M'ya and blue South
The Road So Far!
It all began at Madellon Weyr for Maya – a young woman of 16 Turns, dreaming of becoming a blue rider.
Maya was born the daughter of Wingleader R'yeno and green rider Evie of Madellon Weyr. While she didn't have to be Searched, she was 'given the nod' as a likely dragonrider by the Weyr's most senior retired Search pair – S'rius and his elderly blue Padseth. Having been left standing at a Hatching once before, Maya wrestled with the fear that she wouldn't live up to her rider parents' expectations a second time.
As a candidate, Maya 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 Maya! Backed up by her crony Cedranne, Auciet became the thorn in Maya's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.
The dragons' hum woke Erilde and Maya 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 Maya 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, Maya 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 Maya to find it. Despite Maya's best efforts, though, she didn't manage to complete and return the jewellery set before the Hatching.
Eggs and baskets
A visit to the Archives led to a meeting with Tarshe, Madellon's Weyrwoman Second. When Maya 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 – Maya did!
A blue lady
Coming across T'gala, Pern's only female blue rider, bathing her Heppeth in the lake, Maya 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 Maya didn't want to pass up.
Seeking knowledge of Erilde's parentage, Maya 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 Maya might construct a story about a long-dead rider. Maya 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, Maya visited Madellon's resident barber, Z'fell, for a trim. But she fell foul of the green rider's perverse sense of humour, and came away with a curious cut – short on top, long at the back – that prompted quite a number of odd looks and laughs at her expense!
When it came to the Hatching, Maya had an excruciatingly long wait before the grey-swirled silvery cream egg Hatched to reveal the very pale moon-blue dragonet who would choose her, naming himself South.
A friend in me
And Maya 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?
Sadly, there was at least one fly in the numbweed. Auciet Impressed an unusually aggressive grass-green hatchling, making them Maya and South's new classmates. (On the bright side, at least Cedranne didn't Impress!)
After the Hatching
"South" by Chris S. Baily
The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Maya on her Impression, but it was old S'rius, delighted to have found yet another weyrling, who stepped in to help with the immediate matter of South's first meal. That was Maya's first opportunity to speak to Erilde, too, and they introduced each other, with considerable delight, to their respective dragonets, South and Shaldeth.
It wasn't long before South's personality started to become evident. The moon-blue dragonet, while seemingly reluctant to even leave his egg, showed glimmers of a curiously perceptive and knowing mind beneath his apparent laziness.
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 Maya made along the way – a young Weyrbred candidate, Brithie, whom Maya had encountered in a sudden crisis of confidence directly before the Hatching – hailed Maya at the barracks – crediting her with her successful Impression of a tiny bottle-green dragonet, Epatanth!
Meeting the Weyrleader
As Maya 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 Maya's unusual Impression of a blue. T'gat further enquired if Maya would like to elide her name, as T'gala had done, or not. Maya took up the opportunity to rename herself, and after a brief conference with South, Maya gave the Weyrleader her new name – M'ya, rider of blue South!
Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve South's and Shaldeth's newborn itchiness, M'ya 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
M'ya and Erilde soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk M'ya had helped during the day greeted her with warm congratulations as she hunted through the throng – but, at last, she found her family.
R'yeno and Evie couldn't have been happier to greet their daughter as a blue rider for the first time . And when the Weyrleaders came to drink a toast to M'ya and South, R'yeno was delighted to embarrass his daughter by insinuating that Gryth would be stiffer competition to Muzzanth in Shimpath's next flight.
The rest of the evening passed in a blur for M'ya, 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'ya 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'ya'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 M'ya 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 South.
A close encounter
On her way back to the barracks , M'ya 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'ya 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'ya decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger.
Returning at last to South – billeted between Erilde's Shaldeth and a very large green dragonet – M'ya 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'ya 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?
M'ya and South'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
South and I complement each other!
EBONY AND IVORY
South and I agreed on something very important!
South and I disagreed on something quite important!