P'tiol and brown Ranierth
The Road So Far!
It all began at the Harperhall at Kellad Hold, in the protectorate of Madellon Weyr, for Prieltiol – a young boy of 14 Turns, dreaming of becoming a brown rider.
Prieltiol was born the son of two Harpers at the Southern Harperhall, Kellad Hold. Surrounded by music, he was apprenticed to the Craft when he came of age. But he never excelled in any discipline, and it seemed as if an unremarkable career as a mid-level journeyman likely lay ahead for him. And then, in early 102, J'kel – a dragonrider of Madellon Weyr – came to Kellad Hold in search of candidates for the new clutch hardening on the Sands of Madellon Weyr. Prieltiol caught the attention of J'kel's blue Hozrath. And a sevenday later, Prieltiol arrived at Madellon Weyr, joining the candidate pool for senior queen Shimpath's first clutch by her new mate Muzzanth.
As a candidate, Prieltiol was assigned a bunkmate – Martom, a confident young Weyrbred lad, who would soon become his closest friend in the Weyr. He also got to know many of his fellow candidates, including the Weyrbred twins Leover and Leoguy; Zielaph, the nephew of a Madellon bronze rider; and Chiliam, a good-natured highborn lad from Kellad.
But he also made an enemy – Gydeton, the blustering, entitled son of Lord Meturvian of Kellad – who took a firm disliking to Prieltiol! Backed up by his crony Varell, Gydeton became the thorn in Prieltiol's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.
The dragons' hum woke Martom and Prieltiol on 102.03.17. Following a brief run-in with Gydeton, 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 Prieltiol left, Martom – keen to prove himself by Impressing on his first attempt – asked him for help procuring some additional confidence in the form of some alcohol.
The one-armed green rider and the thieving queen
Immediately on leaving the candidate barracks, Prieltiol 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 Prieltiol to find it. Despite Prieltiol's best efforts, though, he didn't manage to complete and return the jewellery set before the Hatching.
Prieltiol 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 Prieltiol 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 Prieltiol some intelligence on the Southern seven, his advice was somewhat garbled! Nonetheless, Prieltiol 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, Prieltiol met his 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, Prieltiol 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. Prieltiol even shared the largesse with Zielaph, who then introduced him to Fr'ton – who, having Impressed a bronze in spite of his less than boundless promise, gave Prieltiol a certain confidence in his own prospects!
A rising problem
Prieltiol 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. Prieltiol's intervention successfully got rid of G'tron, whose Imdoth was very sweet indeed on Bristath, from the mating flight and reconciled the two green riders.
Eggs and baskets
A visit to the Archives led to a meeting with Tarshe, Madellon's Weyrwoman Second. When Prieltiol expressed an interested in looking up some Weyr records, Tarshe offered him the loan of a glowbasket – on the proviso that he return it afterwards. Which – mindful of not offending such an important personage of the Weyr – Prieltiol did!
A shining example
Coming upon Santinoth – Madellon's biggest bronze – being bathed in the lake, Prieltiol was quick to offer assistance to his rider, T'rello. It couldn't hurt to have some close-up experience with a bronze, could it?
Given Prieltiol's age, finding some wine for Martom proved difficult – the Weyr Vintner, Master Saxton, refused to sell it to an underage candidate. His only other alternative was an illicit purchase from the shady figure of Grimes. And L'stev's warning about getting drunk before the Hatching held weight. The Vintner's offering of alcohol-free grape juice gave Prieltiol an idea – and offering it to Martom, none the wiser for the substitution, still had the desired effect of boosting his confidence before the Hatching – without any unwanted side-effects!
When it came to the Hatching, Prieltiol didn't have to wait too long for his date with destiny. The very large dark grey egg Hatched out a deep turned-earth brown dragonet who told Prieltiol his name was Ranierth.
A friend in me
And Prieltiol wasn't the only lucky one. To his delight, Martom also Impressed, becoming the rider of a bright golden-bronze hatchling, Kauth.
Whatever happened to Gydeton?
Quite simply, none of the dragonets seemed to want Gydeton – he was left standing. Although Prieltiol did wonder if his own deep turned-earth brown Ranierth might have glanced, however briefly, in Gydeton's direction, and what might have been had he not chosen him...
After the Hatching
"Ranierth" by Emily Holland
The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Prieltiol on his Impression, but it was J'kel, thrilled that Hozrath had finally found a successful candidate after so long without, who stepped in to help with the immediate matter of Ranierth's first meal. That was Prieltiol's first opportunity to speak to Martom, too, and they introduced each other, with considerable delight, to their respective dragonets, Ranierth and Kauth. Martom also told Prieltiol that his new name was to be – perhaps unsurprisingly – M'tom.
It wasn't long before Ranierth's personality started to become evident. The substantial dark-brown dragonet – chunkier than any other hatchling – had a stolid, non-nonsense character to match, speaking his mind without hesitation or tact.
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 Prieltiol and M'tom wiped the worst of the blood and sand from their tired new dragonets, the Weyrleader, T'gat, came to inspect both boys' dragonets, to ask after their names – and to ask the two new weyrlings how they should now be called. Prieltiol was proud to introduce Ranierth to the Weyrleader. And after a brief conference with Ranierth, Prieltiol gave the Weyrleader his own new name: P'tiol, rider of brown Ranierth!
Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Ranierth's and Kauth's newborn itchiness, P'tiol and M'tom headed into the boys' 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
P'tiol and M'tom soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk P'tiol had helped during the day greeted him with warm congratulations as he hunted through the throng – but, at last, he found his family.
P'tiol's Harper parents were absolutely delighted to find themselves the mother and father of a brown rider - even though it meant he would be leaving the Harpercraft for good. And they were even more delighted to drink to P'tiol and Ranierth when the Weyrleaders arrived to toast them!
The rest of the evening passed in a blur for P'tiol, 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, P'tiol was flagged down by a Weyrbrat, Emry, bringing the message that Weyrwoman Second Tarshe wanted to see him in the Archives.
Setting the record straight
Tarshe, tasked by the Weyrwoman with converting candidate documentation into weyrling records, went through P'tiol's background with him – including much of what he had got up to on the morning of the Hatching – for good and ill. She offered P'tiol some advice about paying attention to his new classmates and surroundings, lest he fall foul of the Weyrlingmaster's penchant for snap quizzes, and made some observations on Ranierth.
A close encounter
On his way back to the barracks , P'tiol 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 P'tiol would later realise was firestone, who called him by name – and gave him a curious wooden box.
"The Watchful Queen" by Chris S. Baily
Back at the barracks, P'tiol decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger.
Returning at last to Ranierth – billeted between M'tom's Kauth and a slender green dragonet – P'tiol was too tired to examine the strange wooden box very closely, and put it in his clothes' chest for later examination. But even as he went to sleep – a dragonrider at last, his brown beside him – P'tiol 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?
P'tiol and Ranierth'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
Ranierth and I complement each other!
INSULT TO INJURY
I Impressed the dragon that my rival coveted!
EBONY AND IVORY
Ranierth and I agreed on something very important!
Ranierth and I agreed on something quite important!