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N'fin and blue Kedunth

The Road So Far!

It all began at Madellon Weyr for Nofin – a young man of 16 Turns, dreaming of becoming a dragonrider.

Nofin was born the son of Nelya, a Headwoman's Second at Madellon Weyr. While he didn't have to be Searched, he 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, Nofin struggled with both his modest upbringing as a Weyr child with no rider blood, and his fear that he wasn't dragonrider material.

As a candidate, Nofin was assigned a bunkmate – Soburn, an anxious Weyrbred youth with one failed Hatching already haunting him, 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 – Rielat, a self-important apprentice Weaver – who took a firm disliking to Nofin! Backed up by his crony Kestor, Rielat became the thorn in Nofin's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.

Hatching Day

The dragons' hum woke Soburn and Nofin on 102.03.17. Following a brief run-in with Rielat, 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 Nofin left, Soburn asked him to find out if H'nar, the young Wingleader of the Betweenless Wing, might currently be seeing someone – or not.

The one-armed green rider and the thieving queen

Immediately on leaving the candidate barracks, Nofin 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 Nofin to find it. Despite Nofin's best efforts, though, he didn't manage to complete and return the jewellery set before the Hatching.

Respecting his elders

In the Weyr's kitchen gardens, Nofin encountered R'hren, a former Weyrleader of Madellon, now peacefully retired to potter among his beloved plants. R'hren asked Nofin to help him track down the ingredients for a warming salve to help his elderly bronze, Staamath, with his arthritic forepaws. Nofin 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, Nofin 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, Nofin 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. Nofin 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 Nofin a certain confidence in his own prospects!

Kitchen diplomacy

Madellon's kitchens – the heart of the Weyr, and domain of Headwoman Crauva – provided Nofin with the opportunity to show off his 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 Nofin to find for his warming salve.

A shining example

Coming upon Santinoth – Madellon's biggest bronze – being bathed in the lake, Nofin 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?

Friend request

Conscious of Soburn's bashfulness, Nofin approached the object of his affections – H'nar, Wingleader of the Betweenless Wing – with some circumspection. Still, when questioned, H'nar insisted he had to know who was making enquiries of him. And when he learned the identity of his admirer, he told Nofin that he wasn't interested in Soburn – or any other men, for that matter. But Nofin's agile pivot in questioning revealed that a close friend of H'nar's – blue rider M'rany – might be a viable alternative. Thus encouraged, Soburn began to think more positively of life as a dragonrider – even if H'nar would end up being his Wingleader!

The Hatching

When it came to the Hatching, Nofin had to wait a little while before the gleaming blue egg Hatched to reveal the bright indigo-blue dragonet who would choose him, naming himself Kedunth.

A friend in me

And Nofin wasn't the only lucky one. To his delight, Soburn also Impressed, becoming the rider of a slender olive-green hatchling, Aeranth.

Whatever happened to Rielat?

Rielat didn't turn up for the pre-Hatching muster, and – Nofin's own suspicions notwithstanding – L'stev guessed that he had probably got himself lost trying to sneak into the Hatching Ground through the dangerous ventilation tunnels. Fortunately – Nofin supposed – Weyrlingmaster A'len located the missing candidate, but too late for Rielat, who having been found unconscious, was promptly invalided out of standing!

After the Hatching

"Kedunth" by Emily Holland

The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Nofin on his Impression, but it was old S'rius, delighted to have found yet another weyrling, who stepped in to help with the immediate matter of Kedunth's first meal. That was Nofin's first opportunity to speak to Soburn, too, and they introduced each other, with considerable delight, to their respective dragonets, Kedunth and Aeranth. Soburn also told Nofin that his new name was to be – perhaps unsurprisingly – S'burn.

It wasn't long before Kedunth'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.

Meeting the Weyrleader

As Nofin and S'burn 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. Nofin was proud to introduce Kedunth to the Weyrleader. And after a brief conference with Kedunth, Nofin gave the Weyrleader his own new name: N'fin, rider of blue Kedunth!

Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Kedunth's and Aeranth's newborn itchiness, N'fin and S'burn 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

N'fin and S'burn soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk N'fin had helped during the day greeted him with warm congratulations as he hunted through the throng – but, at last, he found his family.

N'fin's mother, Nelya, was thrilled by her son's Impression – though perhaps not quite as ecstatic as N'fin's younger siblings, Ashi and Halante. As the first dragonrider in the family, N'fin was keenly aware of what it meant to his brother and sister. And when the Weyrleaders came to drink a toast to N'fin and Kedunth, Valonna was particularly delighted for Nelya – one of her most trusted Headwoman Seconds.

The rest of the evening passed in a blur for N'fin, 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, N'fin 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 N'fin'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 N'fin 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 Kedunth.

A close encounter

On his way back to the barracks , N'fin 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 N'fin 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, N'fin decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger.

Returning at last to Kedunth – billeted between S'burn's Aeranth and a bright bronze dragonet – N'fin 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 blue beside him – N'fin 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?

N'fin and Kedunth's story will continue in Dragonchoice: Weyrling, coming soon!

N'fin's achievements

Achievement Unlocked:
CARRY ON WAYWARD SON

I travelled The Road So Far!

Achievement Unlocked:
OUR ROB, OR ROSS

I received a mysterious box!

Achievement Unlocked:
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.

Achievement Unlocked:
THE YIN TO YOUR YANG

Kedunth and I complement each other!

Achievement Unlocked:
EBONY AND IVORY

Kedunth and I agreed on something very important!

Achievement Unlocked:
IN TUNE

Kedunth and I agreed on something quite important!