F'ax and green Bellidath
The Road So Far!
It all began at Madellon Weyr for Fairfax – a young boy of 14 Turns, dreaming of becoming a dragonrider.
Fairfax was born the son of Wingleader R'yeno and green rider Evie of Madellon Weyr. While he didn't have to be Searched, he was 'given the nod' as a likely dragonrider by the Weyr's most senior retired Search pair – S'rius and his elderly blue Padseth. As a first-time candidate, Fairfax looked forward to the Hatching with both excitement and trepidation – half convinced that he would be meeting his own dragon at last; half terrified of failing to meet the standards expected of a Wingleader's son!
As a candidate, Fairfax was assigned a bunkmate – Martom, a confident young Weyrbred lad, 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 – Gydeton, the blustering, entitled son of Lord Meturvian of Kellad – who took a firm disliking to Fairfax! Backed up by his crony Varell, Gydeton became the thorn in Fairfax's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.
The dragons' hum woke Martom and Fairfax on 102.03.17. Following a brief run-in with Gydeton, 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 Fairfax left, Martom – keen to prove himself by Impressing on his first attempt – asked him for help procuring some additional confidence in the form of some alcohol.
The one-armed green rider
Immediately on leaving the candidate barracks, Fairfax was flagged down by M'shen – a green rider with only one arm. But whatever he wanted, Fairfax never discovered, being disinclined to be helpful with so many other errands to run.
Disrespecting his elders
In the Weyr's kitchen gardens, Fairfax encountered R'hren, a former Weyrleader of Madellon, now peacefully retired to potter among his beloved plants. But they got off to a poor start – Fairfax had unwittingly taken a redfruit without permission – and furthermore lied about it when challenged by the old bronze rider. The scrumping alone might not have turned R'hren against Fairfax – but the literal red-handed lie did!
A rising problem
Fairfax 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. Fairfax's intervention successfully got rid of G'tron, whose Imdoth was very sweet indeed on Bristath, from the mating flight and reconciled the two green riders.
Weyrbrat by name...
A run-in with a Weyrbrat – Terzon, whom Gydeton had paid to cause Fairfax trouble – resulted in an unfortunate public incident. All too aware of being shaken down, Fairfax gave the kid a shove – in front of a number of witnesses – doing nothing for his reputation!
At the lake, T'rello – the rider of the biggest bronze at Madellon, Santinoth – asked for Fairfax's help in bathing his gargantuan dragon. Fairfax, reluctant to get wet, refused – earning T'rello's disdain, and a blot on his reputation!
Wherry bad behaviour
Fairfax's assorted instances of bad behaviour finally caught up with him. L'stev collared him in the Bowl and gave him an ultimatum – buck up his ideas, or sit the Hatching out. Fairfax chose the former, and the Weyrlingmaster sent him to do penance in the wherry hatchery – though Fairfax remained on probation, with one more slip promising to rule him out of standing!
When it came to the Hatching, Fairfax didn't have to wait too long for his date with destiny. The elongated spotted egg Hatched out a pale mint-green dragonet who told Fairfax her name was Bellidath.
A friend bereft
But to Fairfax's dismay, Martom wasn't as fortunate. No dragonet showed an interest in him, and he was left among the candidates remaining unmatched at the end of the Hatching.
Whatever happened to Gydeton?
Sadly, there was at least one fly in the numbweed. Gydeton Impressed the biggest dragonet of the clutch, a hefty dark-brown hatchling, making them Fairfax and Bellidath's new classmates. (On the bright side, at least Varell didn't Impress!)
After the Hatching
"Bellidath" by Chris S. Baily
The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Fairfax on his Impression, but it was old S'rius, delighted to have found yet another weyrling, who stepped in to help with the immediate matter of Bellidath's first meal. That was the first moment Fairfax had truly grasped that Martom wasn't going to be a weyrling alongside him – a truth that hit hard. In Martom's absence, Chiliam – the highborn lad from Kellad, who'd Impressed a dusty-brown dragonet, Destrath, and who now styled himself Ch'liam – was a welcome friendly face.
It wasn't long before Bellidath's personality started to become evident. The pale green dragonet had absolutely no hesitation about making her voice – her very loud and strident voice – heard, indicating what a forceful and demanding character she would become.
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 Fairfax and Ch'liam 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. Fairfax was proud to introduce Bellidath to the Weyrleader. And after a brief conference with Bellidath, Fairfax gave the Weyrleader his own new name: F'ax, rider of green Bellidath!
Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Bellidath's and Destrath's newborn itchiness, F'ax and Ch'liam 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
F'ax and Ch'liam soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk F'ax had helped during the day greeted him with warm congratulations as he hunted through the throng – but, at last, he found his family.
R'yeno and Evie couldn't have been happier to greet their son as a green rider for the first time . And when the Weyrleaders came to drink a toast to F'ax and Bellidath, R'yeno was delighted to embarrass his son by insinuating that Gryth would be stiffer competition to Muzzanth in Shimpath's next flight.
The rest of the evening passed in a blur for F'ax, 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, F'ax 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 F'ax'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 F'ax some advice about paying attention to his new classmates and surroundings, lest he fall foul of the Weyrlingmaster's penchant for snap quizzes, and made some observations on Bellidath.
A close encounter
On his way back to the barracks , F'ax 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 F'ax 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, F'ax decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger.
Returning at last to Bellidath – billeted between Ch'liam's Destrath and a slender green dragonet – F'ax 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 – F'ax 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?
F'ax and Bellidath'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.
BIRDS OF A FEATHER
Bellidath and I make a very strong match!
SNAKES AND SNAILS
I haven't been very nice!
EBONY AND IVORY
Bellidath and I agreed on something very important!
Bellidath and I agreed on something quite important!
Bellidath and Corienth made friends!