Dhayzu and blue Twenth
The Road So Far!
It all began at Jessaf Hold, in the protectorate of Madellon Weyr, for Dhayzu – a young woman of 18 Turns, dreaming of becoming a blue rider.
Dhayzu was born to unusual privilege – a granddaughter of Winstone, Lord of mighty Jessaf Hold. Dhayzu 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, Dhayzu 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 Dhayzu becoming a candidate – displeased that such a opportunity would ruin his plans for Dhayzu's betrothal to a nephew of Lord Orfen's. But he grudgingly accepted that, as Dhayzu had her majority, she had the right to accept Search. And with Winstone's admonition that she should remember her place as his granddaughter and not make a scene ringing in her ears, Dhayzu left to begin her candidacy at Madellon Weyr.
As a candidate, Dhayzu 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 Dhayzu! Backed up by her crony Cedranne, Auciet became the thorn in Dhayzu's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.
The dragons' hum woke Erilde and Dhayzu 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 Dhayzu 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, Dhayzu 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 Dhayzu to find it. The quest took Dhayzu 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, Dhayzu encountered R'hren, a former Weyrleader of Madellon, now peacefully retired to potter among his beloved plants. R'hren asked Dhayzu to help him track down the ingredients for a warming salve to help his elderly bronze, Staamath, with his arthritic forepaws. Dhayzu duly located the components of R'hren's salve, winning the old bronze rider's approval in the process.
Dhayzu 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 Dhayzu 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 Dhayzu some intelligence on the Southern seven, his advice was somewhat garbled! Nonetheless, Dhayzu 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, Dhayzu 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, Dhayzu 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
Dhayzu 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 Dhayzu 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 Dhayzu with the opportunity to show off her work ethic before the Hatching. A round of chores duly pleased Crauva, and earned her a selection of goodies warm from the oven.. And the kitchen was also the source of the hotfruit R'hren had sent Dhayzu to find for his warming salve.
Dhayzu certainly indulged her sweet tooth before the Hatching – laying claim to not one, not two, but three different types of bubbly pie Albeit she stole one of them..
Eggs and baskets
A visit to the Archives led to a meeting with Tarshe, Madellon's Weyrwoman Second. When Dhayzu 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. But with one thing and another, Dhayzu didn't bring it back – earning the Weyrwoman Second's ire!
A blue lady
Coming across T'gala, Pern's only female blue rider, bathing her Heppeth in the lake, Dhayzu 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 Dhayzu didn't want to pass up.
Seeking knowledge of Erilde's parentage, Dhayzu 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 Dhayzu might construct a story about a long-dead rider. Dhayzu 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!
Mindful of the Weyrlingmaster's orders to be smart for the Hatching, Dhayzu visited Madellon's resident barber – green rider Z'fell – for a trim. Very conscious of her dignity, Dhayzu ensured she came away with a cut she actually liked.
When it came to the Hatching, Dhayzu had an excruciatingly long wait before the yellow-green craggy-textured egg Hatched to reveal the light sky-blue dragonet who would choose her, naming himself Twenth.
A friend in me
And Dhayzu wasn't the only lucky one. To her delight, Erilde also Impressed, becoming the rider of an inquisitive teal-green hatchling, Shaldeth.
Whatever happened to Auciet?
For Auciet, getting on Dhayzu's bad side proved to be an exceptionally poor choice. Dhayzu dosed Auciet's clean underfurs with hotfruit before the Hatching, and for once, the admonition to always put on clean underpants turned out to have very negative consequences. It took a little while for the hotfruit to take effect, but by the time the candidates reached the Hatching Sands, Auciet was in considerable distress. Unable to bear the burning sensation in her nether regions, she fled the Hatching Sands – squandering her chance at Impression!
After the Hatching
"Twenth" by Chris S. Baily
The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Dhayzu 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 Twenth's first meal. That was Dhayzu's first opportunity to speak to Erilde, too, and they introduced each other, with considerable delight, to their respective dragonets, Twenth and Shaldeth.
It wasn't long before Twenth's personality started to become evident. The big sky-blue dragonet demonstrated an enormous desire to please, making him an especially endearing character.
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 Dhayzu made along the way – a young Weyrbred candidate, Brithie, whom Dhayzu had encountered in a sudden crisis of confidence directly before the Hatching – hailed Dhayzu at the barracks – crediting her with her successful Impression of a tiny bottle-green dragonet, Epatanth!
Meeting the Weyrleader
As Dhayzu 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 in particular to remark upon Dhayzu's unusual Impression of a blue. T'gat further enquired if Dhayzu would like to elide her name, as T'gala had done, or not. Dhayzu elected not to elide her name – content to remain Dhayzu, rider of blue Twenth!
Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Twenth's and Shaldeth's newborn itchiness, Dhayzu 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
Dhayzu and Erilde soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk Dhayzu 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, Dhayzu's grandfather, was outraged by his granddaughter's highly irregular Impression of a blue dragon – calling her aberrant. The Weyrleaders were quick to take Dhayzu's part, but the damage to her relationship with her grandfather was done.
The rest of the evening passed in a blur for Dhayzu, 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, Dhayzu 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 Dhayzu'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 Dhayzu 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 Twenth.
A close encounter
On her way back to the barracks , Dhayzu 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 Dhayzu 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, Dhayzu decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger.
Returning at last to Twenth – billeted between Erilde's Shaldeth and a very large green dragonet – Dhayzu 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 – Dhayzu 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?
Dhayzu and Twenth'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.
I make quite a strange match with Twenth!
SUGAR AND SPICE
I've been a very nice person (so far)!
Twenth and I disagreed on something quite important!
Twenth and I disagreed on something very important!