Fingerpainted Egg
Messy fun claims egg's slick, pristine white canvas with erratic color:
summery green plays backdrop, a forest of child-like handprints interlocked in
an unending circle before autumn's heyday invades with indiscriminate
dribbles of red, orange, and magenta: fisted leaves fallen for the
collecting. And then there's the base's widest arc, whimsical departure from
the theme—the whole conglomeration upset into yellow's gleeful verve,
globules swimming together to capture crickets of protesting, sprinkled black.

Hatch message:
Fingerpainted Egg flexes, shifts, /rips/ as might child's precious paper
turned to some new task; black cricket-flecks fall freely as if fleeing into
the sands, abandoned yellow collapsing with magenta and orange. On cue, a
slippery dragonet clambers free—all but for a daub of summer-green shard,
clinging relentlessly to his still-damp flank.

Ingenious Agate-Bronze Dragonet
Agate shifts him, steadies him, shimmers about the long bones and sets off
the intrigued intensity of wide-set eyes. The wayward hue gleams bold
browny-bronze about stark dorsal ridges and wide wings' hooks, and gentles
with forged and reforged burnish through sinewy, springy hindquarters into the
tender glimmer lining throat and belly. A small dragonet, despite hatchling
clumsiness he moves without inhibition, centered as he is in the subtle surety
of surroundings and self.

Impression message:
Sands. Stares. They surround you. And yet: a slow susurrus begins,
subliminal at first, soon rustling, even /squirming/ into your skull — and
once there reveals itself as not a breach but an airy expansion, alit with
agate's lilting shimmer. Full recognition comes a breathless instant later,
just one heart's beat: his
his!—thoughts fuse with yours in exultant
abandon, a grand exploration of giddy joy:
» My name is Taranth! «

* * *

He'll run his heart out for you, Ket. For the Weyr. For those who
need it most. He'll be fox and hounds and horns all in one, cheerio, cheerio,
tarantara! coursing over the hill and down the vale and then /whoosh/,
riding momentum in reckless abandon and he can't-stop-in-time and then, of
course, he does. (Well, sometimes. More likely after he matures. But not

» I wasn't scared. «

Likely you were. That is, you both were — scared at the same time
you were thrilling on the edge. And you know it, and it's okay. Nobody's
fooled; nobody needs to be.
—And if someone called you on it, he'd up that bluff, but
/outrageously/ so, to distract their worries first into disbelief and then
into helpless laughter. It's not lying, dragons don't; it's just —
imagination. Rampant.

* * *

Name sources (combine and contrast!):

<*> Taran is the young dreamer of uncertain parentage from Lloyd Alexander's
trilogy which includes _The Black Cauldron_, _Taran Wanderer_, and _The High
King_. We meet Taran as Assistant Pigkeeperthe pig being an Oracular Pig and
therefore far from Ordinary
and follow him as he wanders his homeland,
learning to fight, and, more importantly, learning to live with and know the
people. In the middle book Taran is exploring himself and possible careers,
and thus learns the complexities of weaving and the opportunism of Luck. He is
a man of wonderful and diverse friends: gallant Prince Gwydion; unhandy
harper (all right, bard, but he carries a broken-stringed harp) Flewdur Fflam;
and the incorrigible and undefinable Gurgi, who is always on the lookout for
'crunchings and munchings.' In the end, of course, Taran's heritage and
destiny are revealed; but it is in the pattern of his own life that he finds
the courage and contentment to accept his responsibilities.

<*> Gerold Tarrant from C.S. Friedman's _Coldfire_ trilogy. Imagine his
sword, that beautifully cold weapon of death, forged and reforged with fae's
coldfire — Sacrificed to the volcano with the altruistic Binding that kills
Calesta and the Hunter both. And yet Gerald Tarrant lives on….

<*> 'Tarantara!' an exhortation from the chorus in Gilbert & Sullivan's
_Pirates of Penzance'. The song is "When the foeman bares his steel" and has a
wonderful tenor running gait to it. We liked its closeness to Taranth — a
sort of complement to his energy and perhaps reckless edge. It also bolsters
the spirit, readying the knee-quaking gut-clenching souls for action.
Tarantara! is the sound of trumpets heralding, G&S style.

* * *

Physical and mental aspects:

Agate's a form of chalcedony, a translucent quartz with nearly
waxlike luster; it's fine-grained, refracting shifting tones, and looks opaque
— until held to the light, when its true translucency is revealed.
Agate's also steady, a stone that lasts through time, and yet
refracts light in a way that hearkens to water. Earth and water is Taranth,
with the slightest hint of forge's fire and more than a little of joyous air.
Just not mud, mind you—at least, except for when he joyously squishes mud
between his talons to savor the sensation, and be warned, that's not a
hatchling trait to be outgrown…

Physically, he's long-boned, all stark planes but for the tender
curves of throat, of belly, of inner flankand his so-supple neck and tail.
His bold browny-bronze hue emphasizes stark dorsal ridges and wide wings'
hooks, and his talons as well. A subtler shade of it, darker rather than
vibrant, extends to his broad pinions
which look opaque, but for when light
shines through their wingsails and turn them to translucent, tensile gossamer.
The rest of him is truer, shimmering bronze, medium in darkness but just as
intense, though its burnish gentles to the vulnerability of throat and belly.
Small for his color, he's outmassed by Jacinth, and may well always be
so, though Taranth will gain a longer reach. Were he a sword, he might be a
bastard sword rather than a fencing foil or the true greatsword. That is, he
lives for momentum and packs a wallop, and can head into motion sooner than
some (it's stopping that's the hard part); still, while he doesn't require two
hands to wield, one-and-a-half would sure be useful! He's an all-purpose
fellow, if rather more for agilityat least, for his color rather than
dragonkind in general
than brute strength. Taranth's a courser, a
steeplechaser, and doesn't need prey to run — he flies for the sheer glory of
it, and shares that all with you.

Taranth's inspirational heritage is the Black Irish; play the
'Riverdance' soundtrack for him if you'd like. Bold, brash and full of the
blarney, he has a poet's soul that understands. Always chasing dreams (and
often catching them, or better yet, /building/ them), he has a good heart and
dreams big. Real big. You can walk into his castles in the air.
However, he occasionally lapses into dark melancholy; he's
vulnerable, often moody — but they're generally /good/ moods, whether
introspective or extroverted. He's not particularly perturbed by problems,
aided by the innate draconic sensibility of living-in-the-moment; he rather
enjoys (even indulges in) both sorrow and delight, and tomorrow's another day.
For that matter, if you're having a bad day, he generally swings the other
way to compensate and help you feel better; not irritatingly cheery, though,
so much as enticing you out of your doldrums. For his part, he usually only
gets melancholy when instinct tells him you can handle it, that you've time to
cosset and pet him and polish his talons, tell him there never /was/ such a
splendid dragon as he. Usually.
He's your home, your hearth; he's /yours/, and vice versa. There's
no concern about parentage here; Taranth's heritage is known, is assured, is
bedrock instinct. At the same time, again, he's a dragon, so there aren't
human labels of mommy and daddy, aunts and unclesand practically everyone's
of the same 'way-back bloodlines as everyone else, to boot
but there's a
sense of /belonging/, of knowing where he fits in. He is of Fort, and his
clutch. Unquestioned. The other dynamics … wait to be explored.

Speaking of dragons and dynamics: as for the other dragons, he's
very involved with them and their human lifemates as well, curious about other
ways of doing things — not that anyone's is intrinsically better than
/yours/, mind. It just might be… different. Humans without dragons are in
a way even more interesting because there isn't that other dragon he can talk
to and thus figure out how they tick; when you're in the caverns dealing with
whatever rider-foo needs to be dealt with (even if it's just more
tuber-peeling as a weyrling), he'll be staking out the territory and figuring
out those inside it. Perhaps it's due to that tinkering from your smith days.
However, unlike his brother Onath, the search is less more for
information-gathering than the feeling of /connection/, the relationship
between you two and the others, getting to know others better for their very
own sake. Be prepared to have interesting dreams as, in sleep, he relaxes the
boundaries between others' minds and your own… or even daydreams, or
livening up a boring sweepride. Or even dinner.
Taranth's oddly gentle with the little ones in particular, the
fragile ones, not to mention the children and the old aunties and uncles.
(Mind you, though he might be small at first, it'll take him an astonished
moment to accept special care from others; he doesn't /feel/ little!) If Pern
had butterflies, he'd chase 'em — not to eat, but for the play of it. Which
might be hard on the butterflies, but… that's something he's going to have
to learn. And since it /doesn't/ have butterflies, he'll settle for
whatever's in range: firelizards, vtols, clutchmates, you.

* * *

As a youngling, his mind will feel very /right/ with yours — and
yet, this whole living-with-a-dragon business will take some getting used to.
Telling yourselves apart, for starters, coordination on every level. For the
first sevenday at least, there'll be confusion as to whose wing itches and
whose elbow. (Speaking of itches, he'll need the most oiling between his
neckridges and /just/ along the lines of wingspars.) You're together a
compass, alternately playing parts of point and pencil, switching off with
little to no warning; your seesaw of moods will frequently overset until you
learn balance.
One bonus is that Taranth is anything but color-conscious; he doesn't
identify with 'bronze' or !bronze, he's just the way he is, and others are
the way they are, and he's far more likely to be a bit wistful about abilities
like how So'n'soth can turn on a half-mark without getting her wings caught
in her paws. That doesn't have to do with her being green, y'see, so much as
it has to do with her being small, and agile, and crafty, and
Oh, right, boundaries. What're those, again? You might well find
yourself talking out loud to Taranth, too, at the oddest moments. Sure, it
takes longer than thought, but
human habit, dontcha know, and besides, he
talks back. Boundaries — or, rather, their lack — will come up in other
areas as well. When he matures, and becomes interested in the females for
their interesting, enticing /smell/ (instead of just their flying abilities or
nifty imagery or whatever else he likes about them), and they rise and he
chases, instinct will send him up and you with him, utterly unified.
Speaking of smells, this time, Taranth's very aware of scents, of the
air itself, sensitively analyzing and perhaps amplifying the ambient
fragrances for your benefit. '» That reeks. « (Yeah, but don't tell her
dragon. That perfume was expensive!)' Honest sweat is actually rather
enjoyable, but if it gets old and stinky—well, it doesn't matter how cold the
lake is, he'll want to get you both /clean/. Scrupulously. Smelly socks
would likewise be an issue, whereas he couldn't care less if they matched.
Good thing, too.

As for 'voices', his mental voice is broad and tangy, expansive as it
encompasses and fairly rolls through your mind. Its tone is one of liquid,
lilting charm—convincing, captivating, and charismatic. While always in
motion, its cadence is at times slow and intricate (especially with the
ladies, once he matures!), but can whirl without warning into exhilarated,
even frenetic activity. To switch musical genres, he'll be equally adept at
swing and be-bop. In addition to those qualities, his mental signature
carries with it something of his agate's nature, opaque or translucent as his
mood varies; it's supplemented by a gleam of hunter's crimson, and just a
whiff of cedar to line it all with. Physically he'll be much the same, his
birth-tenor deepening its range without losing its height, suited both to
basso rumbles or clarion trumpets. Tarantara!

* * *


The Hunt begins.

* * *

Egg: Kh'rys
Dragonet/Name: J'dano, K'lora, Renna, B'nal
Dragonet/Inspiration: Arien, B'nal, J'dano, Renna

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