Liliolsa and green Garpoloth
The Road So Far!
It all began at Jessaf Hold, in the protectorate of Madellon Weyr, for Liliolsa – a young girl of 13 Turns, dreaming of becoming a green rider.
Liliolsa was born the daughter of a modest cotholder at Jessaf Hold, working alongside her widowed father to work their allotted land, and help bring up her young twin siblings, Albon and Gettie. And in early 102, when a green rider, N'jol, and his Kistrith came to Jessaf in search of candidates for Madellon Weyr's hardening clutch, Liliolsa didn't even present herself as a hopeful. Yet it was Liliolsa that Kistrith singled out among all those young people. She almost didn't accept Search – anxious not to abandon her father. But he insisted, revealing that his late wife, Liliolsa's mother, had always dreamed of being a dragonrider – and gifting Liliolsa with her blue feather pendant as a lucky charm.
As a candidate, Liliolsa was assigned a bunkmate – Jopha, a mischievous young Weyrbred girl prone to getting herself into trouble, 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 – Thippia, a foul-mouthed girl from the Seacraft – who took a firm disliking to Liliolsa! Backed up by her crony Berrin, Thippia became the thorn in Liliolsa's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.
The dragons' hum woke Jopha and Liliolsa on 102.03.17. Following a brief run-in with Thippia, 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 Liliolsa left, Jopha – whose Impression robe was sadly overlarge for her petite frame – recruited Liliolsa's help in getting it adjusted by her nemesis Shookana in the mending room.
The one-armed green rider and the thieving queen
Immediately on leaving the candidate barracks, Liliolsa 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 Liliolsa to find it. The quest took Liliolsa all over Madellon, from kitchens to lake to infirmary – but in the end she succeeded in reuniting the Weyrwoman's jewellery set, to general acclaim.
Respecting her elders
In the Weyr's kitchen gardens, Liliolsa encountered R'hren, a former Weyrleader of Madellon, now peacefully retired to potter among his beloved plants. R'hren asked Liliolsa to help him track down the ingredients for a warming salve to help his elderly bronze, Staamath, with his arthritic forepaws. Liliolsa 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, Liliolsa offered it to old S'rius, who was equally appreciative of the gift. And while Kisha, the blind old green rider Liliolsa encountered in the infirmary, would have nothing to do with one of R'hren's concoctions, she too grew to approve of Liliolsa – especially after she solved all three of her fiendish riddles!
Liliolsa 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 Liliolsa 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 Liliolsa some intelligence on the Southern seven, his advice was somewhat garbled! Nonetheless, Liliolsa 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, Liliolsa 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, Liliolsa 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. Liliolsa 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 Liliolsa a certain confidence in her own prospects!
A rising problem
Liliolsa 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. Liliolsa'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.
Madellon's kitchens – the heart of the Weyr, and domain of Headwoman Crauva – provided Liliolsa 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 Liliolsa 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 Liliolsa 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 – Liliolsa did!
Weyrbrat by name...
A run-in with a Weyrbrat – Terzon, whom Thippia had paid to cause Liliolsa trouble – resulted in an unfortunate public incident. All too aware of being shaken down, Liliolsa gave the kid a shove – in front of a number of witnesses – doing nothing for her reputation!
A blue lady
Coming across T'gala, Pern's only female blue rider, bathing her Heppeth in the lake, Liliolsa 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 Liliolsa didn't want to pass up.
Knowing of Jopha's chequered history with Shookana, mistress of the Weyr's mending room, Liliolsa approached the task of having her robe adjusted with considerable caution. Realising that falsehood would be the wrong approach, Liliolsa went to Shookana with the truth – and a gift of popcorn. And while Liliolsa doubted if Shookana and Jopha will ever be friends, the restoration of her Hatching robe to a suitable length did a great deal for her self-confidence!
Mindful of the Weyrlingmaster's orders to be smart for the Hatching, Liliolsa visited Madellon's resident barber, Z'fell, for a trim. But she fell foul of the green rider's perverse sense of humour, and came away with a curious cut – short on top, long at the back – that prompted quite a number of odd looks and laughs at her expense!
A Weyrleader's mercy
Early in the day, Liliolsa found out about a secret way into the Hatching Ground via storeroom that might allow her a sneaky peek at the eggs before the Hatching. Successfully entering the combination to the lock on the storeroom door, and suitably equipped with a glowbasket, she crawled into a confusing maze of passages. By chance, she found a way onto the Hatching Ground – onto a very high ledge! Calling down for help was the only option, and a welcome – if embarrassing – lift down from Muzzanth himself returned Liliolsa safely to ground level.
Realising that honesty was the best policy, Liliolsa apologised to the Weyrleader for intruding – and was surprised to find T'gat remarkably sanguine about it, reminiscing about his own youthful journey through the passages. And a polite request granted Liliolsa the Weyrleader's permission to approach the clutch. She touched one of the eggs, marvelling at its palpable vitality.
When it came to the Hatching, Liliolsa didn't have to wait at all for her date with destiny. The long pale grey egg that Hatched first produced a light cloudy-green hatchling who spared no time in choosing Liliolsa, naming herself Garpoloth.
A friend in me
And Liliolsa wasn't the only lucky one. To her delight, Jopha also Impressed, becoming the rider of a big emerald-green hatchling, Deimoth.
Whatever happened to Thippia?
Sadly, there was at least one fly in the numbweed. Thippia Impressed a very vocal mint-green hatchling, making them Liliolsa and Garpoloth's new classmates. (On the bright side, at least Berrin didn't Impress!)
After the Hatching
"Garpoloth" by Emily Holland
The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Liliolsa on her Impression, but it was N'jol, delighted that his most humble candidate had Impressed, who stepped in to help with the immediate matter of Garpoloth's first meal. That was Liliolsa's first opportunity to speak to Jopha, too, and they introduced each other, with considerable delight, to their respective dragonets, Garpoloth and Deimoth.
It wasn't long before Garpoloth's personality started to become evident. The cloudy-green dragonet, being a very forthright and direct character, spared no time in making it clear that she wouldn't take any nonsense from anyone – her new rider included!
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 Liliolsa made along the way – a young Weyrbred candidate, Brithie, whom Liliolsa had encountered in a sudden crisis of confidence directly before the Hatching – hailed Liliolsa at the barracks – crediting her with her successful Impression of a tiny bottle-green dragonet, Epatanth!
Meeting the Weyrleader
As Liliolsa and Jopha 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. Liliolsa was proud to introduce Garpoloth to the Weyrleader – and to give him her full new name: Liliolsa, rider of green Garpoloth!
Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Garpoloth's and Deimoth's newborn itchiness, Liliolsa and Jopha 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
Liliolsa and Jopha soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk Liliolsa had helped during the day greeted her with warm congratulations as she hunted through the throng – but, at last, she found her family.
Liliolsa's father almost couldn't believe his daughter's good fortune, completely thrilled to be the father of a dragonrider. And he was even more starstruck when the Weyrleaders came to drink a toast to Liliolsa and Garpoloth.
The rest of the evening passed in a blur for Liliolsa, 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, Liliolsa 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 Liliolsa's background with her – including much of what she had got up to on the morning of the Hatching – for good and ill. She offered Liliolsa 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 Garpoloth.
A close encounter
On her way back to the barracks , Liliolsa 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 Liliolsa 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, Liliolsa decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger.
Returning at last to Garpoloth – billeted between Jopha's Deimoth and a pretty blue-green dragonet – Liliolsa 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 – Liliolsa 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?
Liliolsa and Garpoloth'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.
THE YIN TO YOUR YANG
Garpoloth and I complement each other!
SUGAR AND SPICE
I've been a very nice person (so far)!
EBONY AND IVORY
Garpoloth and I agreed on something very important!
Garpoloth and I agreed on something quite important!