Jewelion and green Mabonth
The Road So Far!
It all began at Jessaf Hold, in the protectorate of Madellon Weyr, for Jewelion – a young woman of 17 Turns, dreaming of becoming a blue rider.
Jewelion was born to unusual privilege – a granddaughter of Winstone, Lord of mighty Jessaf Hold. Jewelion 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, Jewelion 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 Jewelion becoming a candidate – displeased that such a opportunity would ruin his plans for Jewelion's betrothal to a nephew of Lord Orfen's. But he grudgingly accepted that, as Jewelion 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, Jewelion left to begin her candidacy at Madellon Weyr.
As a candidate, Jewelion 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 Jewelion! Backed up by her crony Cedranne, Auciet became the thorn in Jewelion's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.
The dragons' hum woke Erilde and Jewelion 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 Jewelion 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
Immediately on leaving the candidate barracks, Jewelion was flagged down by M'shen – a green rider with only one arm. But whatever he wanted, Jewelion never discovered, after making a mean-spirited joke about M'shen's missing hand that – not unreasonably – made the green rider take against her.
Disrespecting her elders
In the Weyr's kitchen gardens, Jewelion encountered R'hren, a former Weyrleader of Madellon, now peacefully retired to potter among his beloved plants. But they got off to a poor start – Jewelion had unwittingly taken a redfruit without permission – and furthermore lied about it when challenged by the old bronze rider. The scrumping alone might not have turned R'hren against Jewelion – but the literal red-handed lie did!
A Masterful order
In the dining hall, Jewelion 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, Jewelion 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
Jewelion 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 Jewelion 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 Jewelion with the opportunity to show off her work ethic before the Hatching. A round of chores duly pleased Crauva.
Overkeen to get her hands on the last bubbly pie in the dining hall, Jewelion 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 Jewelion 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 – Jewelion did!
Weyrbrat by name...
A run-in with a Weyrbrat – Terzon, whom Auciet had paid to cause Jewelion trouble – resulted in an unfortunate public incident. All too aware of being shaken down, Jewelion gave the kid a shove – in front of a number of witnesses – doing nothing for her reputation!
Seeking an easy way to slip into the Hatching Ground for an early peek, Jewelion encountered H'nar – Wingleader of the Betweenless Wing – on guard at the entrance. It may have seemed like a good idea to offer him a few marks for safe passage – but Jewelion hadn't reckoned on H'nar's incorruptible nature. H'nar rejected the money with outrage, and word of Jewelion's attempt to bribe him made its way back to the Weyrlingmaster!
A blue lady
Coming across T'gala, Pern's only female blue rider, bathing her Heppeth in the lake, Jewelion 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 Jewelion didn't want to pass up.
Seeking knowledge of Erilde's parentage, Jewelion 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 Jewelion might construct a story about a long-dead rider. Jewelion 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!
Wherry bad behaviour
Jewelion'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. Jewelion chose the former, and the Weyrlingmaster sent her to do penance in the wherry hatchery – though Jewelion remained on probation, with one more slip promising to rule her out of standing!
When it came to the Hatching, Jewelion had an excruciatingly long wait before the white-swirled grey-beige egg Hatched to reveal the dark emerald-green dragonet who would choose her, naming herself Mabonth.
A friend in me
And Jewelion 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?
It turned out that making an enemy of Jewelion was a very poor choice on Auciet's part. For the low, low price of just three marks, Jewelion 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
"Mabonth" by Chris S. Baily
The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Jewelion 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 Mabonth's first meal. That was Jewelion's first opportunity to speak to Erilde, too, and they introduced each other, with considerable delight, to their respective dragonets, Mabonth and Shaldeth.
It wasn't long before Mabonth's personality started to become evident. The emerald-green dragonet – the largest of her colour – immediately showed her devious and irreverent character, looking for mischief before she'd even left the Sands.
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 Jewelion made along the way – a young Weyrbred candidate, Brithie, whom Jewelion had encountered in a sudden crisis of confidence directly before the Hatching – hailed Jewelion at the barracks – crediting her with her successful Impression of a tiny bottle-green dragonet, Epatanth!
Meeting the Weyrleader
As Jewelion 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. Jewelion was proud to introduce Mabonth to the Weyrleader – and to give him her full new name: Jewelion, rider of green Mabonth!
Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Mabonth's and Shaldeth's newborn itchiness, Jewelion 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
Jewelion and Erilde soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk Jewelion 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, Jewelion's grandfather, was faint with his praise for his granddaughter's Impression of Mabonth – 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 Jewelion, 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, Jewelion 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 Jewelion'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 Jewelion 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 Mabonth.
A close encounter
On her way back to the barracks , Jewelion 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 Jewelion 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, Jewelion decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger.
Returning at last to Mabonth – billeted between Erilde's Shaldeth and a pale green dragonet – Jewelion 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 – Jewelion 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?
Jewelion and Mabonth'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.
THE YIN TO YOUR YANG
Mabonth and I complement each other!
SNAKES AND SNAILS
I haven't been very nice!
EBONY AND IVORY
Mabonth and I agreed on something very important!
Mabonth and I disagreed on something quite important!