Stormy and green Ceparth
The Road So Far!
It all began at Jessaf Hold, in the protectorate of Madellon Weyr, for Windstorm – a young girl of 15 Turns, dreaming of becoming a dragonrider.
Windstorm was born to unusual privilege – a granddaughter of Winstone, Lord of mighty Jessaf Hold. Windstorm didn't scramble for the attention of the young Search rider, Garlan, who came to Jessaf in early 102 seeking candidates for Madellon Weyr's latest clutch. But as a scion of the Hold, Windstorm was among the party welcoming the green rider to Jessaf – and, in due course, became the focus of her dragon Hushith's attention. Lord Winstone wasn't enthusiastic about Windstorm becoming a candidate – while conceding that he could spare a younger grandchild. And with Winstone's admonition that she should remember her place as his granddaughter and not make a scene ringing in her ears, Windstorm left to begin her candidacy at Madellon Weyr.
As a candidate, Windstorm 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 Windstorm! Backed up by her crony Berrin, Thippia became the thorn in Windstorm's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.
The dragons' hum woke Jopha and Windstorm 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 Windstorm left, Jopha – whose Impression robe was sadly overlarge for her petite frame – recruited Windstorm'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, Windstorm 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 Windstorm to find it. Despite Windstorm'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, Windstorm encountered R'hren, a former Weyrleader of Madellon, now peacefully retired to potter among his beloved plants. R'hren asked Windstorm to help him track down the ingredients for a warming salve to help his elderly bronze, Staamath, with his arthritic forepaws. Windstorm 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, Windstorm offered it to old S'rius, who was equally appreciative of the gift. And while Kisha, the blind old green rider Windstorm encountered in the infirmary, would have nothing to do with one of R'hren's concoctions, she too grew to approve of Windstorm – especially after she solved all three of her fiendish riddles!
Windstorm 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 Windstorm 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 Windstorm some intelligence on the Southern seven, his advice was somewhat garbled! Nonetheless, Windstorm 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, Windstorm 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, Windstorm 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
Windstorm 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 Windstorm 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!
Madellon's kitchens – the heart of the Weyr, and domain of Headwoman Crauva – provided Windstorm 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 Windstorm to find for his warming salve.
Overkeen to get her hands on the last bubbly pie in the dining hall, Windstorm took it – forcibly – from a small child. Not the nicest thing to do – but mmm, pie...
Eggs and baskets
A visit to the Archives led to a meeting with Tarshe, Madellon's Weyrwoman Second. When Windstorm 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 – Windstorm did!
A blue lady
Coming across T'gala, Pern's only female blue rider, bathing her Heppeth in the lake, Windstorm 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 Windstorm didn't want to pass up.
Knowing of Jopha's chequered history with Shookana, mistress of the Weyr's mending room, Windstorm approached the task of having her robe adjusted with considerable caution. Realising that falsehood would be the wrong approach, Windstorm went to Shookana with the truth – and a gift of popcorn. And while Windstorm 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!
Wherry bad behaviour
Windstorm's assorted instances of bad behaviour finally caught up with her. L'stev collared her in the Bowl and gave her an ultimatum – buck up her ideas, or sit the Hatching out. Windstorm chose the former, and the Weyrlingmaster sent her to do penance in the wherry hatchery – though Windstorm remained on probation, with one more slip promising to rule her out of standing!
A slithery customer
Early in the day, Windstorm 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, Windstorm strayed into tunnel snake territory! A huge, aggressive, and potently venomous female tunnel-snake guarded the exit to the Hatching ground. Windstorm was lucky to avoid being bitten. But ultimately she evaded the snake, dodging past it and slipping out onto the Hatching Sands.
Having survived her encounter with the tunnel-snake, Windstorm approached the clutch – but not stealthily enough! Her presence woke Shimpath from her doze, and she and Muzzanth chased Windstorm off the sands!
When it came to the Hatching, Windstorm had to wait a little while before the pearlescently pink egg Hatched to reveal the deep bottle-green dragonet who would choose her, naming herself Ceparth.
A friend in me
And Windstorm 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?
It turned out that making an enemy of Windstorm was a very poor choice on Thippia's part. For the low, low price of just three marks, Windstorm had Grimes, the shady fellow loitering near the Gather stalls, spread a series of nasty rumours about Thippia. By the time the Weyrlingmaster mustered the candidate cohort immediately before the Hatching, the damage to Thippia's reputation was done – and she was ejected from the candidate pool without ever setting foot on the Sands!
After the Hatching
"Ceparth" by Chris S. Baily
The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Windstorm on her Impression, but it was Garlan, delighted that her risky choice of Winstone's granddaughter had Impressed, who stepped in to help with the immediate matter of Ceparth's first meal. That was Windstorm's first opportunity to speak to Jopha, too, and they introduced each other, with considerable delight, to their respective dragonets, Ceparth and Deimoth.
It wasn't long before Ceparth'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 Windstorm 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. Windstorm was proud to introduce Ceparth to the Weyrleader – and to give him her full new name: Stormy, rider of green Ceparth!
Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Ceparth's and Deimoth's newborn itchiness, Stormy 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
Stormy and Jopha soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk Stormy had helped during the day greeted her with warm congratulations as she hunted through the throng – but, at last, she found her family.
Lord Winstone, Stormy's grandfather, was faint with his praise for his granddaughter's Impression of Ceparth – suggesting that she should have waited for a chance at a queen. The Weyrleaders were swift to insist that Impressing any dragon was a great achievement!
The rest of the evening passed in a blur for Stormy, 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, Stormy 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 Stormy'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 Stormy 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 Ceparth.
A close encounter
On her way back to the barracks , Stormy 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 Stormy 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, Stormy decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger – though she did give L'stev her new name.
Returning at last to Ceparth – billeted between Jopha's Deimoth and a pale green dragonet – Stormy 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 – Stormy 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 Stormy's new name?
Find out more about Windstorm's Impression here. Stormy and Ceparth's story will continue in Dragonchoice: Weyrling, coming soon!
Find out more about Windstorm's Impression here. Stormy and Ceparth'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!
I (don't) love the smell of elision in the morning!
I changed my name by choice!
ONE STEVE LIMIT
I avoided duplicating a Dragonchoice character's name!
BIRDS OF A FEATHER
Ceparth and I make a very strong match!
SNAKES AND SNAILS
I haven't been very nice!
EBONY AND IVORY
Ceparth and I agreed on something very important!
Ceparth and I agreed on something quite important!