Sanuir and green Tiarth
The Road So Far!
It all began at Jessaf Hold, in the protectorate of Madellon Weyr, for Nuir – a young woman of 17 Turns, dreaming of becoming a green rider.
Nuir was born to unusual privilege – a granddaughter of Winstone, Lord of mighty Jessaf Hold. Nuir 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, Nuir 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 Nuir becoming a candidate – displeased that such a opportunity would ruin his plans for Nuir's betrothal to a nephew of Lord Orfen's. But he grudgingly accepted that, as Nuir 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, Nuir left to begin her candidacy at Madellon Weyr.
As a candidate, Nuir 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 Nuir! Backed up by her crony Cedranne, Auciet became the thorn in Nuir's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.
The dragons' hum woke Erilde and Nuir 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 Nuir 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, Nuir 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 Nuir to find it. Despite Nuir'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, Nuir encountered R'hren, a former Weyrleader of Madellon, now peacefully retired to potter among his beloved plants. R'hren asked Nuir to help him track down the ingredients for a warming salve to help his elderly bronze, Staamath, with his arthritic forepaws. Nuir 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, Nuir offered it to old S'rius, who was equally appreciative of the gift. And while Kisha, the blind old green rider Nuir encountered in the infirmary, would have nothing to do with one of R'hren's concoctions, she too grew to approve of Nuir – especially after she solved all three of her fiendish riddles!
Nuir 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 Nuir 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 Nuir some intelligence on the Southern seven, his advice was somewhat garbled! Nonetheless, Nuir unravelled Archidath's confusing suggestions and got the right packages to the right dragons – without being growled at!
A rising problem
Nuir 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 Nuir 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 Nuir 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 Nuir to find for his warming salve.
Overkeen to get her hands on the last bubbly pie in the dining hall, Nuir 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 Nuir 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, Nuir didn't bring it back – earning the Weyrwoman Second's ire!
A shining example
Coming upon Santinoth – Madellon's biggest bronze – being bathed in the lake, Nuir was quick to offer assistance to his rider, T'rello. Perhaps Nuir was never going to Impress a bronze – but it couldn't hurt to have some hands-on experience!
When it came to the Hatching, Nuir had an excruciatingly long wait before the blotchy pale turquoise egg Hatched to reveal the bright olive-green dragonet who would choose her, naming herself Tiarth.
A friend bereft
But to Nuir's dismay, Erilde wasn't as fortunate. No dragonet showed an interest in her, and she was left among the candidates remaining unmatched at the end of the Hatching.
Whatever happened to Auciet?
It turned out that making an enemy of Nuir was a very poor choice on Auciet's part. For the low, low price of just three marks, Nuir had Grimes, the shady fellow loitering near the Gather stalls, spread a series of nasty rumours about Auciet. By the time the Weyrlingmaster mustered the candidate cohort immediately before the Hatching, the damage to Auciet's reputation was done – and she was ejected from the candidate pool without ever setting foot on the Sands!
After the Hatching
"Tiarth" by Emily Holland
The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Nuir 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 Tiarth's first meal. That was the first moment Nuir had truly grasped that Erilde wasn't going to be a weyrling alongside her – a truth that hit hard. In Erilde's absence, Arina, who'd Impressed a cloudy-green dragonet, Chanth – was a welcome friendly face.
It wasn't long before Tiarth's personality started to become evident. The rather slender olive-green dragonet demonstrated an immediate haughty pride in herself – and in her rider.
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 Nuir 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 to ask after their names. Nuir was proud to introduce Tiarth to the Weyrleader – and to give him her full new name: Sanuir, rider of green Tiarth!
Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Tiarth's and Chanth's newborn itchiness, Sanuir 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
Sanuir and Arina soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk Sanuir 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, Sanuir's grandfather, was faint with his praise for his granddaughter's Impression of Tiarth – 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 Sanuir, 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, Sanuir 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 Sanuir'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 Sanuir 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 Tiarth.
A close encounter
On her way back to the barracks , Sanuir 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 Sanuir 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, Sanuir decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger – though she did give L'stev her new name.
Returning at last to Tiarth – billeted between Arina's Chanth and a pretty blue-green dragonet – Sanuir 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 – Sanuir 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 Sanuir's new name?
Sanuir and Tiarth'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 changed my name by choice!
BIRDS OF A FEATHER
Tiarth and I make a very strong match!
SUGAR AND SPICE
I've been a very nice person (so far)!
EBONY AND IVORY
Tiarth and I agreed on something very important!
Tiarth and I agreed on something quite important!