Nith

Pwel’s Everhungry Diet Bread Blue Nith
Egg Name: Almost Aniseed Egg

Egg Desc: This dark ovoid grows from its rounded seed-like base with a rich dark sienna winding at its root and climbing its sides. Shallow ridge-like bands of grey-green highlights snake upwards. They band the sienna in shadows reaching up towards the egg's apex where the pattern blooms majestically into numerous umbels that resemble tiny white blossoms.

Hatching Message:The Almost Aniseed Egg flies apart in one dramatic explosion, flinging shell bits in all directions. With a severe lack of ceremony following that impressive entrance, the dragonet sits right there where he finds himself, covered from head to tailtip in doughy egg goo.

Hatchling Name: Everhungry Diet Bread Blue Dragonet

Hatchling Description: Interwoven shades of midnight and moonbeam stretch up the neck of this lanky blue before the lighter of the two wins over to twist around his face. Darker blue circles the eyes and headknobs enhancing the dashing mask that adorns his head. Brightly polished tones of silvery blue encase his torso and streak over the considerable length of his tail, but deft colouration cannot hide the slight bulge of stomach that stands out against his otherwise elongated form. Gleaming talons match the equally sharp edges of his flared wings, adding an overall undeniable eloquence of form and figure.

Impression Message: The Everhungry Diet Bread Blue Dragonet comes to a halt at your feet, looking up until he makes eye contact. A loud, booming voice echoes inside your head as your senses are filled with an overwhelming aura of aniseed. Gradually the sensual assault fades as the taste and volume drop to bearable levels and words become clear: «Thou shalt count us one. No more. No less. One shall be the number thou shalt count us, and the number of the counting shall be one. I am Nith. Point me towards our first quest!»


Name: Nith (Neeth) "We are the knights who say Ni!" Need we say more about where we picked the name? Your Nith can be as simple and singleminded as those acquisitive knights. Appease him!

Personality: Nith is forever on a quest; he seeks the grail and nothing will get in his way till he acquires it. Neither you nor he may know quite what this grail is at any particular moment, but it hardly matters. The goal will likely change regularly, especially given the memory span of a dragon. But never fear; Nith will find the clues and work it out. His inquisitiveness will give the pair of you a lot to talk about no matter what the topic at hand is—the newest development in wing formations or the differences in airspeed of an un-laden Istan and a Telgarian wherry. One thing you will need to be careful of, however, is that if he asks a question and you don't answer it quickly enough he may start working it out in his own way. For example, he may apply this sort of logic: witches burn because they are made of wood; wood floats and so do ducks; therefore if someone weighs the same as a duck he must be made of wood and consequently must be a witch.

Once Nith has his mind fixed on a goal it will be a different matter, he will pursue it dramatically and endlessly »In my own particular….« (You: "Idiom, Nith?") »Thank you. My own particular idiom!« He will dig his claws in and go for it full force, not letting go until his quest is completed. He has the tenacity of the black knight and everyone including you will have problems keeping him down and away from his goal. Faranth forbid he ever gets injured; he's not likely to stop long enough to notice, or will claim it to be »Just a flesh wound, I've had worse.«

Of course around the weyr when you’ve not got him to yourself it may be a very different story. He respects authority and will obey orders without question. Around others he will always be doing his best to be a proper knight and follow his code of chivalry to the fullest, going out of his way to do it if necessary. If anything dares to violate his (or your) personal code of chivalry he will dig his claws in and »None shall pass.«

Everything Nith does will have that extra flourish of drama. Remember that he will never give up in the face of adversity. On the rare occasions when he does end up in a bad mood he is the kind of dragon who will resort to sarcasm and taunts for self-defense. He'll attempt to get you to leave him to his own devices rather than having to face it out with you. »No. Now, go away, or I shall taunt you a second time-a!«

A lot of this you will come to realise in a very short period of time as you and your lifemate go through the rigours of Weyrlinghood together. However, there are foibles which may not come to light straight away. Possibly his only concession to accepting style over substance will be his great affinity for plants (or shrubs). He will want them to liven up your weyr and if he spots one on his travels that he particularly likes you may well find a new plant at the foot of your bed when you wake up. Eating is another thing a lot of dragons can be fussy about. Thankfully, Nith doesn’t have any real quirks in this department—except that when it comes to flights he may tend to quaff a bit more than others as he bloods in readiness.

When it comes to greens and flights he is unlikely to take much notice for a while. His code of chivalry demands chastity, of course. Even more, Nith’s propensity for knowledge will present so many questions about the intricacies involved in a mating flight that you really won’t want to broach the subject yourself. Of course, mating is going to happen sooner or later and he will be very picky about who he chases. Like as not, she will be one of those teasing greens who has tried to tempt him away from his normally chaste ways.

And last of all there is one question we have left unanswered deliberately. How does Nith feel about you, Powell? Where do you fit into his scheme of things? This bit we thought we’d leave up to you but we offer the following possibilities to think about. Are you another knight with a quest of your own? Will you help Nith out with his quests or try to persuade him toward more sensible pursuits? Perhaps you may be his minstrel and sing about the deeds of your lifemate to others, as he’s too shy or scared to do it himself. Lastly, are you Patsy the coconut guy, faithfully following your knight around, heeding his every beck and call?

Overall your Nith embodies the proper knightly virtues and those of the pursuit of the quest. On top of this he has a thirst for knowledge, no matter how trivial it may be. Never ever underestimate his ability to work things out for himself. Admittedly his conclusions will most likely come out completely wrong, like the witch-duck theory, but you’ll always have plenty of fun listening to these ideas he’s concocted. Then, of course, you’ll have the task of trying to make him understand how it really should be.

Physicality: One of the first problems you’ll face as Nith grows is the loss of talons. It’s a common enough problem with young dragonets, but a more frequent one for him. Even though they do grow back, his talons in general will always need extra care. He’ll be on the larger side for a blue, more in length than in bulk. That slight bulge in the stomach, which is most noticeable after he’s eaten, can be a bit of a sore spot for him. Or rather, it’s an itchy spot. That’s the place you’ll spend the most time oiling. But, as he’s bound to remind you, he has more important things to worry about than injuries and itches.
One thing you won’t be able to help noticing is that extra long tail of his. Whether it’s hitting you or your fellow weyrlings, knocking over buckets of oil, or being attacked by that wall that just ‘happened’ to walk into him, it’s going to be constantly in the way until he gets used to it. In fact, it just might be regarded as a weapon—but not one he knows how to use effectively.

Another problem you'll find is he doesn’t like children. That is, he’s scared of them. »Powell! Grab the redfruit bombs! R'ider's brought her daughter down again!« Nith will then likely go and hide behind something and you’d better hope that no child ever makes it into your weyr, as the fact of such a small, harmless beast hiding away in his cave will not go down well. You’ll likely have to scrub the place clean before he will enter it again.

Mindvoice and body voice: The brush of Nith’s mind across your own is by no means a gentle one. Keeping to his normal dramatic style, when he contacts you his voice tone will boom out at full volume in your head to begin with, especially when he’s excited about something. If he stays talking for long enough to enter into a proper discourse his tone will calm down into a more gentle, quieter track as he attempts to reason out his theories with you. Accompanying his voice tone at all times is the distinct taste of aniseed, a quality he's had since his time in the egg. It is always sharper on initial contact and fades into the background as the volume goes down and the conversation carries on.


Recipes:

It may be that bulge in his belly, or it may be that one of his quests is to lose some weight. Knights should be strong, not fat, right? Nith may even decide you should lose some weight. At any rate, his goal-orientedness fits right in with the idea of this recipe:

Diet Bread
14 oz (400g) plain flour
2 tbls (30 ml) dried sage
1/2 oz (15g) Aniseed, crushed
1/2 oz (15g) dried yeast mixed with 1 tsp (5ml) sugar and
1/2pt (275ml) warm water

Mix the dry ingredients in a warm bowl, make a well in the centre, work in the liquid, knead, and leave to rise in a warm place for an hour. Knead the dough on a floured board, shape into a round cob or a number of small cakes, and allow to prove for 15 minutes before baking at gas mark 8, 459 F (230 C) for 15 minutes, and then for a further 40 minutes at gas mark 6, 400 F (200 C). This bread has a delicate aniseed flavour, and makes an interesting accompaniment to soups, fish or cheese.

Other days, his grail might be something sweet!

Aniseed Cookies
Servings: 40
4 Eggs; separated
1 3/4 c Powered sugar; sifted
Pinch salt
2 c Flour, all purpose
1/4 t Baking powder
2 t Aniseed; ground

Grease and flour baking sheets.

Beat egg yolks, powdered sugar and salt in a large bowl until pale and creamy. Beat egg whites until very stiff; fold into egg yolk mixture. Sift flour, baking powder and aniseed onto egg mixture; fold in quickly but thoroughly. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain nozzle with cookie mixture. Pipe in small rounds onto prepared baking sheets. Let stand overnight to dry out.

Preheat oven to 325'. Bake cookies 20 minutes. Cool on rack.

And just for fun, we've added one more aniseed recipe:

Lebkuchen from Luzern Switzerland
2 dl Fresh cream
80 g Pear molasses; (1) (*)
60 g Pear molasses; (2) (*)
150 g Sugar
20 g Candied lemon peel; diced
20 g Candied orange peel; diced
1 pn Ground aniseed
1 pn Ground cinnamon
1 pn Ground nutmeg
1 pn Ground clove
Salt
20 g Baking powder
500 g Whole meal (or white) flour
2 dl Warm milk
(*) Pear molasses also known as treacle
The story:
This specialty is the "gourmand cake" of the St. Nicholas Festival celebrated annually on the 6th of December. Presided over by the Bishop of Myra, the feast day assumes an air of solemnity in Lucerne itself, culminating in a procession through the town. "St. Nicholas" is preceded by two heralds and is escorted by frightening "Schmutzli" who, according to tradition, are thought to punish children who have misbehaved during the year. Only well behaved children receive presents from St. Nicholas on this special day.

The recipe:

Whip the cream and mix with molasses (1), spices and salt. Add the baking powder, flour, warm milk and diced peel, mixing thoroughly until smooth.

Pour the mixture into a greased and lined sponge ring and bake for 45-50 minutes at 180 Deg. C.

When baked, brush the top with the pear molasses (2) to glaze.

Source: Culinary Art and Traditions of Switzerland, Pro Gastronomia

Credits:

Egg: K'rin.
Inspiration: Cori and K’rin


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