Roska and blue Trigonath
The Road So Far!
It all began at Madellon Weyr for Roska – a young girl of 14 Turns, dreaming of becoming a blue rider.
Roska was born the daughter of Nelya, a Headwoman's Second at Madellon Weyr. While she didn't have to be Searched, she 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 with no dragonrider blood, Roska looked forward to the Hatching with both excitement and trepidation – fearing she might not have what it takes to Impress, but hoping beyond hope that she would!
As a candidate, Roska 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 Roska! Backed up by her crony Berrin, Thippia became the thorn in Roska's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.
The dragons' hum woke Jopha and Roska 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 Roska left, Jopha – whose Impression robe was sadly overlarge for her petite frame – recruited Roska'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, Roska 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 Roska to find it. Despite Roska'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, Roska encountered R'hren, a former Weyrleader of Madellon, now peacefully retired to potter among his beloved plants. R'hren asked Roska to help him track down the ingredients for a warming salve to help his elderly bronze, Staamath, with his arthritic forepaws. Roska 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, Roska offered it to old S'rius, who was equally appreciative of the gift. And while Kisha, the blind old green rider Roska encountered in the infirmary, would have nothing to do with one of R'hren's concoctions, she too grew to approve of Roska – especially after she solved all three of her fiendish riddles!
Roska 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 Roska 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 Roska some intelligence on the Southern seven, his advice was somewhat garbled! Nonetheless, Roska 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, Roska 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!
Sadly, though, Fr'ton's garbled instructions proved too convoluted for even Roska to follow, and the drinks order went rather wrong!
A rising problem
Roska 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. Roska'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 Roska with the opportunity to show off her work ethic before the Hatching. A round of chores duly pleased Crauva, albeit cut short, literally, by the slip of a knife that sent Roska to the infirmary with a slice to be stitched up. And the kitchen was also the source of the hotfruit R'hren had sent Roska 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 Roska 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 – Roska did!
Weyrbrat by name...
A run-in with a Weyrbrat – Terzon, whom Thippia had paid to cause Roska trouble – resulted in an unfortunate public incident. All too aware of being shaken down, Roska gave the kid a shove – in front of a number of witnesses – doing nothing for her reputation!
A shining example
Coming upon Santinoth – Madellon's biggest bronze – being bathed in the lake, Roska was quick to offer assistance to his rider, T'rello. Perhaps Roska was never going to Impress a bronze – but it couldn't hurt to have some hands-on experience!
Knowing of Jopha's chequered history with Shookana, mistress of the Weyr's mending room, Roska approached the task of having her robe adjusted with considerable caution. Realising that falsehood would be the wrong approach, Roska went to Shookana with the truth – and a gift of popcorn. And while Roska 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!
A slithery customer
Early in the day, Roska 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 a stroke of ill luck, Roska strayed into tunnel snake territory! A huge, aggressive, and potently venomous female tunnel-snake guarded the exit to the Hatching ground. Roska was bitten – badly – and immediately felt the effects of the snake's paralysing venom. But ultimately she evaded the snake, dodging past it and slipping out onto the Hatching Sands.
But the snake's venom had done its work, and Roska collapsed trying to reach the eggs, waking up in the infirmary.
But when it came to the Hatching, Roska had a less than ordinary experience. While trying to sneak into the Hatching Ground for a surreptitious look at the eggs, she disturbed an immense, highly venomous tunnel-snake. She survived the encounter, but not without a cost – she was bitten. Seeking immediate aid from the Weyr Healer, Isnan, saved her life – but got her invalided out of the Hatching and confined to the infirmary. But an earlier conversation with S'rius, gave Roska the notion that she might still be able to Impress – if she could just reach the Sands in time. She staggered from her sickbed, across the Weyr, and onto the Sands – just in time to Impress the very last dragonet, a blue who named himself Trigonath.
Whatever happened to Thippia?
Sadly, there was at least one fly in the numbweed. Thippia Impressed a very vocal mint-green hatchling, making them Roska and Trigonath's new classmates. (On the bright side, at least Berrin didn't Impress!)
After the Hatching
"Trigonath" by Chris S. Baily
The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Roska on her Impression, but it was old S'rius, delighted to have found yet another weyrling, who stepped in to help with the immediate matter of Trigonath's first meal. That was Roska's first opportunity to speak to Jopha, too, and they introduced each other, with considerable delight, to their respective dragonets, Trigonath and Deimoth.
It wasn't long before Trigonath's personality started to become evident. The big midnight-blue dragonet showed an immediate desire to show off and preen – not surprising given his handsome colour and conformation!
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 Roska 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 in particular to remark upon Roska's unusual Impression of a blue. T'gat further enquired if Roska would like to elide her name, as T'gala had done, or not. Roska elected not to elide her name – content to remain Roska, rider of blue Trigonath!
Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Trigonath's and Deimoth's newborn itchiness, Roska 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
Roska and Jopha soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk Roska had helped during the day greeted her with warm congratulations as she hunted through the throng – but, at last, she found her family.
Roska's mother, Nelya, was thrilled by her daughter's Impression – though perhaps not quite as ecstatic as Roska's younger siblings, Ashi and Halante. As the first dragonrider in the family, Roska was keenly aware of what it meant to her brother and sister. And when the Weyrleaders came to drink a toast to Roska and Trigonath, Valonna was particularly delighted for Nelya – one of her most trusted Headwoman Seconds.
The rest of the evening passed in a blur for Roska, 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, Roska 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 Roska'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 Roska 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 Trigonath.
A close encounter
On her way back to the barracks (by way of the infirmary, as ordered by Tarshe), Roska 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 Roska 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, Roska decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger.
Returning at last to Trigonath – billeted between Jopha's Deimoth and a pretty blue-green dragonet – Roska 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 – Roska 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 Roska's Impression here. Roska and Trigonath's story will continue in Dragonchoice: Weyrling, coming soon!
Find out more about Roska's Impression here. Roska and Trigonath'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
Trigonath 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
Trigonath and I agreed on something very important!
Trigonath and I disagreed on something quite important!