R'yana and blue Papaveth
The Road So Far!
It all began at the Harperhall at Kellad Hold, in the protectorate of Madellon Weyr, for Ryanha – a young girl of 15 Turns, dreaming of becoming a blue rider.
Ryanha 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. Ryanha caught the attention of J'kel's blue Hozrath. And a sevenday later, Ryanha arrived at Madellon Weyr, joining the candidate pool for senior queen Shimpath's first clutch by her new mate Muzzanth.
As a candidate, Ryanha 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 Ryanha! Backed up by her crony Berrin, Thippia became the thorn in Ryanha's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.
The dragons' hum woke Jopha and Ryanha 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 Ryanha left, Jopha – whose Impression robe was sadly overlarge for her petite frame – recruited Ryanha'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, Ryanha 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 Ryanha to find it. The quest took Ryanha 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, Ryanha encountered R'hren, a former Weyrleader of Madellon, now peacefully retired to potter among his beloved plants. R'hren asked Ryanha to help him track down the ingredients for a warming salve to help his elderly bronze, Staamath, with his arthritic forepaws. Ryanha 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, Ryanha offered it to old S'rius, who was equally appreciative of the gift. And while Kisha, the blind old green rider Ryanha encountered in the infirmary, would have nothing to do with one of R'hren's concoctions, she too grew to approve of Ryanha – especially after she solved all three of her fiendish riddles!
Ryanha 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 Ryanha 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 Ryanha some intelligence on the Southern seven, his advice was somewhat garbled! Nonetheless, Ryanha 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, Ryanha 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, Ryanha 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. Ryanha 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 Ryanha a certain confidence in her own prospects!
A rising problem
Ryanha 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. And while Ryanha did manage to get G'tron excluded from the flight – not to mention another blue rider, G'pellas, who was needed in the Harper ensemble – she still ultimately failed to reconcile the star-crossed green riding lovers!
A Harper born
Ryanha'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 Ryanha's confidence – and her mark purse – quite a boost!
Madellon's kitchens – the heart of the Weyr, and domain of Headwoman Crauva – provided Ryanha 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 Ryanha 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 Ryanha 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 – Ryanha did!
A blue lady
Coming across T'gala, Pern's only female blue rider, bathing her Heppeth in the lake, Ryanha 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 Ryanha didn't want to pass up.
With friends like these...
But approaching Shookana, mistress of the mending room and Jopha's arch-enemy, with a less than honest approach resulted in disaster. When Ryanha tried to conceal the true owner of the offending robe, Shookana caught her in the lie – and tore Jopha's robe beyond mending. Forced to admit to the Weyrlingmaster that she had no robe, Jopha found herself on the end of L'stev's bad temper – and with many black marks already against her name, barred from candidacy!
Mindful of the Weyrlingmaster's orders to be smart for the Hatching, Ryanha visited Madellon's resident barber – green rider Z'fell – for a trim. Very conscious of her dignity, Ryanha ensured she came away with a cut she actually liked.
A breath of foul air
Setting aside her petty rivalry with Thippia in the face of a genuine emergency, Ryanha set about getting Thippia to safety. And on crawling out onto the Hatching Ground, half suffocated herself, she raised the alarm with the Weyrleader before being overcome by the ordeal, and fainting there on the sand.
Ryanha woke in the infirmary, and while the Weyrleader and Weyrlingmaster questioned her sternly about her adventures, the fact that Ryanha had certainly saved Thippia's life counted in her favour, despite having disobeyed the order not to go meddling in the tunnels.
When it came to the Hatching, Ryanha had an excruciatingly long wait before the green-clouded blue egg Hatched to reveal the dark steel-blue dragonet who would choose her, naming himself Papaveth.
After the Hatching
"Papaveth" by Emily Holland
The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Ryanha 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 Papaveth's first meal. That was the first moment Ryanha had truly grasped that Jopha wasn't going to be a weyrling alongside her – a truth that hit hard. In Jopha's absence, Arina, who'd Impressed a cloudy-green dragonet, Chanth – was a welcome friendly face.
It wasn't long before Papaveth's personality started to become evident. The dark blue dragonet, among the smallest of his colour, turned out to be of an endearingly shy and modest character, rather requiring of encouragement.
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 Ryanha made along the way – a young Weyrbred candidate, Brithie, whom Ryanha had encountered in a sudden crisis of confidence directly before the Hatching – hailed Ryanha at the barracks – crediting her with her successful Impression of a tiny bottle-green dragonet, Epatanth!
Meeting the Weyrleader
As Ryanha and Arina wiped the worst of the blood and sand from their tired new dragonets, the Weyrleader, T'gat, came to inspect both girls' dragonets – and in particular to remark upon Ryanha's unusual Impression of a blue. T'gat further enquired if Ryanha would like to elide her name, as T'gala had done, or not. Ryanha took up the opportunity to rename herself, and after a brief conference with Papaveth, Ryanha gave the Weyrleader her new name – R'yana, rider of blue Papaveth!
Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Papaveth's and Chanth's newborn itchiness, R'yana and Arina 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
R'yana and Arina soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk R'yana had helped during the day greeted her with warm congratulations as she hunted through the throng – but, at last, she found her family.
R'yana's Harper parents were absolutely delighted to find themselves the mother and father of a blue rider and happier still to learn that R'yana had already brought her musical skills to the Weyr. And they were even more delighted to drink to R'yana and Papaveth when the Weyrleaders arrived to toast them!
The rest of the evening passed in a blur for R'yana, 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, R'yana 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 R'yana'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 R'yana some advice about paying attention to her new classmates and surroundings, lest she fall foul of the Weyrlingmaster's penchant for snap quizzes, advised her to report to Master Isnan before returning to the barracks to get her injuries checked again, and made some observations on Papaveth.
A close encounter
On her way back to the barracks (by way of the infirmary, as ordered by Tarshe), R'yana 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 R'yana 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, R'yana decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger.
Returning at last to Papaveth – billeted between Arina's Chanth and a pretty blue-green dragonet – R'yana 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 blue beside her – R'yana 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?
Find out more about Ryanha's Impression here. R'yana and Papaveth's story will continue in Dragonchoice: Weyrling, coming soon!
Find out more about Ryanha's Impression here. R'yana and Papaveth'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
Papaveth and I complement each other!
SUGAR AND SPICE
I've been a very nice person (so far)!
PLEASE STATE THE NATURE OF THE MEDICAL EMERGENCY
I returned to the infirmary!
EBONY AND IVORY
Papaveth and I agreed on something very important!
Papaveth and I disagreed on something quite important!