Rissi and green Lirth
The Road So Far!
It all began at the Harperhall at Kellad Hold, in the protectorate of Madellon Weyr, for Rissi – a young woman of 18 Turns, dreaming of becoming a green rider.
Rissi was born the daughter of two Harpers at the Southern Harperhall, Kellad Hold. Surrounded by music, she was apprenticed to the Craft when she came of age. But she never excelled in any discipline, and it seemed as if an unremarkable career as a mid-level journeyman likely lay ahead for her. And then, in early 102, J'kel – a dragonrider of Madellon Weyr – came to Kellad Hold in search of candidates for the new clutch hardening on the Sands of Madellon Weyr. Rissi caught the attention of J'kel's blue Hozrath. And a sevenday later, Rissi arrived at Madellon Weyr, joining the candidate pool for senior queen Shimpath's first clutch by her new mate Muzzanth.
As a candidate, Rissi was assigned a bunkmate – Erilde, a quiet young woman from the Lower Caverns fearing a second unsuccessful Hatching, who would soon become her closest friend in the Weyr. She also got to know many of her fellow candidates, including the Weyrbred twins Leover and Leoguy; Zielaph, the nephew of a Madellon bronze rider; and Arina, a level-headed young woman from Jessaf who'd stood at the previous Hatching.
But she also made an enemy – Auciet, a snobby and superior Holdbred girl – who took a firm disliking to Rissi! Backed up by her crony Cedranne, Auciet became the thorn in Rissi's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.
The dragons' hum woke Erilde and Rissi on 102.03.17. Following a brief run-in with Auciet, the pair joined the rest of the candidates for a morning lecture. The Weyrlingmaster, L'stev, gave the whole cohort – increased by three late Searchees to a total of thirty-five – strict instructions about pre-Hatching preparations, including eating, drinking, bathing – and in some cases, getting a decent haircut – and then turned the group loose for the morning. Before Rissi left, Erilde asked her to make enquiries about any dragonrider heritage she herself might possess, to give her confidence a boost before the Hatching.
The one-armed green rider and the thieving queen
Immediately on leaving the candidate barracks, Rissi was flagged down by M'shen – a green rider with one arm, a fire-lizard queen – and a problem. His queen, Squiffy, had stolen several pieces of the Weyrwoman's jewellery, and hidden it around the Weyr. M'shen recruited Rissi to find it. Despite Rissi's best efforts, though, she didn't manage to complete and return the jewellery set before the Hatching.
Respecting her elders
In the Weyr's kitchen gardens, Rissi encountered R'hren, a former Weyrleader of Madellon, now peacefully retired to potter among his beloved plants. R'hren asked Rissi to help him track down the ingredients for a warming salve to help his elderly bronze, Staamath, with his arthritic forepaws. Rissi duly located the components of R'hren's salve, winning the old bronze rider's approval in the process.
Gifted a small pot of the salve, Rissi offered it to old S'rius, who was equally appreciative of the gift. And while Kisha, the blind old green rider Rissi encountered in the infirmary, would have nothing to do with one of R'hren's concoctions, she too grew to approve of Rissi – especially after she solved all three of her fiendish riddles!
Rissi met G'kalte – a brown rider and Wingsecond, not to mention Weyrwoman Valonna's weyrmate – in the Bowl, and was quickly recruited by him to help with a diplomatic matter. G'kalte had been tasked with delivering two gifts from Valonna to her Southern counterpart Weyrwoman Karika – but he'd been summoned away to collect his own grandmother, Lady Coffleby, for the Hatching.
He asked Rissi to figure out which of the seven Southern dragons visiting Madellon were the correct pair to hand over Karika's gifts. And while G'kalte's brown, Archidath, offered Rissi some intelligence on the Southern seven, his advice was somewhat garbled! Nonetheless, Rissi unravelled Archidath's confusing suggestions and got the right packages to the right dragons – without being growled at!
A Masterful order
In the dining hall, Rissi met her fellow candidate Zielaph, who'd been tasked by his somewhat dim uncle, bronze rider Fr'ton, with delivering a complicated drinks order to a group of Master Crafters. Zielaph had information about their names, beverages, crafts, and fire-lizards – but not in any sensible order!
Luckily for him, Rissi solved the puzzle of Fr'ton's confusing notes adeptly, delivering the correct drinks to the correct Masters, and earning a handsome tip in the process. Rissi even shared the largesse with Zielaph, who then introduced her to Fr'ton – who, having Impressed a bronze in spite of his less than boundless promise, gave Rissi a certain confidence in her own prospects!
A rising problem
Rissi encountered both Soleigh, whose green Bristath was preparing to rise near the lake, and her weyrmate Maris, who was getting very drunk in the dining hall on account of her fears that Soleigh was having an affair with a blue rider, G'tron. Rissi's intervention successfully got rid of G'tron, whose Imdoth was very sweet indeed on Bristath, from the mating flight – not to mention G'pellas, another blue rider, needed in the Harper ensemble – and reconciled the two green riders. Even if Rissi did annoy Soleigh, who wasn't impressed with her for prolonging Maris' binge by bringing her more wine!
A Harper born
Rissi's Harper training came in handy when Carleah, the Weyr Singer, asked her to play a set with her ensemble in the dining hall. They played to a rapturous reception that gave Rissi's confidence – and her mark purse – quite a boost!
Madellon's kitchens – the heart of the Weyr, and domain of Headwoman Crauva – provided Rissi with the opportunity to show off her work ethic before the Hatching. A round of chores duly pleased Crauva. And the kitchen was also the source of the hotfruit R'hren had sent Rissi to find for his warming salve.
Eggs and baskets
A visit to the Archives led to a meeting with Tarshe, Madellon's Weyrwoman Second. When Rissi expressed an interested in looking up some Weyr records, Tarshe offered her the loan of a glowbasket – on the proviso that she return it afterwards. Which – mindful of not offending such an important personage of the Weyr – Rissi did!
A blue lady
Coming across T'gala, Pern's only female blue rider, bathing her Heppeth in the lake, Rissi offered her assistance – which T'gala gladly accepted. Getting some first-hand advice about what it took for T'gala to Impress a blue dragon was an opportunity Rissi didn't want to pass up.
Seeking knowledge of Erilde's parentage, Rissi visited the Weyr's Archives and sought advice from Weyrwoman Tarshe, the Weyrwoman Second. While Tarshe could find no evidence that Erilde's father had been a dragonrider, she suggested Rissi might construct a story about a long-dead rider. Rissi delved into Madellon's records and unearthed a brown rider, B'get, deceased some Turns ago, but of the right age to have fathered her friend. Bringing this plausible white lie to Erilde may have been a tad devious – but it had the desired effect on her belief that she could, in fact, possess the ability to Impress a dragon!
When it came to the Hatching, Rissi had to wait a little while before the white-swirled grey-beige egg Hatched to reveal the dark emerald-green dragonet who would choose her, naming herself Lirth.
But Lirth was nearly beaten to Rissi by another dragonet – an inquisitive teal-green hatchling who seemed torn between Rissi and Erilde. Sensing that she wasn't the best match for her, Rissi stepped aside to give Erilde precedence – resulting in her Impression of the little green, Shaldeth.
Whatever happened to Auciet?
Auciet didn't turn up for the pre-Hatching muster, and – Rissi's own suspicions notwithstanding – L'stev guessed that she had probably got herself lost trying to sneak into the Hatching Ground through the dangerous ventilation tunnels. Fortunately – Rissi supposed – Weyrlingmaster A'len located the missing candidate, but too late for Auciet, who having been found unconscious, was promptly invalided out of standing!
After the Hatching
"Lirth" by Chris S. Baily
The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Rissi on her Impression, but it was J'kel, thrilled that Hozrath had finally found a successful candidate after so long without, who stepped in to help with the immediate matter of Lirth's first meal. That was Rissi's first opportunity to speak to Erilde, too, and they introduced each other, with considerable delight, to their respective dragonets, Lirth and Shaldeth.
It wasn't long before Lirth's personality started to become evident. The emerald-green dragonet – the largest of her colour – immediately showed her devious and irreverent character, looking for mischief before she'd even left the Sands.
With both dragonets full to bursting with fresh meat, the newly minted dragonpairs left the Hatching sands for their new home: the weyrling barracks.
Another friend Rissi made along the way – a young Weyrbred candidate, Brithie, whom Rissi had encountered in a sudden crisis of confidence directly before the Hatching – hailed Rissi at the barracks – crediting her with her successful Impression of a tiny bottle-green dragonet, Epatanth!
Meeting the Weyrleader
As Rissi and Erilde wiped the worst of the blood and sand from their tired new dragonets, the Weyrleader, T'gat, came to inspect both girls' dragonets and to ask after their names. Rissi was proud to introduce Lirth to the Weyrleader – and to give him her full new name: Rissi, rider of green Lirth!
Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Lirth's and Shaldeth's newborn itchiness, Rissi and Erilde headed into the girls' barracks to claim the billets that would be theirs for the next Turn. Choosing adjacent cots, the two new weyrlings got their dragonets settled on the couches that they would take months to grow into. But there was no time for them to sit and admire their new dragons. The Weyrlingmaster soon came along to give them their new weyrling shoulder-knots, before chivvying them off to the Hatching feast!
The Hatching feast
Rissi and Erilde soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk Rissi had helped during the day greeted her with warm congratulations as she hunted through the throng – but, at last, she found her family.
Rissi's Harper parents were absolutely delighted to find themselves the mother and father of a green rider and happier still to learn that Rissi had already brought her musical skills to the Weyr. And they were even more delighted to drink to Rissi and Lirth when the Weyrleaders arrived to toast them!
The rest of the evening passed in a blur for Rissi, and it came as a relief when the Weyrlingmaster ordered all the new weyrlings back to the barracks for a good night's sleep. But en route to bed, Rissi was flagged down by a Weyrbrat, Emry, bringing the message that Weyrwoman Second Tarshe wanted to see her in the Archives.
Setting the record straight
Tarshe, tasked by the Weyrwoman with converting candidate documentation into weyrling records, went through Rissi's background with her – including much of what she had got up to on the morning of the Hatching – for good and ill. She cleared up an anomaly with her new name, too. She offered Rissi some advice about paying attention to her new classmates and surroundings, lest she fall foul of the Weyrlingmaster's penchant for snap quizzes, and made some observations on Lirth.
A close encounter
On her way back to the barracks , Rissi had two peculiar encounters – first, with Tarshe's queen, Berzunth, who seemed quite agitated by one of the visiting dragons on the Rim; and then with a mysterious hooded figure, smelling strongly of what Rissi would later realise was firestone, who called her by name – and gave her a curious wooden box.
"The Watchful Queen" by Chris S. Baily
Back at the barracks, Rissi decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger – though she did give L'stev her new name.
Returning at last to Lirth – billeted between Erilde's Shaldeth and a pale green dragonet – Rissi was too tired to examine the strange wooden box very closely, and put it in her clothes' chest for later examination. But even as she went to sleep – a dragonrider at last, her green beside her – Rissi was struck with a deep sense of foreboding. Who was the mysterious dragonrider in the hooded cloak? What was the significance of the strange wooden box? And how had the stranger known Rissi's new name?
Rissi and Lirth's story will continue in Dragonchoice: Weyrling, coming soon!
CARRY ON WAYWARD SON
I travelled The Road So Far!
OUR ROB, OR ROSS
I received a mysterious box!
I (don't) love the smell of elision in the morning!
I changed my name by choice!
CEASE AND DESIST
I prevented legal difficulties by changing my name!
ONE STEVE LIMIT
I avoided duplicating a Dragonchoice character's name!
COMPUTER SAYS NO
I changed my name from something unacceptable!
THE YIN TO YOUR YANG
Lirth and I complement each other!
SUGAR AND SPICE
I've been a very nice person (so far)!
EBONY AND IVORY
Lirth and I agreed on something very important!
Lirth and I agreed on something quite important!