Name: Diraye
Age: 16
Gender: female
Description: Diraye has bright blue eyes, a straight nose and full lips. Her hair is straight and brown, usually tied back and held up with a clip. As she likes to eat, she is on the chubbier side, but not in a way that it hinders her movements or activities. She is of average height. Personality wise she is a hard worker and a devoted daughter and friend. She enjoys the little things in life like the warm breeze in early summer and the colours of dusk and dawn. 
Family: Diraye is the youngest daughter in a restaurant family. Her 2 older sisters and older brother have all left the house to start a family of their own. Diraye helps her mother cook and on clear days works in a stall near the harbour selling  boxed lunches and sweets to the fishermen. 
Skills: cooking, loud voice to attract customers. 
Magical ability: untapped but Diraye always knows when it's about to rain or storm. 
Pets: (welcome)


Diraye took in a deep breath and hollered: "Get your boxed lunches, sweets and treats here. We've got the best food you an buy in all of Witduin!"
The sun had risen some time ago and the first fishermen were returning home while the next shift was filing in. Plenty of customers to fight over for the three odd food stalls that had set up near the harbour. There wasn't an official agreement as to what stores took up the stalls but since the same 5 restaurants had been in Witduin since before she was born, there was no fuss. Today she shared the customers with the soup shop and the skewered meat shop. She knew that some customers would visit all three stalls. Those with less than satisfactory bounty would probably only visit one. 
Witduin was large for a fishing village since it also hosted a market where the fishermen could trade their fish to caravans and neighbouring villages. The area was flat and fertile so farmers and crafters also sold their wares. Since she'd become an adult, Diraye hadn't had much time to visit the market however. As she would take over her parents' business, she'd been studying and practicing all she needed to know about the restaurant trade. 
"Delicious cakes!" she called, hoping to drag in a few more customers.
"You're not going to sway them away from my skewers." the young man in the next stall called back, "Braised Pork day!" he called, attracting attention.
"I might as well pack up then." Diraye grinned, but added: "Meatball Pasta!"
"You didn't!" her neighbour replied, acting as if he got stabbed in the back.
"Business is business, even if you're my brother who married into a rivalling family." She shot back.
Her brother laughed and returned to serving his customers as the lines in front of their shops started growing. The next half hour went by in a blur as Diraye took orders, assembled lunch boxes and took payments. When the first rush ended she got a prickling sensation on the back of her neck that sent a shudder down to her knees.
Looking up at the sky she told her brother: "I don't like the look of that sky."
Though mostly clear, a tiny line of grey was visible at the far horizon.
"If that is a storm, it's still far off." her brother shrugged, still he had learned to heed his sister's warnings when it came to rain and storms. She was usually right. Diraye started packing up and noticed her brother did the same. Even the third seller, a boy she new from school though he was a couple of years younger than her and she'd not paid him much attention, seemed to realise something was off if the two other stalls were packing up.
Looking up Diraye noticed that several of the fishermen were also returning home. Apparently she wasn't alone to be wary of that sky. It looked deceptively calm but the dark line had grown thicker in just the 10 minutes she'd needed to pack up. This storm was coming in quick. 

Running at the edge of the land, the sea had gone from calm to choppy to raging in just 15 minutes. Rain had started to fall and Diraye was scrambling to get home. Taking the road next to the sea was a risk but it was also a shortcut. Even if she'd taken the road through town she would have gotten wet. Nothing could shelter people from this downpour.... well except a roof.
Turning a corner around a dune she saw her home and gave it all she had left to get there sooner. Just at that moment a large dark form seemed to jump out of the water, landing right in front of her. 
Giving a startled scream, Diraye lost her footing and fell in the sand. Though already drenched and dirty, the sand made her feel downright atrocious. Carefully getting up, checking for bruises and cuts, Diraye looked at what had knocked her down. A large fish-like creature but with an oddly feline-shaped head and claws to match stared back at her
"Some help please." It seemed to say in her head.
"Help? How?" She asked out loud.
"A shove back into the sea. I'm not build for land."
"Just what are you?" Diraye asked not sensing any threat from the creature.
"I'm Chunyon and I'm a nekrat from Dawn Cove.... though I've gotten slightly off course."
"Never heard of nekrats. My name is Diraye."
Diraye put all her weight into it as she shoved her back against the beached nekrat, slowly the creature shimmied back to the water, moving like a snake. Once in the first feet of water, the creature got a lot more mobile and swept forward meaning Diraye got to take a seawater bath for her efforts. Well she'd been dirty and wet anyway.
"Thank you!" Chunyon said, "I'll return with my human bond at a later date. Maybe you'd like to visit Dawn Cove to see where we live?"
"Sure." Diraye said, not knowing what else to say. It all seemed so outlandish. How was she to explain to her parents she'd met some unknown creature and had fallen in the sea while helping it anyway?

About half a week had passed since that stormy day and Diraye had all but forgotten her encounter with the nekrat when suddenly a knock sounded on the restaurant door. 
"Coming!" she said and opened the door to find a stocky blue-eyed, brow-haired stranger on the porch. He was quite a bit older than her and looked expectantly at her.
"Are you Diraye?" he asked.
"I am, do I know you?" she asked.
"My name is Gejuisu, I'm Chunyon's bond. I heard you helped him when he got in trouble. I can't thank you enough for that. I don't even know how he got washed out of the water. I figured sea dragons knew the tides better than that."
"I'd almost convinced myself I'd been dreaming." Diraye stammered.
Gejuisu smiled kindly and waited for Diraye to compose himself. All the while talking about his wife, the place where they lived and the nekrats. Diraye got him a drink and quietly took his order, wondering why he'd come. And then she remembered that Chunyon had offered to take her to Dawn Cave.
Seeing the realisation dawn in her eyes, Gejuisu asked: "So want to come?"
"I can't." Diraye objected, "I'm working, studying to take over the store and..."
"We can manage a couple of days without you." her mother called from the kitchen, "Go see the world, you're the right age for that. There's plenty of time to learn the trade when you get back. 
"So I guess I can come." Diraye conceded. 


Storm clouds gathered at the horizon and a lone lightning strike split the distant skies. And yet there were people out and about. The nekrats had alerted the Islanders that the eggs were hatching. The waters were churning as the rising currents met the quivering of the eggs. Adult nekrats had formed a barrier around the bay, making sure that the eggs could hatch safely. Airborn and flightless dragons had come to watch from the land. Some humans were braving the coming storm to witness the hatching and the candidates were lining up, standing with their feet in the shallow waters between the eggs. The candidates who'd been found were diverse. There were humans of course, but also shapeshifters. As they'd waited for the clutch to hatch, new water sports had been introduced to Lantessama and friendly (or sometimes fierce) competition had been waged between the natives and the visitors. 
The seventh nekrat to hatch was yellow as well but a bit darker, a puddle male that listened to the name Drizs. He had liked to hide his intentions a bit more, but with only two people left standing, he quickly made his way to Diraye and wrapped his tail around her legs possessively. 
"I like you." he said, "Do you like me?"

Puddle Drizs (m)


Drizs had taken immediately to the waters of Dawn Cove. It helped that there were a good deal of nekrats around that had hatched in previous clutches at Lantessama. Still, most of them had paired up already and being an adult male himself, all those raging hormones and sappy love stories had him feeling a bit left out. It didn't help that his bond seemed only interested in making food and selling it either. 
Still, he carefully kept these feelings locked away as he kept private most of what he was thinking. It wouldn't do him any good to whine. Lately though, Drizs had noticed a newcomer in the waters. A sleek grey-blue sea dragoness from a place quite different from Lantessama. She looked different, but not unappealing to his senses. And this time it did help that his bond sometimes checked out her bond as well.
Drizs felt that the time to move was probably at hand. And if he wasn't the one to take the first step, nobody else would.
So snipping off some pretty green seaweed stalks, he made his way to Guianeth and said:
"I hope you like seaweed. If you want we could go for a little swim to eat some more?"

Intro - Mate

All images found with google
Nekrat impressed at Lantessama Isle