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Smeii and green Siamsath

The Road So Far!

It all began at Madellon Weyr for Sme'ii – a young woman of 16 Turns, dreaming of becoming a green rider.

Sme'ii 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. Having been left standing at a Hatching once before, Sme'ii struggled with both her modest upbringing as a Weyr child with no rider blood, and her fear that she wasn't dragonrider material.

As a candidate, Sme'ii was assigned a bunkmate – Erilde, a quiet young woman from the Lower Caverns fearing a second unsuccessful Hatching, 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 – Auciet, a snobby and superior Holdbred girl – who took a firm disliking to Sme'ii! Backed up by her crony Cedranne, Auciet became the thorn in Sme'ii's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.

Hatching Day

The dragons' hum woke Erilde and Sme'ii on 102.03.17. Following a brief run-in with Auciet, 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 Sme'ii left, Erilde asked her to make enquiries about any dragonrider heritage she herself might possess, to give her confidence a boost before the Hatching.

The one-armed green rider and the thieving queen

Immediately on leaving the candidate barracks, Sme'ii 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 Sme'ii to find it. Despite Sme'ii's best efforts, though, she didn't manage to complete and return the jewellery set before the Hatching.

Respecting her elders

In the infirmary, Sme'ii encountered Kisha – a blind old green rider giving the Weyr's Healers a difficult time about taking her medicine. Kisha challenged Sme'ii to answer three riddles before she would consent to behave. And Sme'ii rose to that challenge – answering all three correctly, and winning Kisha's grudging respect!

A Masterful order

In the dining hall, Sme'ii 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, Sme'ii 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.

A rising problem

Sme'ii 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 Sme'ii 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!

Kitchen diplomacy

Madellon's kitchens – the heart of the Weyr, and domain of Headwoman Crauva – provided Sme'ii with the opportunity to show off her work ethic before the Hatching. A round of chores duly pleased Crauva.

Eggs and baskets

A visit to the Archives led to a meeting with Tarshe, Madellon's Weyrwoman Second. When Sme'ii 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 – Sme'ii did!

A blue lady

Coming across T'gala, Pern's only female blue rider, bathing her Heppeth in the lake, Sme'ii 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 Sme'ii didn't want to pass up.

Friend request

Seeking knowledge of Erilde's parentage, Sme'ii visited the Weyr's Archives and sought advice from Weyrwoman Tarshe, the Weyrwoman Second. While Tarshe could find no evidence that Erilde's father had been a dragonrider, she suggested Sme'ii might construct a story about a long-dead rider. Sme'ii delved into Madellon's records and unearthed a brown rider, B'get, deceased some Turns ago, but of the right age to have fathered her friend. Bringing this plausible white lie to Erilde may have been a tad devious – but it had the desired effect on her belief that she could, in fact, possess the ability to Impress a dragon!

The Hatching

But when it came to the Hatching, Sme'ii had a less than ordinary experience. While bathing in the lake, Sme'ii was swamped by a brown dragon's careless landing – and almost drowned. She survived – only to be invalided out of the Hatching and confined to the infirmary. But an earlier conversation with S'rius, gave Sme'ii 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 green who named herself Siamsath.

Whatever happened to Auciet?

Sadly, there was at least one fly in the numbweed. Auciet Impressed an unusually aggressive grass-green hatchling, making them Sme'ii and Siamsath's new classmates. (On the bright side, at least Cedranne didn't Impress!)

After the Hatching

"Siamsath" by Chris S. Baily

The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Sme'ii 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 Siamsath's first meal. That was Sme'ii's first opportunity to speak to Erilde, too, and they introduced each other, with considerable delight, to their respective dragonets, Siamsath and Shaldeth.

It wasn't long before Siamsath's personality started to become evident. The bottle-green dragonet – by some margin the smallest hatchling of the clutch – had a nervous and wary personality to match, startling at everything and everyone.

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 Sme'ii and Erilde 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. Sme'ii was proud to introduce Siamsath to the Weyrleader – and to give him her full new name: Smeii, rider of green Siamsath!

Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Siamsath's and Shaldeth's newborn itchiness, Smeii and Erilde 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

Smeii and Erilde soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk Smeii had helped during the day greeted her with warm congratulations as she hunted through the throng – but, at last, she found her family.

Smeii's mother, Nelya, was thrilled by her daughter's Impression – though perhaps not quite as ecstatic as Smeii's younger siblings, Ashi and Halante. As the first dragonrider in the family, Smeii was keenly aware of what it meant to her brother and sister. And when the Weyrleaders came to drink a toast to Smeii and Siamsath, Valonna was particularly delighted for Nelya – one of her most trusted Headwoman Seconds.

The rest of the evening passed in a blur for Smeii, 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, Smeii 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 Smeii's background with her – including much of what she had got up to on the morning of the Hatching – for good and ill. She cleared up an anomaly with her new name, too. She offered Smeii 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 Siamsath.

A close encounter

On her way back to the barracks (by way of the infirmary, as ordered by Tarshe), Smeii 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 Smeii 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, Smeii decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger – though she did give L'stev her new name.

Returning at last to Siamsath – billeted between Erilde's Shaldeth and a very large green dragonet – Smeii 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 – Smeii was struck with a deep sense of foreboding. Who was the mysterious dragonrider in the hooded cloak? What was the significance of the strange wooden box? And how had the stranger known Smeii's new name?

Find out more about Sme'ii's Impression here. Smeii and Siamsath's story will continue in Dragonchoice: Weyrling, coming soon!

Smeii's achievements

Achievement Unlocked:
CARRY ON WAYWARD SON

I travelled The Road So Far!

Achievement Unlocked:
OUR ROB, OR ROSS

I received a mysterious box!

Achievement Unlocked:
COMPUTER SAYS NO

I changed my name from something unacceptable!

Achievement Unlocked:
OPPOSITES ATTRACT

I make quite a strange match with Siamsath!

Achievement Unlocked:
PLEASE STATE THE NATURE OF THE MEDICAL EMERGENCY

I returned to the infirmary!

Achievement Unlocked:
EBONY AND IVORY

Siamsath and I agreed on something very important!

Achievement Unlocked:
BUM NOTE

Siamsath and I disagreed on something quite important!