The Eiffel Tower Egg
Glinting speckles of white reminiscent of starlight play against a background of a intensely midnight blue, these points of light serving to highlight a more prominent pattern of metallic blues, greens and weathered steel. From widened base to narrowed tip, the pattern plays true across the egg's smoothed surface, leaving the impression of latticework that spans upward and grows ever thinner before reaching a pinnacle. Against its backdrop of night time skies, the pattern plays out true, lit by the glow of the 'stars' and standing firm, timeless: forever.

Eiffel Tower Egg explodes, shattering steel and stars alike into a myriad of fragmen… where once there was a midnight blue egg, now there’s a black-bronze dragonet, diamond-damp and determined.

Intrepid Explorer Bronze Dragonet
The lines of his form are long and lean, sweeping smoothly from the tip of his cinnamon-dusted muzzle to the ebony-dipped fork of a thick, broad tail. That cinnamon appears again to brighten the armor plates of his breast and angular head to bright rufous that dulls to a silky cream down along the shadowed depths of his underbelly - a brief triumverate of flesh, dark and light. That same shade is echoed in the cooling splash that adorns the planes of head and neck, while whirling eyes and snout are lined with smudged charcoal that returns to sweep magnificent wing sails in burnt darkness. Those oversized wings are broad and looming shadows, his curved talons glinting deadly granite from paws of burnished bronze.

Where a moment ago there was nothing, what now slams into your head eliminates your body, the rest of the sands, the world, at a single stroke. » Come on, no hanging about, Liiiii…« That’s chalk screeching on a blackboard, it’s corrected: »L’ton! We’re going out, we’re going up, we’re going away.« What started off as loud buzzing is now almost a deafening roar. »Let’s go! My name is Ikaroth!«

The Eiffel Tower. The tallest building in the world when it was built, originally constructed as a temporary exhibition entrance, it’s now an indelible feature of the Parisian skyline. Can you fly from it? Well, you can fall. Engineered in a bold design to withstand the wind, it’s a launchpad. There’s no tower in the original legend, but it crops up here in any case. It fitted!

You asked for Icarus. I’m not quite sure you envisage him the same way as I do, and you’re of course free to play him the way you see him, but this is my take on Icarus in draconic form – just see it as ideas to pick and choose from. I used Ovid’s Metamorphoses as it’s the best source for the story: Book 8 (I’ve appended a translation). As for the name, it’s just transliterated from Greek – Ikaros. Ikaroth. Physically, because of those ‘bird-like’ wings, I borrowed from a Lammergeier, there are a few pairs in the Samaria Gorge in Crete – which is my tenuous link – and a couple of their traits have crept in, too.

Ikaroth, to be blunt, is hard work – but he also has an unparalleled joy in life. Liton never seemed sure he wanted to impress a dragon, and there are no easy answers in Ikaroth – but I hope that he’ll find that Ikaroth delights more than he detracts. Eventually.

"Everyone takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world." – Schopenhauer

The main thing with Ikaroth is this: he doesn’t do what he’s told. Oh, he appears to, he’ll follow instructions up to a point, but he’ll always go above and beyond what he needs to – what the limits should be - whether that’s in something like feeding »I can eat more! I’m always hungry!« to learning to fly »Go up and come straight down again? No way! I’m going twice round the bowl, watch me!« to vtols »He’s pretty, what does he smell li– oops, I inhaled him.« He simply doesn’t know when to stop, and while most of the time it’ll be harmless, there’ll be occasions when he veers into dangerous, both to himself and others.

Thankfully, that’s why he’s got you. Just don’t expect him to listen to you, either, especially not at first – because he’ll follow your lead too, and still overstep the bounds of what you intended. You’ll have to work on that. At least he’s collaborative – he does like to include you in his wild plans whenever possible. And if you won’t play along – well, he might just go and do it anyway.

You and your legacy!
You knew I would try to
slay the sunlight.
-Gwendolyn MacEwen "Icarus"

He’s a free spirit with a taste for adventure and a huge delight in going to extremes. Flying high? Make sure you don’t pass out – he’ll push it. Flying low? There’s a fine line between skimming the surface of the waves and, uh, drowning. Once he’s learnt, he’s going to be fabulous to watch, and a joy to go along with. He just won’t often get it right first time, so get used to reeling him in. You may resent this at times – but on the other hand, he’s more than just another on your list of people to take care of. He’s an opportunity for you to refine some of those leadership tendencies that are lurking, as well as, on the flip side, the chance to be utterly, wildly, irresponsible – Ikaroth can be the perfect excuse, if you’ll let him be. And you might find you can do things you’d never even dreamed of.

"The limits of the possible can only be defined by going beyond them into the impossible." – Arthur C Clarke

You could find him spoiling your plans, though. And if he gets any hint of any wishes and desires you might be harbouring, whether conscious or subconscious, then look out - he does like to put his oar in to anything and everything! »You’re thinking about kissing that girl! Why stop at just /kissing/? Nudge, nudge.« He has an unerring knack for picking up on things you’re desperately trying to put out of your mind, and trying to get you to act on them – or he’ll act on them. He also likes to experiment, »If we flame water, what happens?« or »Can I fly upside-down?« He’ll do things as they occur to him, and more than once you’ll find yourself dragged away from whatever else you’re doing – like, say, sleeping, or, indeed, kissing that girl – to try out some impetuous idea that has occurred to him. »Let’s skim over these wherry and see how many go left and how many go right, and if any go straight on, let’s eat them!« He’s also a fan of dropping things from great heights – anything, really, from herdbeast to large seashells – and seeing what happens to them once they hit the ground. But he’ll count on you to remember the catalogue. (If you want, you can be creative.) There’s no absolutes for Ikaroth, always and only boundaries to be pushed – and explored. For him, they’re all out in the physical world, for you, they might be the boundaries between you and him.

"Impossible is a word only to be found in the dictionary of fools." – Napoleon Bonaparte

He will prove to be something of a leader amongst his peers probably by sheer force of personality, and he’ll happily share tips on anything he’s tried doing with any of them. They might not quite work for the others »I balance and turn with my tail, just at this angle - so« but he won’t really ‘get’ that – His Way is all that matters. He’ll also be first to volunteer (or is that volunteer you?) in class, in wing duties, in extra jobs, without much comprehension of what he’s letting both you and he in for – he doesn’t like to wait around, nor to ponder, he’ll make snap decisions based on his whims and just the barest bones of information »Liiii, what is a job, exactly? Once you’ve got it, can we drop it and see if it bounces?« because he’ll always want to be ahead of the game. He doesn’t like to admit he – or you - is fallible; if you ever get into trouble, Ikaroth will meet any queries, even incontrovertible proof, with flat-out denial – how could you, ever, EVER do anything wrong?

In flying, and especially flights, he’ll be godlike (you might like to just sit on a mountain top sometime, and watch him glide) and without you on his back he’ll be even more daredevil. There could be some embarrassing (and quite frankly dangerous) mistakes, at first, but he’ll impress the ladies in flight in a way he’s less likely to do by looks and talking alone. Not that this will stop him trying, you understand, from puffing himself up and trying to talk suavely – and if you end up falling about laughing at him, he can take that.

"By nature we have no defect that could not become a strength, no strength that could not become a defect." – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

He won’t resent you at all, for holding him back. That’s why he picked you, after all. That’s what you’re for – for knowing best, unless he knows better. And anyway, he doesn’t have bad moods or any kind of temper, and he won’t understand yours. He’ll find it intriguing, and he’ll try to imitate, but really, he’s all about /doing/, you won’t catch this one standing around pondering why the wind is strong, but rather he’ll be dragging you out to discover just what difference strong winds make to his flying skills. Ikaroth lives in and of every moment, of seeing how far he can go, how much he can see, how much he can do, to wring every last drop out of life in the living of it. Luckily, he’ll exhaust himself doing so, so there’ll be plenty of sleep-time, much as he loathes it. He’ll refuse to actually go anywhere like his Weyr to sleep; he won’t ever plan on it. He’ll just be there one minute and snoring the next – and he snores quite atrociously – which will be even more annoying if you happen to be out in the middle of the mountains, or landed on some small island, or stuck on the ledge of someone you were trying to leave. At the end of the day, what sums him up is this: he doesn’t really think, and he certainly doesn’t think of consequences, which can be both a curse and a blessing. But he, at least, reckons he’s perfect - and even more that you are perfect - and any times when he might find himself less so (for – and this is important – he’ll never find /you/ less so) are quickly and conveniently forgotten.

He’s incredibly striking, unmissable from a distance, and even more so from the air – his shape in flight is easily discernible, in part because he’s so large, but especially because of those huge, dark wings. He could hide behind them, if he so chose, but he’s not exactly the shy and retiring type. If it suits him he will, but he’s more likely to be showing off. He’s stunning, and he always manages to look purposeful. He is proud of his colouring, but at the same time, he does have rather a fascination with wallowing in mud - something he shares with Colchith – although he hasn’t the /time/ for mundane things such as bathing, unless you can distract him into it somehow.

He’ll grow fast, and the fact that you’re not growing at the same rate is going to be about his only ever cause for concern. He’ll try stuffing you with food, oiling you, possibly even trying to stretch you, and even if you do have a growth spurt, you’ll be unlikely to ever match him for rate of growth. And he won’t really understand why. Once he stops growing, however, woe betide you if you carry on. It will really, really confuse him. And a confused Ikaroth is not a pleasant voice to have in your head.

He’ll be incredibly cheeky, especially while he’s still young, and while his vocal call is, from the very beginning, deep and quite mellifluous, the inside of your head is never going to quite feel the same again.

You, bound for that other area
know that this legacy of mindflight
is all you have to leave me.
-Gwendolyn MacEwen "Icarus"

Ikaroth does nothing by halves, and he’s always, if not loud, piercingly insistent – and entirely unsubtle. You might find you lose parts of other conversations at first, but just like a radio, you’ll learn to tune into each other better, and reduce the crackling static down to the buzzing of bees, and then you’ll find his voice is very honeyed and smooth, at times even sickly sweet.

Egg: Liette
Dragonet: Sia, Sissi
Inspiration: Sissi
Appendix: Ovid Metamorphoses, Book VIII, Daedalus and Icarus
Meanwhile Daedalus, hating Crete, and his long exile, and filled with a desire to stand on his native soil, was imprisoned by the waves. ‘He may thwart our escape by land or sea’ he said ‘but the sky is surely open to us: we will go that way: Minos rules everything but he does not rule the heavens’. So saying he applied his thought to new invention and altered the natural order of things. He laid down lines of feathers, beginning with the smallest, following the shorter with longer ones, so that you might think they had grown like that, on a slant. In that way, long ago, the rustic pan-pipes were graduated, with lengthening reeds. Then he fastened them together with thread at the middle, and bees’-wax at the base, and, when he had arranged them, he flexed each one into a gentle curve, so that they imitated real bird’s wings. His son, Icarus, stood next to him, and, not realising that he was handling things that would endanger him, caught laughingly at the down that blew in the passing breeze, and softened the yellow bees’-wax with his thumb, and, in his play, hindered his father’s marvellous work.

When he had put the last touches to what he had begun, the artificer balanced his own body between the two wings and hovered in the moving air. He instructed the boy as well, saying ‘Let me warn you, Icarus, to take the middle way, in case the moisture weighs down your wings, if you fly too low, or if you go too high, the sun scorches them. Travel between the extremes. And I order you not to aim towards Bootes, the Herdsman, or Helice, the Great Bear, or towards the drawn sword of Orion: take the course I show you!’ At the same time as he laid down the rules of flight, he fitted the newly created wings on the boy’s shoulders. While he worked and issued his warnings the ageing man’s cheeks were wet with tears: the father’s hands trembled.

He gave a never to be repeated kiss to his son, and lifting upwards on his wings, flew ahead, anxious for his companion, like a bird, leading her fledglings out of a nest above, into the empty air. He urged the boy to follow, and showed him the dangerous art of flying, moving his own wings, and then looking back at his son. Some angler catching fish with a quivering rod, or a shepherd leaning on his crook, or a ploughman resting on the handles of his plough, saw them, perhaps, and stood there amazed, believing them to be gods able to travel the sky.

And now Samos, sacred to Juno, lay ahead to the left (Delos and Paros were behind them), Lebinthos, and Calymne, rich in honey, to the right, when the boy began to delight in his daring flight, and abandoning his guide, drawn by desire for the heavens, soared higher. His nearness to the devouring sun softened the fragrant wax that held the wings: and the wax melted: he flailed with bare arms, but losing his oar-like wings, could not ride the air. Even as his mouth was crying his father’s name, it vanished into the dark blue sea, the Icarian Sea, called after him. The unhappy father, now no longer a father, shouted ‘Icarus, Icarus where are you? Which way should I be looking, to see you?’ ‘Icarus’ he called again. Then he caught sight of the feathers on the waves, and cursed his inventions. He laid the body to rest, in a tomb, and the island was named Icaria after his buried child.

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