She walks in beauty, like the night… The classic image of the gold before you could have coined this famous line of prose, but darkness is not what surrounds her. She is bathed by a glow reminiscent of moonlight, starlight, kissing the soft, suede hide far more gently than the harsher rays of Rukbat. From the chiseled wedge head, crescent moon eyeridges and regally upright headknobs, to the slightly larger than normal spade-tip tail, the lines of her body flow like a river, a strong and all-powerful force. Marbled swirls of caramel ripple along neck and shoulders giving rise to a pair of pale, shining wings, the smooth, carved ailerons keeping the papyrus linen between them taut and ready for flight. Muscle and sinew gather in simple, natural curves, accentuating the lemon yellow bow of her belly and lean, well-balanced haunches. Finishing off this understated picture of loveliness are bright, white talons, half moons of shining bone that seem to keep this lithe form from floating back to the ancient depths from whence she came.
*Image by Aerhi
Egg Name and Description
Mixed Messages Egg
Mottled doesn't even begin to describe the surface of this particular egg. It seems as if its maker has gone seriously overboard in the coloring department, with clouds and swirls of almost every hue imaginable, and maybe even a few that never before reached the light of day. And yet, in the midst of all this chaos, this soup of confusion, a few patterns begin to emerge. In one particularly vivid patch, tinted mostly in burnt umber and carmine, is the image of a man. At least, one would think it's a man, except for the multi-spiked horns sprouting from the top of his head. And the goat-like hooves where his hands should be. Then there's the blotches of slate that take on the form of canines, leaping as if to attack the antlered man. No question now what all those deep red stains around him are. Turning from that disturbing bit, your eyes find another portion of shell, this one close to the tip and full of vivacious oranges, yellows and pinks. Here, a voluptuous woman is portrayed with another woman cradled asleep in her arms. The form seems to be walking away from some dark, granite cube-shape. The curving ripple of carmel draped across the squarish surface becomes the limp body of some unknown creature sporting the same strange, branching horns you'd seen before. Is that a sailing ship in the background? The faint baby blue lines are barely visible, making it impossible to be sure. Poor little ovoid. Maybe it has too many stories to tell.
Mixed Messages Egg never really ceased to move…until now. All inner turmoil halts suddenly, the egg standing on its tip in frozen pirouette. One breath passes. A second. The third is greeted by and explosion of energy and shell fragments begin to fly. A muzzle, a foreclaw, a tail, all burst from the ovoid in a flurry of angry movement and the hatchling's frenetic momentum sends the little ball of egg bits, goo and hatchling spinning across the sand a few feet. With a hiss of fury and a thorough shake-off (duck and cover near-by candidates!!!), Moonlit Marble Queen of the Hunt Gold Hatchling stretches out her wings, arches her neck and turns her ruby eyes to regard those about her.
Tendrils of mist begin to creep into your vision, slowly at first then swallowing your sight. Through the clouds of billowing violet comes a warm touch, a caress infinitely tender. « Leslyn. » A whisper, rich with tones of joy and wonder. «A bleak, black desert have I, Ankepith, crossed to stand at your feet. So too shall you stand at mine. The hunt to find you has been a pleasure but now is time for rest…» The regal thread of the voice is abruptly interrupted by the loud rumbling of a draconic stomach, and a hunger that surprises both you and your new lifemate with its intensity. Soft laughter follows bringing with it a clearing of your eyes so you may look truly upon her greatness. «There is a feast to follow, now, I would think?»
HATCHING TO WEYRLING
"Artemis was the image of a woman moving through her life and assuming different roles at different times…a veritable encyclopedia of feminine possibility." - The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines
So begins your life with Ankhepith. Take a deep breath while you can, you won't have much time for it afterwards. Once those first few days of eat-sleep-eat-some-more pass, your lifemate will be a bundle of frenetic energy, bent on exploring every nook and cranny of her world. There's something of the curiosity of cats and bears in her, particularly now. This kittenish, cubbish play-without-end can be exhausting, but also charming, like the baby animals she embodies. You may find that, despite the trouble she may get into from playing with the weyrlingmaster's favorite leather harness, even the most hard-hearted won't be able to help grinning. A little. Behind your back.
Right out of the shell, she'll be loving and protective of her clutchmates, taking a motherly interest in their growth and development that is surprisingly mature. She's also likely to latch onto one of her bronze brothers, spending enormous amounts of time playing, napping, eating, etc., with him, instinctively drawn to something she won't be able to describe this early in her life. If you were to ask older, more experienced goldriders, they'd speculate that the gold is forming alliances and bonds which she will draw on once she reaches adulthood. Just don't expect Ankhepith to understand the usefulness of her early relationships until later.
As Ankhepith grows, her charming play will become something else. You'll notice an intensity to it that may make you wonder if she's only having fun or if there is method to her mad romps. The feline within her will be more pronounced at this stage. The graceful movements and long, deeply soul-staring gazes that replace her tomboyish exuberance is a form of self-schooling, as important to her as what she learns during weyrling classes. After all, queenliness is next to Goddessliness and she will not attain her birthright by color alone. Her inimitable will is forming and it will be your job to make sure her head doesn't become bigger than her heart. Arrogance is a mindset that brings few boons and much ill will, a lesson that will behoove her to learn quickly.
Ankhepith will likely develop an early love of hunting. That air of the feline will direct her play to active stalking and Faranth help her 'prey'. Once in her sights, no cloth, towel, leather strap, ankle or tail will be exempt. Luckily, your clutchmates, both dragon and human, will soon learn to keep one eye on the gold, watching for that tell-tale haunch wriggle and that flash of extra-speedy whirl in her eyes that signals an imminent pounce. Once allowed to hunt her own meals, the attacks will stop. Mostly. A good stalk will always be a source of fun for her and when she feels you're taking things too seriously, you will be on the receiving end of them.
All this toying aside, again it's Ankhepith's intensity that will surprise. Kills may take on the feel of rituals, with every carcass becoming more than just a meal. One day she bloods a beast before eating (possibly scaring you by performing an act usually saved for mating). The next day, she dips her claws in the stuff, marking herself with it. One week, she'll save the hearts of her meals, demanding you fly her somewhere to bury them or take them between. The next week, it will be livers she treats this way. Her creativity will know no bounds and, though she may never really settle into one particular act or set of acts, you may find her revisiting certain ones at set times of the month or year, as if in unspoken rhythm with the moons, the tides or her own biological clock.
"Be it known that we, the greatest, are misthought." - Cleopatra
As an adult, Ankhepith is the kindest of creatures and a force to be reckoned with, bothtender and tempest, living up to all the possibilities of her name. Many may shrink from her flaring temper but you will know it for more than simple anger and be the stronger for it. There is a very calm eye inher storm, watching everything going on around her. She'scunning, calculating and (hopefully thanks to you) wise enough to use the sweetening before the lash. She has no qualms about resorting to rage to get what she wants, but it will not be her only tool. At her disposal is a veritable cornucopia of possibilities from the intellectual to the sensual and beyond. She has learned well and, even as a Junior, she will exude the wisdom and confidence of a queen with every step and act.
Those who grant Ankhepith the respect that she feels she deserves, are thanked with loyalty, honesty and affection. The psychopomps will receive only distain for their meaningless devotions. And she will know the difference, though she will not hint of her true feelings to any but you, her rider. Her ambition, however, will be no secret. This is one who seeks the throne, to secure her bloodline for the ages. She is anything but greedy or power-hungry, despite many whispers you may hear in the shadows. Ankhepith's desire is to serve as she is served, to protect as she is protected, and to defend the Weyr withevery drop of ichor in her veins, if that is what it takes, to see it attain greatness.
Childhood interests have grown, in some cases, into eccentricities within Ankhepith. Certain habits have formed that keep her life, and yours…interesting. Her mothering instincts may very well have developed beyond her clutchmates to embrace all children equally be it animal, dragon or human. The pregnant will catch her eye and, with a nudge of demand, you'll be chatting with a graven stranger about how she's faring and when she's due. Don't be surprised if Ankhepith asks to bear witness to a birth. Or two. Hundred.
Ankhepith may also 'adopt' certain creatures, particularly wild ones. She, and by proxy you, will be drawn to the wild to watch them. She'll be particularly drawn to lifecycles in such cases, asking that you keep count of birth rates and death rates among groups. However, though she may know each sparrow, watch its flight and eventually mourn its passing, she will never interfere in the struggle for survival. And she won't let you either. For her, death is a part of life, a power not to be tampered with. If you want to save those puppies whose mother was killed, you'll have to do it in stealth. Later, when she notices new puppies playing with the weyr-children, you'll feel her eye upon you and sense amusement and more than a little loving pride, as if she'd expected such caring deceit and wouldn't have it any other way.
Love of wild things may also lead her to collect bits and pieces of the locales she loves most, branches, leaves, seedlings. You may end up with an impromptu ledge garden made up of young plants that Ankhepith chose to keep close to her.
"You don't play a player." - Inara Serra
Ankhepith in flight is a wonder to behold. Her grace on the ground is nothing compared to her when she embraces the sky, unfettered and free. Every rising is greeted with relish as a hunt in reverse. Those behind her may think they are the predators, but they are fools all. There are none wilier, none swifter or stronger. The ultimate hunter is the glowing female out in front and she will lead her prey high and low with breathtaking ease teasing, toying and sizing up each chaser as they vie for her affection. There will likely be a draw to dragons ridden by those in power, Weyrleaders, Weyrseconds, and, if the rider seems ambitious enough to match her, Wingleaders. But that doesn't mean she'll let only such dragons catch. Power takes many forms and she can just as easily turn up her nose at every bronze in the pack, preferring the smaller brown who corkscrewed his way to her with daring and bravery. Fortune often does favor the bold.
"If I never met you, I wouldn't like you. If I didn't like you, I wouldn't love you. If I didn't love you, I wouldn't miss you. But I did, I do, and I will." -Anonymous
Ankhepith's mindvoice falls into an alto range, not quite high or low. Educated, well-mannered, feminine yet unquestionably strong, she states what's on her mind in straight-forward, no-nonsense comments, exhibiting the tonal qualities of one who rarely needs to raise her voice to bring all before her to complete attention. On those occasions when her voice -is- raised, her sentences whether bespoken to others or sent only to you, will become longer, flowing with rich verbal imagery and turns of phrase that may make you wonder where the shards it all came from. Her mindtouch -is- fog, a thick and mysterious blanket of violet, illuminated and glowing with some unseen light source. When calm it lays over you like a warm blanket, comforting and protective. When roused either with anger or some other strong emotion, it will roil and billow about your mind with flashes of lightning and trembling vibrations that have the feel of distant, unheard thunder.
Ankhepith's egg description, "Mixed Messages" tried to tell, in colors and images, two very different myths about the Goddess Artemis. One embraces the most well known of her tales, the punishment of Actaeon and the other, less often told, the rescue of Iphigenia. I chose both as a way to symbolize two opposing sides of Artemis, the unforgiving destroyer and the caring nurturer. The yin and yang as it were, of this chronically misunderstood religious figure.
Artemis was an adopted Goddess to the Greeks and later the Romans. They embraced some bits and lopped off other bits to more conveniently fit their acceptable images of what a Goddess should be, giving rise to the current view of her as a perpetual maiden, virginity obsessed, marriage-hating, battle-hungry female that turned foolish, lusting men into stags, just to be devoured by their own hunting dogs as punishment for looking upon her naked. Artemis has a far richer history than one would guess. Once the embodiment of the ultimate nurturer, The Great Mother to take the name coined by Jean Auel for her Earth's Children Series, Artemis was a Goddess who was incredibly tender, protected women from harm during childbirth and rescued more than a few women given up as sacrifice to her.
The other image on Mixed Messages is a reference to one of those rescues and the only one to be placed in Roman legend. As the story goes, the great king Agamemnon killed one of Artemis' sacred deer, so she stopped the winds when he tried to sail for the Trojan war. His priest misinterpreted the Goddess' anger and told Agamemnon that the only way for him to undo the spell was to sacrifice his daughter Iphigenia to the Goddess. Appalled by the 'sacrifice', Artemis exchanged the girl with one of her deer and carried her to the land of the Tarsus to serve her as a priestess. Artemis' greatest temple, that in Ephesus, was claimed to have been built at Iphigenia's request to thank Artemis for saving her. Again, both unforgiving punisher and yet, tender saviour embody the tale. And it's in these two apparently contradicting forces where her mind (and consequently, your dragon) was born. - A'rtomus who's name -does- bear a certain resemblance to his player's favorite Deity.
Ankhepith's personality takes some inspiration from Artemis herself, and from that odd point in Egyptian history when Greek and Egyptian cultures were shaded in one another, the Ptolemaic dynasty. Most of her ultimate inspiration is garnered from the strongest and most tragic of all their Pharohs, Cleopatra VII. Or at least some of her reputation and some of what is actually known about her. Ill leave out the vast majority of the history lesson, trusting that if curious, youll look for it on your own. Cleopatra was an incredibly intelligent woman, who spoke at least seven languages, she knew as much about science and history as many of her contemporary leaders. Those rare times she was left alone, she ruled well and managed her people with a matronly love not dissimilar to Artemis. She respected the religion of other people, and she was as politically astute as any Roman of noble birth. Her death was one of *her* choosing, and it was as ritually symbolic as any death could be. You mentioned in your questionaire wanting something in the Egyptian mean for a name, I came up with Ankhepith, the molding of two ancient Egyptian words, Ankh meaning life and Kepi meaning tempest. In the RP tips, you'll see why I chose this name from a rather considerable list. - Jeriah
Ultimately, Ankhepith is yours to enjoy. NONE of what we've written below is set in stone. She is yours to play and develop as you see fit. What qualities evolve, how they manifest or even IF they manifest, is up to you. On a personal note, creating her with Jeriah was both an honor and a learning experience for which I may never be able to thank Searchco enough. May she teach and inspire you in RP as much as she taught and inspired me. - A'rtomus
I cannot describe how happy I've been to just take part in this Search cycle, and how happy I am to be a partner in creating this special lady for you, Leslyn. Working with A'rtomous has been wonderful, informative and fun and I look forward to many more collaborations in the future. I truly hope you love her as much as we love her. - Jeriah
|Name||Moonlit Marble Queen of the Hunt Gold Ankhepith|
|Created By||A'rtomus and Jeriah|
|Hatched||2 February 2007|