M'lana and blue Leymorth
The Road So Far!
It all began at Jessaf Hold, in the protectorate of Madellon Weyr, for Miella – a young girl of 13 Turns, dreaming of becoming a blue rider.
Miella was born the daughter of a modest cotholder at Jessaf Hold, working alongside her widowed father to work their allotted land, and help bring up her young twin siblings, Albon and Gettie. And in early 102, when a green rider, N'jol, and his Kistrith came to Jessaf in search of candidates for Madellon Weyr's hardening clutch, Miella didn't even present herself as a hopeful. Yet it was Miella that Kistrith singled out among all those young people. She almost didn't accept Search – anxious not to abandon her father. But he insisted, revealing that his late wife, Miella's mother, had always dreamed of being a dragonrider – and gifting Miella with her blue feather pendant as a lucky charm.
As a candidate, Miella 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 Miella! Backed up by her crony Berrin, Thippia became the thorn in Miella's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.
The dragons' hum woke Jopha and Miella 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 Miella left, Jopha – whose Impression robe was sadly overlarge for her petite frame – recruited Miella'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, Miella 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 Miella to find it. Despite Miella'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, Miella encountered R'hren, a former Weyrleader of Madellon, now peacefully retired to potter among his beloved plants. R'hren asked Miella to help him track down the ingredients for a warming salve to help his elderly bronze, Staamath, with his arthritic forepaws. Miella duly located the components of R'hren's salve, winning the old bronze rider's approval in the process.
A Masterful order
In the dining hall, Miella 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 Miella to follow, and the drinks order went rather wrong!
A rising problem
Miella 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. Miella'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 Miella 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 Miella to find for his warming salve.
A shining example
Coming upon Santinoth – Madellon's biggest bronze – being bathed in the lake, Miella was quick to offer assistance to his rider, T'rello. Perhaps Miella was never going to Impress a bronze – but it couldn't hurt to have some hands-on experience!
When it came to the Hatching, Miella had an excruciatingly long wait before the gleaming blue egg Hatched to reveal the bright indigo-blue dragonet who would choose her, naming himself Leymorth.
A friend bereft
But to Miella's dismay, Jopha 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 Thippia?
For Thippia, getting on Miella's bad side proved to be an exceptionally poor choice. Miella dosed Thippia'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, Thippia 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
"Leymorth" by Emily Holland
The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Miella on her Impression, but it was N'jol, delighted that his most humble candidate had Impressed, who stepped in to help with the immediate matter of Leymorth's first meal. That was the first moment Miella had truly grasped that Jopha wasn't going to be a weyrling alongside her – a truth that hit hard. In Jopha's absence, Arina, who'd Impressed a cloudy-green dragonet, Chanth – was a welcome friendly face.
It wasn't long before Leymorth's personality started to become evident. The big indigo-blue dragonet, the largest of his colour, showed his alert and serious nature from the beginning, demonstrating a high degree of focus for a blue.
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 Miella made along the way – a young Weyrbred candidate, Brithie, whom Miella had encountered in a sudden crisis of confidence directly before the Hatching – hailed Miella at the barracks – crediting her with her successful Impression of a tiny bottle-green dragonet, Epatanth!
Meeting the Weyrleader
As Miella 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 in particular to remark upon Miella's unusual Impression of a blue. T'gat further enquired if Miella would like to elide her name, as T'gala had done, or not. Miella took up the opportunity to rename herself, and after a brief conference with Leymorth, Miella gave the Weyrleader her new name – M'lana, rider of blue Leymorth!
Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Leymorth's and Chanth's newborn itchiness, M'lana 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
M'lana and Arina soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk M'lana had helped during the day greeted her with warm congratulations as she hunted through the throng – but, at last, she found her family.
M'lana's father almost couldn't believe his daughter's good fortune, completely thrilled to be the father of a dragonrider. And he was even more starstruck when the Weyrleaders came to drink a toast to M'lana and Leymorth.
The rest of the evening passed in a blur for M'lana, 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, M'lana 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 M'lana'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 M'lana 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 Leymorth.
A close encounter
On her way back to the barracks , M'lana 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 M'lana 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, M'lana decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger – though she did give L'stev her new name.
Returning at last to Leymorth – billeted between Arina's Chanth and a very large green dragonet – M'lana 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 – M'lana 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 M'lana's new name?
M'lana and Leymorth'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!
I make quite a strange match with Leymorth!
EBONY AND IVORY
Leymorth and I agreed on something very important!
Leymorth and I agreed on something quite important!