L'tim and bronze Geth
The Road So Far!
It all began at Madellon Weyr for Latimer – a young man of 16 Turns, dreaming of becoming a bronze rider.
Latimer was born the son of Wingleader R'yeno and green rider Evie of 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, Latimer wrestled with the fear that he wouldn't live up to his rider parents' expectations a second time.
As a candidate, Latimer 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 Latimer! Backed up by his crony Kestor, Rielat became the thorn in Latimer's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.
The dragons' hum woke Soburn and Latimer 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 Latimer 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, Latimer 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 Latimer to find it. Despite Latimer's best efforts, though, he didn't manage to complete and return the jewellery set before the Hatching.
Respecting his elders
In the infirmary, Latimer encountered Kisha – a blind old green rider giving the Weyr's Healers a difficult time about taking her medicine. Kisha challenged Latimer to answer three riddles before she would consent to behave. And Latimer rose to that challenge – answering all three correctly, and winning Kisha's grudging respect!
Latimer 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 Latimer 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 Latimer some intelligence on the Southern seven, his advice was somewhat garbled! Nonetheless, Latimer 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, Latimer 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, Latimer 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. Latimer 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 Latimer a certain confidence in his own prospects!
A rising problem
Latimer 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 Latimer 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 – he still ultimately failed to reconcile the star-crossed green riding lovers!
A blue lady
Coming across T'gala, Pern's only female blue rider, bathing her Heppeth in the lake, Latimer offered his assistance – which T'gala gladly accepted.
Conscious of Soburn's bashfulness, Latimer 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 Latimer that he wasn't interested in Soburn – or any other men, for that matter. But Latimer'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!
When it came to the Hatching, Latimer didn't have to wait too long for his date with destiny. The purple-speckled cream egg Hatched out a bright golden-bronze dragonet who told Latimer his name was Geth.
A friend in me
And Latimer 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?
It turned out that making an enemy of Latimer was a very poor choice on Rielat's part. For the low, low price of just three marks, Latimer had Grimes, the shady fellow loitering near the Gather stalls, spread a series of nasty rumours about Rielat. By the time the Weyrlingmaster mustered the candidate cohort immediately before the Hatching, the damage to Rielat's reputation was done – and he was ejected from the candidate pool without ever setting foot on the Sands!
After the Hatching
"Geth" by Emily Holland
The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Latimer 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 Geth's first meal. That was Latimer's first opportunity to speak to Soburn, too, and they introduced each other, with considerable delight, to their respective dragonets, Geth and Aeranth. Soburn also told Latimer that his new name was to be – perhaps unsurprisingly – S'burn.
It wasn't long before Geth's personality started to become evident. The bright-bronze dragonet, while the smallest of his colour, demonstrated an exceptional degree of self-possession and independent thought – not shy to push himself forward, or make his opinion heard.
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 Latimer made along the way – a young Holdbred candidate, Nichen, whom Latimer had encountered in a hopelessly dishevelled state directly before the Hatching – hailed Latimer at the barracks – crediting him with his successful Impression of a moon-blue dragonet, Yooth!
Meeting the Weyrleader
As Latimer 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. Latimer was proud to introduce Geth to the Weyrleader. And after a brief conference with Geth, Latimer gave the Weyrleader his own new name: L'tim, rider of bronze Geth!
Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Geth's and Aeranth's newborn itchiness, L'tim 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
L'tim and S'burn soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk L'tim had helped during the day greeted him with warm congratulations as he hunted through the throng – but, at last, he found his family.
R'yeno and Evie couldn't have been happier to greet their son as a bronze rider for the first time – though R'yeno couldn't resist making a crack about the new competition for his own bronze. And when the Weyrleaders came to drink a toast to L'tim, R'yeno further embarassed his son 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 L'tim, 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, L'tim 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 L'tim'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 L'tim 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 Geth.
A close encounter
On his way back to the barracks , L'tim 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 L'tim 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, L'tim decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger.
Returning at last to Geth – billeted between S'burn's Aeranth and a mucky-looking brown dragonet – L'tim 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 bronze beside him – L'tim 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?
L'tim and Geth'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
Geth and I complement each other!
EBONY AND IVORY
Geth and I agreed on something very important!
Geth and I disagreed on something quite important!