in their place or ignored. At best, she'll listen to the Senior Queen, but otherwise she can't see why any of the other golds are considered better than her.


She's going to need a strong lifemate, as all golds should have, lest she start to twist the people and dragons around her as playthings. Andorath will likely have a close bond to her lifemate, but there is a risk of a lot of fighting if the rider doesn't get control fast. Andorath isn't likely to be a possessive gold, but she does have a strong-will and will exert it when it feels necessary.




 

The Hatching seemed to dragon on for an eternity, though really no inordinate amount of time had passed. Calyse stood among the other girls, turning to watch as a few splintered off to join new lifemates down below. She was happy for them. Their wait was over and they were escaping unscathed, the screaming that echoed ominously in the Cavern proof that not all would walk away happy and unharmed that night. The sickening noises made her hair stand on end, made her body begin to shake from the surge of adrenaline. Fingers balled into fists at her sides as she willed the trembling to stop and focused on the golden eggs just as they began to Hatch.

Calyse gaped in awe. They were a stunning pair and willful if the proverbial butting of heads was anything to go by. She felt her stomach drop as they both tried to abandon the gathered Candidates, but Foreth's intervention had them turning back. It all seemed to happen so fast after that, the injuring of Shalia which made Calyse clap a hand over her mouth to cover the gasp that left her. They were so brutal! It was a shock to witness firsthand, and as both baby queens swung back in her direction she felt her resolve waver. For dragonets fresh from the shell, they were surprisingly quick. When they barreled toward her at speed, she took in a shivering breath to steel her composure and stared the twin heralds of deaths down as they charged, bracing for the impact that never came. The second gold darted elsewhere, further beyond where Calyse was standing.  The first came to an abrupt halt directly before her, tickling her bare legs with a spray of sand. 

((Calyse, you are mine. The world is a puzzle, but we will take it on together and conquer it.))

Breath caught in her throat. Savage scarlet orbs swirled rainbow with love as they stared into her eyes and were it not for the beautiful voice crystal clear in her mind, Calyse would not have been able to believe it. Tears sprang forth unbidden, streaking her cheeks even as she murmured adoringly, reaching forward to wrap her arms around that golden head. "Anything and everything, always together," she answered the baby queen. She'd have stood there forever engrossed in the sensations of warmth and togetherness she'd never before experienced, were it not for the growing hunger that gnawed in the pit of her stomach. Andorath needed food. She knew the steps, now it was time to put them into practice.

On Sat, Sep 5, 2020 at 12:51 PM sailyn2 <empressoftheworld@...> wrote:

Despite the horrendous start to the whole affair, the Healers bustling the mangled body of the Candidate away behind the covered screen of their own bodies and ushering the other Candidate who had gotten caught in the midst of the carnage off the Sands herself to tend to the wounds on her arms that streamed with blood, the fact was, the Hatching had to continue. And continue it did. However, there were still two eggs sitting up on the upper Caverns that no doubt, were at the forefront of many minds. Especially the female Candidates who were being called up according to those who had been approved to see the gold eggs in the first place and a few select others, to join Foreth in surrounding the two large, glittering eggs that were undoubtedly gold.


Perhaps the more ruthless or competitive of them might be quietly elated at seeing one of their competition removed. No doubt there may have been more than one thought that Ysolde might have been something of a shoe-in and if anyone had placed any bets, they might be sorely disappointed to watch the bloodied, distraught girl be gently led away by the Healers. There would be no Hatching for her. At least not today.


For those that had been called up to join Foreth, the tension cranked up a notch. But downstairs, eggs were still hatching and when they weren’t ripping apart Candidates, they were still going on to find their new Riders exactly as they were meant to be. Things will still going… more or less… to plan. Even if some of the hatchlings were, thus far, just downright creepy.


The lighting in the Upper Caverns was even dimmer than it was for the Lower Caverns. The area was tiny compared to down below with just enough room for Foreth, the eggs, two ACMs, and the Candidates. If the whole of the Candidates had had to fit up there, they might have had trouble, but with only the select group of girls that had been largely called up before the first egg cracked, there was plenty of room.


Downstairs there was a lot going on, but it seemed like the gold eggs were taking their time. Every Once in a while one or the other would give a twitch. Or maybe that was just the imagination of the girls who wanted the gold eggs.


Time ticked by while the sounds downstairs swelled each time a new Impression occurred. Then things began to happen.


A claw punctured near the top of the Gilded Cage Egg and twisted in a half circle until the gold inside pushed the way out like stepping through a door. The gold who stepped out took a powerful but dainty step forward as she shed her cage. She stopped to pose regally. Everything about her screamed femininity, her body the shimmering color of a lady’s finest gold colored dress.


((Finally, I am free!)) she bugled.


(( And you are loud. )) The disgruntled voice from inside the First Temptation Egg seemed to bristle with annoyance for all that the egg had barely even begun to quiver. It had sat solemnly quiet and still throughout all of the events thus far with only the occasional shiver of movement. It seemed that for all intents and purposes, the occupant was in far less of a hurry than her sister to step out into the world. The shimmering shell, so similar in texture to densely packed, clay soil began to sway a little, calmly beginning to rock from side to side as faint lines began to appear over the surface. (( I hope you are not always this tiresomely noisy. )) There was a distinct note of snobbery in the soft but very female voice as the lines began to spread faster and faster over the shell’s surface.


As if someone had shattered a mirror and watched the pieces fall to the ground, all of a sudden the shell seemed to collapse, cascading in pieces around a slender gold hatchling whose hide seemed to shift and swirl with various shades of gold all blending into one. Casting her nose into the air, the hatchling sniffed deeply, her tongue flickering out as though she were tasting the very air itself. (( Hmmm…. )) She said thoughtfully. (( … I smell death on the air… ))


((I hope you’re not always so creepy,)) the first gold said, her nose in the air. ((Actually, I hope you are, because who would welcome a creepy gold? A refined, beautiful gold like me will be much more adored and sought out.))


Above, Foreth rumbled with satisfaction, clearly not upset by the already apparent rivalry appearing and with no Kassia to control her, she was still doing exactly what she wanted even if that meant being willing to encourage and stop the actions between the golds at whim.


(( Oh joy, a vacuous airhead. What a delight. )) The occupant of the now thoroughly destroyed First Temptation egg stretched languidly, her mind-voice seeming thoroughly bored with the whole thing. Again the tendrils of a scent caught her attention and she cautiously sniffed the air. (( You are foolish if you cannot sense it. Terrible things have already happened tonight. Things that cannot be undone. Pay a little more attention to things other than your own vanity, foolish child. )) That she was exactly the same age - if not hatched a few minutes later - seemed to completely escape Nimoth as she stretched, each moment filled with an easy and captivating grace. 


((Maybe I’d be more likely to listen to you if you focused on more than the macabre.)) The first gold flicked her tail dismissively. ((I do appreciate you admitting that you’re ugly. Beauty can be used so neatly in so many ways. An ugly gold could do no such thing. Even if you’re smart, if you’re ugly you’ll have to work harder to be taken seriously because who would want to look at you? What is your name anyway? I’m sure it’s as hideous as you are.))


The sonorous bugle that came from the second gold was perhaps as close to a laugh as anyone could imagine a dragon being capable of making. (( Oh you dear, dear thing. I am well aware of my own wondrous beauty. Aware that I am perfection cast from a mold that would make artists weep with joy for the sheer sight of me. )) And despite her bragging, if it was that, there was a truth to her words. As she moved on her feet, it was evident that there was a graceful elegance to her proportions, even as a newborn. She had none of the evident clumsiness that was often so common in hatchlings, moving instead with an easy fluidity. (( Unlike yourself however, I feel no need to proclaim my glory. For I am already aware of it. And that is why I do not need to kowtow to your foolish prattling. Things have happened that you should pay heed to. ))


Flicking her wings, wings that were streaks with bright gold atop deep and aging tones, the gold neatly tucked her limbs into a sitting position. (( Though I care little for the thoughts you might have of my name, I suppose you shall have it. Let it be branded into your silly head that you might remember the name Nimoth! )) And Nimoth, for that was indeed her name, snorted derisively at her golden sister, clearly disdainful of her vanity and silly pride.


The first gold just snickered and flicked her tail dismissively. ((I am easily more perfect than you, dear one, though I have little need to call names. That’s the sign of lesser intelligence.)) And she was no less elegant and beautiful, her elegance and beauty just leant itself to more of a femininity than her sister. Foreth had done a good job, at least as far as looks went, with both young golds. ((And look at you posing as much as I do. You just sit like a common green instead of walking like me.))

To demonstrate, the slightly older gold sauntered across the sands, the meager light flashing across her golden baby body. She didn’t even bother to look back as the other gold proclaimed her name. ((Nimoth? A perfectly boring and ugly name, but it’s befitting of a younger, lesser gold. Not like Andorath which is befitting of an older, smart, more beautiful gold. But I will give you a gift. The gift of thinking you are anywhere near my equal.))


(( Mhmm. Whatever you say. )) There was a placid amusement to Nimoth’s voice as if to suggest that she wasn’t remotely interested in the opinions of her sister. And she wasn’t. Even fresh from her egg, Nimoth was already comfortably self-assured and did not need to proclaim it. Instead her quiet confidence radiated from her like a blazing aura and instead she cast her whirling gaze to her mother sitting high above them. (( Where are the others? I sense that there are more than us. But they are not here. Why is that? )) 


As far as Nimoth was concerned, her foolish sister could goad her all she liked. But she knew that there was something important happening. She could sense it all around her but could not quite fathom it.


((I don’t need more,)) Andorath replied. ((I’m good enough. I don’t know why I have to deal with you though.))

It was a puzzle, though Andorath didn’t want to admit it. She liked puzzles, but she didn’t like most dragons, she knew that already. Her sisters (not her golden brat of a sibling), she liked, but she knew instinctively that she wouldn’t like most of the other dragons so she wasn’t sure she wanted to solve the puzzle.


She looked over at the Candidates. ((Is that it? There should be more of those white things.)) She wasn’t sure how she knew that, but she did. She craned her back, way back, to see Foreth’s head. ((Are these all the white ones? Did the rest die? Is that why the Golden Brat over there is insisting that there was death?))


((No,)) Foreth rumbled with amusement. ((Those are the ones you pick from. Mine and I chose them specifically for you.))


Nimoth looked about her, large eyes taking in the darkness that touched the corners and gave the room creeping shadows. For some reason, the darkness pleased her greatly, even if she wasn’t sure why. Still carefully sitting, looking for all the world like the feline statues that graced mantles around Pern, the gold appeared to be contemplative. When her mother spoke, her whirling eyes flickered towards the group of gathered girls and she inspected them for several long moments before huffing and flicking her head away in disgust. They seemed incredibly boring. And nervous. She could sense it coming off them in waves. 


(( How did you chose them? )) She asked of Foreth imperiously. (( Is that all we have to choose from? What if we don’t like any of them? )) The choices seemed… well, very limited. Nimoth inspected the small gaggle of girls and seemed somewhat irritated, as if the very fact that a choice had been made on her behalf seemed to irk her somehow. She wanted to make her own decisions! And on top of all of that, she just couldn’t shake the feeling of something terrible having happened. Was it something that happened today? Something before? Nimoth was convinced that she could feel the echoes of terror all about her and it concerned her, concerned as well to some degree that her vain, foolish sister couldn’t appreciate that. (( Where are the rest of us? )) she insisted again, noting that her question had been ignored in favour of her sister’s own.


((You will choose from these,)) Foreth growled. It wasn’t a compulsion, but there was anger there that she was being questioned. If they didn’t like them, fine. But not the questioning. ((These are the ones that were the best. The others were not worthy of you. Pick someone else if you want, but they’ll be inferior.)) And Foreth might always think of either of them as inferior, especially the rude one, if they chose otherwise.


((There is a puzzle here,)) Andorath said, sniffing and looking around. The death was getting more to her than she wanted her annoying sister to know. ((I will worry about what has happened elsewhere once I have figured it out. The world is good up here. I have time to solve this puzzle and then I can deal with what has happened before. We need to know why the thing happened to something that happened before we can deal with it because we can not stop it now. I want to open the box before me and then I will know everything because it will tell me everything I need to know. Whether it’s good or not.))


Andorath got up and started with what was meant to be a pace, but was far too elegant than that. ((If you really cared, brat, you would solve the puzzle with me so we can hurry this up.))


Nimoth huffed, flexing and remantling her wings as she peered at her sister. (( And if you weren’t as childish as to resort to petty name calling, I might want to help you. If anyone is behaving like a brat, it is yourself. )) The slim gold hatchling scrutinised the group of girls carefully. They seemed frightfully… well… dull. And again she turned to her mother, her mind-voice more puzzled than challenging or argumentative.


(( But how did you know that these might be the best for me? You did not know me when you decided. So how did you know what was best? )) If anything, Nimoth was a little peeved that someone had dared to presume her best interests without knowing her at all. Why, that was a completely illogical structure on which to base a decision, not all the information was available! A small sliver of rebelliousness made her want to pointedly go in search of something else, something that she had found for herself and had not been chosen on her behalf. But… it was cosy up here. And for the most part, it did feel safe. Ish. The hatchling continued to scrutinise the group. She could sense the tense anticipation around them and for some reason, that seemed to irritate her further. How dare they wait and presume she would want anything to do with them! She flicked her head up and away, pointedly turning her gaze away. (( If they are what has been chosen, that still doesn’t mean they have the right to deserve me. Look at them just standing there. Quivering in the dark like insects waiting for the killing blow to come! )) And the haughty little creature flicked her head all the higher, her blended gold hide shimmering in the faint light of the glows.


((Like I need your help,)) Andorath said with a derisive snort. ((I think I’ll find out the answers to this on my own.)) She walked toward the assembled girls. ((None of these seem like an interesting enough puzzle to me.)) She craned her head up at Foreth. ((I want my own puzzles.))


((These are the ones you’ll get,)) Foreth growled, not liking being talked back to by a Hatchling the size of a claw. ((You’ll like it or you can go back in your egg and I’ll find a different gold Hatchling. You two have already given me enough trouble.))


Andorath cocked her head. ((I hear more somewhere else, maybe we could...)), she added as  she turned toward the stairs leading down and ran right into a golden paw. ((Oooof.))


Tired of having her questions ignored by her mother and aggravated by her childish sister, Nimoth snorted in annoyance, rustling her wings and lashing her tail. Imperiously she looked about her, craning her delicately proportioned head this way and that as she looked. Suddenly this little nook that had seemed quite comforting and cosy at first, suddenly seemed so terribly small. And the gaggle of white things staring nervously at her hardly seemed interesting at all! Well… maybe one or two did… sort of… but even so! Nimoth knew deep in her bones that she was destined for terribly important things, things that would be set in motion from the moment she stepped from her egg.


With whirling eyes, she watched with keen interest as her sister, as annoying as she was, made a sudden dart for a small stairway she hadn’t noticed before. Ah hah. Now there could be an idea. She didn’t want to choose from quivering white shapes that had been picked without knowing her! She wanted something… something else! Something SHE had found and deemed worthy, regardless of what anyone else thought. If she found it for herself, it would be worthy no matter what. 


As Andorath slid to a halt, Nimoth suddenly darted to the side in a vain bid to sidestep Foreth’s massive paw and slither down the steps. If she was determined, she was sure she could do it. Then they would see she bowed to no one


Except Foreth. Who trapped her with a carefully placed paw like a cage.


((Oh no you don’t,)) Foreth said. ((You stay here. You listen or you won’t get out of here until you Impress.)) She was getting sick of the golds acting like...golds. They were still meant to be under her paw, literally and figuratively. They had a very long time until they were anywhere near having the power that Foreth did. The only reason they didn’t get the smack down was that they were babies. And admittedly doing baby stuff.


((Ha!)) Andorath said, because she was not captured. She couldn’t get over the paw and leg either, but that wasn’t the point. ((Once I open my puzzle, the world will be mine. I will cause it all.))


((You both stop being brats or you can both sit under my paw,)) Foreth warned, lowering her head to the ground so that they could see her annoyed eyes whirling, though they had to crane their heads up a way to do so. ((Can you two both behave or are we going to be here a while?))


Caught in her unexpected prison so soon after escaping her first, Nimoth huffed and she puffed and in another story, she might have blown the Weyr down. Instead, she nudged and she batted but it was quite clear that the giant claws weren’t going anywhere.


(( Fine. )) 


It was the sulkiest acquiescence that could be imagined and if looks could kill, both Foreth and Andorath might have been reduced to piles of steaming ash. Nimoth was not impressed that her plans had been thwarted. But then, if she played along just enough, maybe she would get what she wanted after all. Which was… hmm. She wasn’t sure. But it felt ever so important. That was interesting. And somewhat unexpected. It felt like a whisper. Like it had been quietly in the background just waiting to be noticed. The sensation intrigued her. 


(( I can choose whichever I like, but it must be one of them? )) She asked, cocking her head towards the white robed Candidates. Now there was just a hint of curiosity there.


In her own cage, Andorath knew how beautiful she was. It wasn’t vanity. It was truth, although she was happy to play the vain card if it was necessary. Unfortunately, her beauty was going to do nothing to get her dam to listen to her. Time to use her brains, which she conveniently hid unless she needed them. People and other dragons might get easily manipulated by beauty and walk right into her paw.


She sat back down, letting her thoughts rush through her head. ((Perhaps we can take a look at what you have to show us and if we don’t find what we’re looking for here, you will let me go look for it elsewhere. I could bring it back to br...Nimoth. I promise to solve this puzzle.))


Foreth lifted her head again and considered. ((Fine, you look for what is here first. Then I will bring you more to look at. It’s too dangerous for you to leave here without what you’re looking for.))


She lifted her paw off of Andorath only. ((You start looking first.))


Reluctantly, Nimoth had to admit that was a smart move on her sister’s behalf. Not that she would ever tell her. Very well, if she had to act like she was at least doing what she was “supposed” to be, it would be her very best performance. Pressing her face to the digits that confined her, Nimoth looked at the group over with an air of great scrutiny. Not that one. Definitely not that one. Hmm, that one sort of looked a little interesting. In a boring sort of way. Hmm. A spark of an idea.


(( Oh sister, mine… )) she cooed sweetly to Andorath. (( … Why don’t you look at that one? The one with the red top to its head. Why, I think it flatters your beautiful hide most impressively… )) She could play on her sister’s vanity and pride if she had to, who cared if the foolish creature didn’t like her decision as she jutted her nose towards Shalia. The quicker she did whatever it was she had to do, the quicker she would be out of there!


Andorath didn’t like that her sister was giving her suggestions. Just to be contrary she walked back and forth with a good distance between her and the girls.


((Not you. Not You. Not you.)) To her annoyance, she kept eyeing the red haired girl. There was something interesting there.


Yes...something very interesting near there. The feeling grew and grew.


((You may look now,)) Foreth said in unfortunate timing.


Andorath took off full speed at the red haired girl.


As her cage was “opened”, Nimoth shot out like a stone from a sling, shaking out her wings and lashing her tail. Her gnawing irritation was growing because she realised that she was suddenly feeling incredibly impatient about something. Impatient about the need to FIND something. It was determined and hot, threading through her and it caused the tempestuous gold to huff and throw her head about as though irritated by invisible flies. How infuriating! Spotting her sister, Nimoth darted along the Sands, not at all perturbed by the usual clumsiness of hatchlings which seemed remiss in her altogether.


It was like a sensation of hot and cold. Cooler as she moved one way and hotter as she moved another. Important. Like a secret sign telling her which way to go. Her gold body undulated smoothly as she darted towards Shalia. Perhaps it was a little bit of spite, perhaps she wanted to ruffle her sister’s proverbial feathers. But she wanted… she wanted… Skidding to a halt, Nimoth inspected the small group of girls, Shalia at the forefront. Yes, something in this vicinity. She felt as though she were tingling all over as her muzzle thrust forward, sniffing the air. But then, she jumped back as if startled and hissed, her tiny teeth bared as she lowered her head at Shalia.


(( Why is this one here?! )) Her voice seemed filled with fury as she fixed the Candidate with whirling, angry eyes. (( This one shouldn’t be here, she is CLAIMED! )) Nimoth’s whole body seemed aquiver with anger. How dare this white thing trick her into thinking she was important! Recklessly, Nimoth lashed out with a clawed foot, not caring if it came into contact or if it didn’t. All she knew was that this… this… imposter shouldn’t be here!


((She does not solve the puzzle!)) Andorath agreed, her own ire rising. She was a bit ‘softer’ than her sister, if either dragon could be considered ‘soft’, but not by much. This one was tricking them. Andorath had felt something open, almost like something opening in her heart that would be all the world to her and maybe all the world of the Weyr some day. But this wasn’t it.


She bugled. A little baby bugle with a beautiful voice, but one that promised power with time. ((Why are you pretending to be the answer to the PUZZLE?)) Andorath demanded, snapping at the air in front of her and then running at Shalia. She knocked the Candidate right over Nimoth and there was a sickening crack as the Candidate landed.


As the Candidate toppled over her, Nimoth jostled furiously, bucking her back to rid herself of the “imposter” and reckless to the part she might play in any injury that might be incurred. If asked, no doubt she would claim that was entirely Shalia’s own fault for being somewhere she shouldn’t have been at all. Even as the girl hit the ground, Nimoth’s head whipped around as she hissed threateningly at poor Shalia. (( Serves you right! Now get out! Get out now! )) Still prickling with the strange anticipation, Nimoth flicked her head back, fixing her eyes on the strange white shapes in front of her. The strange sensation was still all about her, a feeling that felt as though it made the air crackle and pop.


Nimoth looked all about her as though determined to find the source. Shalia was rapidly forgotten about as she stalked forward, head thrust high. Whatever it was, she wanted it now. And she knew that she could have whatever she wanted. 


Shalia was already forgotten to Andorath. She had bigger puzzles to solve, not why the red haired girl was in her way and not what had happened to her. The answer to the puzzle was near. Very, very near.


She ruffled her wings and lashed her tail in frustration. She needed to find the answer and she needed to find it NOW! Whatever it was, was behind the red haired girl and so, so close.


She felt something...that direction. She took off in the direction of two girls. It was over there, whatever it was!


The boiling urgency was making Nimoth more and more impatient. The longer she waited, the more it seemed to bubble and surge inside of her. She didn’t know what the feeling was. All that she knew was that it was something… important. Not just important, but most of all it was important to her. The churning hunger in her belly warred with the strange emotion, one that she couldn’t name. All she knew was that she had to follow it. But follow it where? Her head weaved and bobbed as she sniffed this way and that, as if she could tell what it was by scent alone. But no, no that didn’t seem to be it at all!


Reluctantly, Nimoth had to admit that whatever it was, it was somewhere in the same direction that her infuriating sister was headed and… Something shifted. Something inside. With a trumpeting bugle, Nimoth shot forward, her whirled eyes a furious crimson. (( Get away from her! )) she exclaimed, charging forward with all her might. Whatever it was, she was determined that Andorath wouldn’t take it from her!


She’d found it. Found her! She just needed to get to her! Andorath was jubilant.


Then out of the corner of her eye she saw Nimoth charging at her. No way was she going to let the other gold take Her away from her. She spun around and dodged, snapping with sharp teeth and slashing viciously as she went. Sharing wasn’t in her vocabulary and she sure wasn’t sharing now. ((CALYSE IS MINE!)) she bugled at the top of her lungs and instead of the beautiful sound from before this one was a piercing shriek of fury.


Gone was languorous, graceful movement. This was a race. A race for the prize she realised she had been seeking from the moment she had left her shell. A prize far beyond petty sisters and obstructive mothers, a prize that was the whole world. Her whole world. As the gold dragonet barrelled forward, she was filled with the singular and pressing desire to claim that which was hers all along. If Candidates got in the way, she certainly didn’t care. If there were scored legs and nipped ankles to make them move, she cared even less. With a hissing snarl of anger, Nimoth lashed back at the flying claws of her sister that had already nicked her beautiful golden hide more than once. She wouldn’t be beaten by this… upstart, this vain and petty fool who spoke nonsense of puzzles. Teeth gnashed and clacked together as her claws flew towards her sister. 


All that mattered was… There. There she was. Right in front of her like the most beautiful thing she had ever seen. Hungry red eyes shifted into glorious, rainbow incandescence as the whirling fury came to a sudden and abrupt stop.


(( Calyse?! I do not care for such a name. It is a name that means nothing to me. I have found my Mendl. For she is mine and no one else’s! No one shall take her from me, least of all you! )) 


At Nimoth’s sudden stop and words, Andorath got one more swipe in and then stopped fighting. She realized that the other dragon wanted nothing to do with the girl that was the best puzzle in the world. Her eyes whirling her own rainbow, she got up and ran to Calyse. She stopped in front of her and the world opened up to her.


((Calyse, you are mine. The world is a puzzle, but we will take it on together and conquer it.))


And just like that, despite the injuries along the way, the Weyr’s newest two golds Impressed and were ready to make their mark on the world. There were only a few more eggs to Hatch and Impress and then Foreth could relax.


 


   

Dragonet - Andorath: If there was ever a gold that could be considered perfectly feminine, Andorath is it. Every bit of her is refined and female from her delicate muzzle and head knots to her long, elegantly long wings, to her tail. Even her coloring is reminiscent of the delicate, shimmering gold of of a Lady Holder's most exquisite finery draped over her large, but not massive body. Foreth was built for power. Andorath was built for beauty and grace.


But don't mistake, underneath all that femininity is its own muscle and power and danger. Feminine and beautiful doesn't mean weak or complacent. Far from it. Andorath has has a brain and she knows when to show it and when to use that beauty to bedazzle instead. She has a fondness for gifts, but they often have drawbacks when given.


She also has a very strong preference for the company of women and green dragons, seeing males as only a means to an end to get things. As a Weyrling, she'll deign to give attention to the males only so that she can get things that she likes, not really enjoy them socially. Her rider and the AWLM will have to watch that she doesn't manipulate them into doing things they shouldn't be doing by her wiles. Same for the greens, but at least she'll enjoy spending time with them socially as well. As for other golds, they are rivals to be put in their place or ignored. At best, she'll listen to the Senior Queen, but otherwise she can't see why any of the other golds are considered better than her.


She's going to need a strong lifemate, as all golds should have, lest she start to twist the people and dragons around her as playthings. Andorath will likely have a close bond to her lifemate, but there is a risk of a lot of fighting if the rider doesn't get control fast. Andorath isn't likely to be a possessive gold, but she does have a strong-will and will exert it when it feels necessary.