Kourrem's Touchstone Jasper-Brown Jurayath

Rainbow of Faces Egg
Cream, rose, clove-dark brown and ginger all tint the shell of this
mottled egg in myriad shades, the surface of which seems the texture
of plaster — those little scratchy bumps sticking out at odd
intervals, making every fingerwidth a unique one indeed. But amid
every thumb-sized dot that scatters over the blue-green beneath,
there's smoothness and unity, color the only difference between each.

Rainbow of Faces Egg buckles and crumbles, its spectrum of brown and
pink and cream disintegrating as heavily as moist plaster. Those
same colors, though, are echoed in the earth-toned hide of the
emergent dragonet: mottled brown and beige and tan glisten gloriously
under the influence of his birth fluids. As he steadies himself,
however, those shimmering fluids dry, and the mottled colors along
with them, revealing the flatter, lighter brown of his natural hide
— no less lovely, just far more subtle.

Touchstone Jasper-Brown Dragonet
Subtle variations in shade flatten even against the dragonet's heavy
flanks into one light, spare brown: the brown of wind-worn jasper,
swept in from the open plains. The bluntness of oft-caressed stone
curves his long and resilient body in intimate detail, set off by a
jumble of many-pocketed neckridges — and then there are his wings,
those huge, voluminous wings — mottled all ruddy and creamy and
dark, the marvelous, mutable browns pushing up against one another
into sheer, sweeping indulgence.

The tingle of fresh, pure air fills your mind as the brown
dragonet's whirling eyes find yours and match your own gray-blue:
the smell of snow about to fall, the unique perfume of wet, drying
stone, all of a sudden those infinitely subtle sensualities are more
present and intense than any other sensation. With it all comes a
new, yet somehow intimately familiar voice, as full of color and
richness as the patterning on his wings: » K'rrem? « And then,
certain that he's garnered your full attention: » But only I may
call you that. «

» My name is Jurayath! «

What do we want to take with us into the new millennium?

A touchstone would be wonderful: not a touristy knickknack
to dust, but something picked up out in the country some lazy, hazy
summer afternoon because it was so lovely and subtle, and that you've
kept all your life. A reminder and, when you're worried, a promise.

Why this egg? We loved your reaction to it — and how it
complemented Jurayath himself. Like egg and dragonet, he's not just
the same on the inside as on the outside, no, but there are echoes of
truth that run all the way through.

Why this name? There's a little purr to Jurayath, a little
jut to it, and we hear you like those 'aya' sounds. He has one more
syllable than Kourrem (and he's a big dragon, he is); the 'u' also
echoes Kourrem, as befits a pair who's to grow up together — but
not too close. Just right.

Like a touchstone, Jurayath is cool just because he /is/.
He needs no particular purpose in life to define him. Lots of things
will shape him — you, most especially — but however he's shaped,
and whichever way he grows, he'll still stamp those experiences with
his own particular Jurayath-ness. Which will, we hope, keep things
interesting for Kourrem — and you — along the way. You told us how
hard you tried not to envision a dragon for Kourrem, because you
wanted us to do that. So envision we did, and we hope you like him
as much as we do. That said, we're sure that as with the other
dragon pairs, there are all kinds of things about him you'll discover
that we never even though of. That's part of the fun of Jurayath.
To use a metaphor, he's sort of like a carving. He might be formed
of stone or soap or wood, or even tuber for that matter. He's shaped
a certain way, and that shape will change and evolve along with
Kourrem, while always retain the properties it began with: stone,
soap, wood, tuber, or, in his case, jasper.

He's a big brown, your Jurayath. Not 'The Biggest', no, but
if brown dragons had to buy off-the-rack clothes, he'd take XXL…
maybe even a size bigger if he's just eaten. Still, there's a real
smoothness to him, for all his size. Jurayath's no stony, craggy,
jaggedy dragon-Everest like Jacinth (even his name is longer,
softer); instead, he has the eroded curves and hollows of rolling
plains. He's the draconic equivalent of 'Big Sky Country', pocketed
with river-carved canyons and towering buttes and flat-topped mesas
and, yes, maybe even a well-worn mountain or two once he gets a
little more exercise on him, there where his sturdy shoulders meet
his neck, and again at the conglomeration of muscle mass that powers
those thick haunches. Big country for a big dragon.
So since he's big, and you're small, that divergence in your
respective dimensions is going to take some getting used to,
especially with his /growing/. Suddenly, where the sevenday before
you could look him in the chest, you're now just about on elbow
level, and although you're still growing too, by the time you've
added an inch to your height, he's sprouted several meters in every
direction. But the nice thing about that size of his, is that those
neckridges of his have several perfectly Kourrem-sized pockets
nestled amongst them; hidey-hole hollows just for you that just
/fit/, the way your thumb might find the perfect rub-spots on a lucky
Don't worry about outgrowing those spaces, either. His
'ridges have pockets enough for adult-sized Kourrems too. And if you
sit really still, you might blend in well enough to his hide's
pattern to escape notice. With your light brown hair, and his light
brown hide, you're a perfect match.
In general, see, although he seems a simple, flat, light
brown shade, there's a lot of small-scale variegation that's going on
there, much as with his dam that in her becomes a burnish. Imagine
a mountain viewed from way on high, where the distance makes all the
spires and stony outcrops appear smooth and a flat purply-blue
colour. It's the same sort of optical illusion here, but brown — up
close and personal, there's /plenty/ more to see, but step back, and
he seems rather plain. When he gets wet, though, those patterns are
more obvious. Think of the way a river lends color to its chasm:
dry, it's rather boring shades of brown and grey, but splashed wet,
it turns to reds and blues and pinks; so, too, his hide will change
underwater. He'll /like/ swimming, too, once you talk him into
taking the plunge, and he'll become an excellent swimmer. He's not a
fish, mind you (he'd rather eat them), so he's not going to want to
spend all his time paddling about, but as pastimes go, it's one of
his favorites. He's also aware of how lovely his hide looks
underwater, and he'll enjoy showing off, even if only for you, once
in a while. He's not a vain dragon otherwise, but he allows himself
this indulgence from time to time. You might be able to talk him
into allowing it a little more…
As far as color and pattern go, his wings are a different
matter altogether. The patterns there are unmissable; they don't
need water to bring them out. Frankly, they're gorgeous: all ruddy
and creamy and dark brown all squished together into incredibly
intricate and sinuous patterns, so that when he opens those wings,
*fwoom*. Who needs a fanfare?
Those details — on wings and on his hide — will change,
too, over time. The intricate patterns on his 'sails won't be the
same when you two join a wing as they were when he was new-hatched,
and they'll continue to shift slightly in places throughout his life.
It's not total metamorphosis, however; just wee bits here and
there — so that pattern you recognised on his left aileron as a
weyrling might shift into something different by the time he has a
full decade of Turns. It's like cloud-watching — but slower, and so
much more intimate.

And that applies mentally, too, as he grows and learns. In
fact, you'll find even more change there. Sometimes it comes in fits
and starts — growth spurts or major events in his life (Impressing
you, for example) — like the fresh, new patterns you can see when
you chip a stone. But more often, it's a more fluid metamorphosis —
like the patterns worn by a more gradual erosion.

That eroded smoothness not only describes his frame; his
movements, too, have a grave grace to them. There's a certain
deliberation to his every motion, but in saying that, he's neither
slow, per se, nor clunkily awkward. Or, that is, even though
dragonets are always somewhat clumsy until their growth slows down
enough that they can get the hang of all the new bits, Jurayath won't
be remarkably so. He's /careful/ when he moves, so he might even be
a little less accident-prone than the dragonet norm.

We've hinted already that Jurayath's mentality is as
smoothly complex as his physical appearance, though again, it's more
mutable. He'll have distinct moods that shift over time, sometimes
for no apparent reason: happy, sad, angry, nostalgic, dreamy. He's
not /moody/, precisely, but neither does he live life with perfect
equanimity. For all that he's Kourrem's touchstone talisman, he's
not really, after all, made of stone. He /feels/. And he has
opinions too. Not that they're written in stone either. Like the
shadow-game he likes to play: Do you step on them, to pin them down,
or avoid them, so they don't get you? The rules change.
He won't give you immediate explanations either, as it
happens. Sometimes he isn't sure why he feels as he does: maybe it's
just an intuitive thing. The same applies to weyrling lessons, or
sweeps-rides. Six days out of the seven, you may follow routine, but
every now and again, he'll suggest that the pair of you do things a
little different. Not for any logical reason; its just his veer-y
sort of exploration: a way for you to Find Out together.
Despite that on-again, off-again adventurousness, Jurayath's
a fairly well-behaved fellow, even as a dragonet. Which is not to
say he doesn't like to play — he loves it, piling up with the other
dragonets in a great big tumble — or want to be on top. Once in a
while, though, he'll feel like really rebelling: maybe he's cranky,
or maybe the other dragonets are teasing him and he feels the need to
prove himself? So — "When he's good, he's very very good, but when
he's bad, he's 'orrible!"
For all his subtle complexities, Jurayath isn't without his
quirks. For example, his tendency to call you by his own pet name:
K'rrem. He knows you like the way it looks, and he loves the idea of
having that secret endearment, just between the two of you. He
likes it so much he might even become bothered — possessive — if he
heard anyone else using it. He does it to make you feel special,
because, after all, you are.
Although Jurayath's usually stony-strong and rather
courageous, he has an Achilles heel: spinners. He's not terrified of
them, really; it's just that they… worry him. He can steel
himself to it if he was to, but they make him edgy. Maybe he'll
shuffle away some when he thinks nobody's looking. He thinks their
webs are pretty, especially early in the morning when they're all
pearly and dew-drenched — he enjoys the finer points of nature, by
the way, and will rejoice in sharing them with you (do you know Van
Morrison's song "Sense of Wonder"? He's like that) — but there's
still that certain deep-rooted dread: » Yes, the web is very
pretty… Where's the spinner? « He might not be so bad if he can
/see/ the thing and it's tucked up in its web not moving. » Oh, I
think it's dead. « But if it's dangling down off a bit of silk, or
scuttling across some surface, then he just would really rather not
be in the vicinity!
Jurayath's soft-hearted, too, to some degree. With those
spinners, for example, well, Kourrem's not allowed to kill them, see.
She can fling them off the ledge (where, to his reckoning, they'll
magically fly away to Happy Spinner Land instead of falling to their
deaths), …but may not squish them. He'll dislike spinner-bits in
his couch and weyr as much as he worries about the live ones.
He's not a coward, though, just very, very gentle, which
might be soothing to someone like Vyath. He can and will stand his
ground where his K'rrem's concerned. He may even squish a spinner if
he thought it was going to bite you. And if anyone dares to insult
you or hurt you — well, he may not roar or flex his talons — much
but he'll certainly shun them for a while: if it was a fellow
weyrling, say, he might refuse to speak to their dragon for as long
as he remembers, even if you insist that it's all right, you don't
mind so much really. Luckily, if you aren't worried about it, after
a short while, neither will he.
Otherwise, he's a very personable dragon, less apt to be
caught up in introspection than some others. Even when he does get
all thoughtful — say, tagging along to stare at that Shiny Thing —
it won't last long. He'll either snort and go on to something else,
or /do/ something with it. He's kinesthetic. You know how a cat
will sniff for a moment at something, but then out comes the paw —
does it roll? does it make noise when you step on it? does it taste
good? That's Jurayath for you.
When he gains sexual maturity, and discovers what it means
that some dragons are female and he's so very male, it'll be quite
the tumultous time for you both — remember that bit about him being
less clumsy when he's learning his legs because he can be carefully
deliberate? Well, when a green or gold gets proddy, all bets are
off, and he's apt to get gangly as anything before you both, ah,
learn the ropes. A miss means a good sulk; a catch — he's shining
for sevendays.
Young or old, even when Jurayath's feeling quiet, he's still
alert and at times even twitchy: tail-tip, eyes, headknobs. He's
got especially mobile headknobs, if not so much as feline and canine
ears. He'll be sensitive about them being touched; he'll tolerate it
when you oil them, but he'll never really enjoy it, and he probably
won't let anyone else near them.

Jurayath's physical voice is a light, spare tenor, and his mental
voice is the same way, as if everything were a deadpan joke (think Oz
on Buffy:tVS) — until he gets excited about something, when it
washes over with full, rich colors: pure, clean air, like what an
eagle would breathe however far above the earth's surface, with
passing jet planes far out of range. He's not wind as such, but
instead a /cleanness/ that you just want to fill your lungs with, and
then some; air so clean you almost feel as if it could lift you if
you breathed in enough of it. And, too, there's the way the craggy
mountain ranges and canyons look smooth from a great height — which
works into the jaspery patterns — intricate detail, but smoothness
too — and also into the lightness and then full-of-colour-ness.
Maybe sometimes he sounds flippant, but if his K'rrem looks at the
pictures behind the words, there's so much more there. Not *deep*
per se; that sounds kind of murky. But everything's on display if
she'll only look closely. He's not brash or particularly outspoken
but there's nothing hidden about who he is; no layers that have to be
peeled back one by one — it's all there from the start, even though
it's remarkably complex. With all that detail, too, there's more
than enough to feed Kourrem's introspection. And when he does feel
strongly about something, the detail becomes much more pronounced —
even more vivid, color-wise, too: reds and burgundies instead of
browns, yellow instead of cream, blue instead of grey. If he has any
smell, it's nothing spicy or perfumed: perhaps the smell of snow
about to fall, or wet rocks, — something more tingle than smell.

Tingle. That's you and Jurayath, together. Enjoy.

Parentage: Arien's Katrineth + M'gael's bronze Theronth
Egg: Vaine
Dragonet: Vaine, Talisen, Minnea, Maer, Arien

P.S. Some jasper pictures may be found at
http://www.gemhut.com/jasper.htm and its sub-pages, and here's a poem
to top things off:

They say you'll bring me what I need
That would make me happy indeed
But that is not necessarily what I want
Hopefully, it is not an elephant!
—Author unknown.

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