C'tiz and green Itzkoth
The Road So Far!
It all began at Jessaf Hold, in the protectorate of Madellon Weyr, for Ontir – a young man of 16 Turns, dreaming of becoming a green rider.
Ontir was born to unusual privilege – a grandson of Winstone, Lord of mighty Jessaf Hold. Ontir didn't scramble for the attention of the young Search rider, Garlan, who came to Jessaf in early 102 seeking candidates for Madellon Weyr's latest clutch. But as a scion of the Hold, Ontir was among the party welcoming the green rider to Jessaf – and, in due course, became the focus of her dragon Hushith's attention. Lord Winstone wasn't enthusiastic about Ontir becoming a candidate – while conceding that he could spare a younger grandchild. And with Winstone's admonition that he Impress a bronze – or a brown at the very least – ringing in his ears, Ontir left to begin his candidacy at Madellon Weyr.
As a candidate, Ontir was assigned a bunkmate – Soburn, an anxious Weyrbred youth with one failed Hatching already haunting him, who would soon become his closest friend in the Weyr. He also got to know many of his fellow candidates, including the Weyrbred twins Leover and Leoguy; Zielaph, the nephew of a Madellon bronze rider; and Chiliam, a good-natured highborn lad from Kellad.
But he also made an enemy – Rielat, a self-important apprentice Weaver – who took a firm disliking to Ontir! Backed up by his crony Kestor, Rielat became the thorn in Ontir's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.
The dragons' hum woke Soburn and Ontir on 102.03.17. Following a brief run-in with Rielat, 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 Ontir left, Soburn asked him to find out if H'nar, the young Wingleader of the Betweenless Wing, might currently be seeing someone – or not.
The one-armed green rider and the thieving queen
Immediately on leaving the candidate barracks, Ontir 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 Ontir to find it. Despite Ontir's best efforts, though, he didn't manage to complete and return the jewellery set before the Hatching.
Conscious of Soburn's bashfulness, Ontir approached the object of his affections – H'nar, Wingleader of the Betweenless Wing – with some circumspection. Still, when questioned, H'nar insisted he had to know who was making enquiries of him. And when he learned the identity of his admirer, he told Ontir that he wasn't interested in Soburn – or any other men, for that matter. But Ontir's agile pivot in questioning revealed that a close friend of H'nar's – blue rider M'rany – might be a viable alternative. Thus encouraged, Soburn began to think more positively of life as a dragonrider – even if H'nar would end up being his Wingleader!
But when it came to the Hatching, Ontir had a less than ordinary experience. While bathing in the lake, Ontir was swamped by a brown dragon's careless landing – and almost drowned. He survived – only to be invalided out of the Hatching and confined to the infirmary. But an earlier conversation with a veteran blue rider, S'rius, gave Ontir the notion that he might still be able to Impress – if he could just reach the Sands in time. He staggered from his sickbed, across the Weyr, and onto the Sands – just in time to Impress the very last dragonet, a green who named herself Itzkoth.
Whatever happened to Rielat?
Sadly, there was at least one fly in the numbweed. Rielat Impressed an impressively proportioned indigo-blue hatchling, making them Ontir and Itzkoth's new classmates. (On the bright side, at least Kestor didn't Impress!)
After the Hatching
"Itzkoth" by Emily Holland
The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Ontir on his Impression, but it was Garlan, delighted that her risky choice of Winstone's grandson had Impressed, who stepped in to help with the immediate matter of Itzkoth's first meal. That was Ontir's first opportunity to speak to Soburn, too, and they introduced each other, with considerable delight, to their respective dragonets, Itzkoth and Aeranth. Soburn also told Ontir that his new name was to be – perhaps unsurprisingly – S'burn.
It wasn't long before Itzkoth's personality started to become evident. The sea-green dragonet – ambiguously coloured at first glance, but unequivocally female when asked – proved to have a particularly playful and fun-loving outlook on life.
With both dragonets full to bursting with fresh meat, the newly minted dragonpairs left the Hatching sands for their new home: the weyrling barracks.
Meeting the Weyrleader
As Ontir and S'burn wiped the worst of the blood and sand from their tired new dragonets, the Weyrleader, T'gat, came to inspect both boys' dragonets, to ask after their names – and to ask the two new weyrlings how they should now be called. Ontir was proud to introduce Itzkoth to the Weyrleader. And after a brief conference with Itzkoth, Ontir gave the Weyrleader his own new name: C'tiz, rider of green Itzkoth!
Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Itzkoth's and Aeranth's newborn itchiness, C'tiz and S'burn headed into the boys' 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
C'tiz and S'burn soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk C'tiz had helped during the day greeted him with warm congratulations as he hunted through the throng – but, at last, he found his family.
Lord Winstone, C'tiz's grandfather, was in a state of high dudgeon about his grandson's Impression of a green. A tense scene ensued, with the Weyrleaders obliged to step in to defend C'tiz from his grandfather's fury – but the damage was already done.
The rest of the evening passed in a blur for C'tiz, 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, C'tiz was flagged down by a Weyrbrat, Emry, bringing the message that Weyrwoman Second Tarshe wanted to see him in the Archives.
Setting the record straight
Tarshe, tasked by the Weyrwoman with converting candidate documentation into weyrling records, went through C'tiz's background with him – including much of what he had got up to on the morning of the Hatching – for good and ill. She offered C'tiz some advice about paying attention to his new classmates and surroundings, lest he fall foul of the Weyrlingmaster's penchant for snap quizzes, advised him to report to Master Isnan before returning to the barracks to get his injuries checked again, and made some observations on Itzkoth.
A close encounter
On his way back to the barracks (by way of the infirmary, as ordered by Tarshe), C'tiz 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 C'tiz would later realise was firestone, who called him by name – and gave him a curious wooden box.
"The Watchful Queen" by Chris S. Baily
Back at the barracks, C'tiz decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger.
Returning at last to Itzkoth – billeted between S'burn's Aeranth and a bright bronze dragonet – C'tiz was too tired to examine the strange wooden box very closely, and put it in his clothes' chest for later examination. But even as he went to sleep – a dragonrider at last, his green beside him – C'tiz was struck with a deep sense of foreboding. Who was the mysterious dragonrider in the hooded cloak? And what was the significance of the strange wooden box?
C'tiz and Itzkoth'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!
A HORSE WITH A NAME
I have a name and it's a good name and I don't need to fix my name. Probably.
I make quite a strange match with Itzkoth!
SNAKES AND SNAILS
I haven't been very nice!
PLEASE STATE THE NATURE OF THE MEDICAL EMERGENCY
I returned to the infirmary!
EBONY AND IVORY
Itzkoth and I agreed on something very important!
Itzkoth and I disagreed on something quite important!