T'mer and bronze Bryaceth
The Road So Far!
It all began at Jessaf Hold, in the protectorate of Madellon Weyr, for Termer – a young boy of 15 Turns, dreaming of becoming a bronze rider.
Termer was born to unusual privilege – a grandson of Winstone, Lord of mighty Jessaf Hold. Termer 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, Termer 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 Termer becoming a candidate – while conceding that he could spare a younger grandchild. And with Winstone's admonition that he Impress a bronze – or a brown at the very least – ringing in his ears, Termer left to begin his candidacy at Madellon Weyr.
As a candidate, Termer 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 Termer! Backed up by his crony Varell, Gydeton became the thorn in Termer's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.
The dragons' hum woke Martom and Termer 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 Termer 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, Termer 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 Termer to find it. Despite Termer's best efforts, though, he didn't manage to complete and return the jewellery set before the Hatching.
A rising problem
Termer 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. Termer's intervention successfully got rid of G'tron, whose Imdoth was very sweet indeed on Bristath, from the mating flight – not to mention G'pellas, another blue rider, needed in the Harper ensemble – and reconciled the two green riders.
Overkeen to get his hands on the last bubbly pie in the dining hall, Termer took it – forcibly – from a small child. Not the nicest thing to do – but mmm, pie...
Seeking an easy way to slip into the Hatching Ground for an early peek, Termer 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 Termer hadn't reckoned on H'nar's incorruptible nature. H'nar rejected the money with outrage, and word of Termer's attempt to bribe him made its way back to the Weyrlingmaster!
A shining example
Coming upon Santinoth – Madellon's biggest bronze – being bathed in the lake, Termer 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?
Wherry bad behaviour
Termer's assorted instances of bad behaviour finally caught up with him. L'stev collared him in the Bowl and gave him an ultimatum – buck up his ideas, or sit the Hatching out. Termer chose the former, and the Weyrlingmaster sent him to do penance in the wherry hatchery – though Termer remained on probation, with one more slip promising to rule him out of standing!
When it came to the Hatching, Termer didn't have to wait at all for his date with destiny. The purple-speckled cream egg that Hatched first produced a bright golden-bronze hatchling who spared no time in choosing Termer, naming himself Bryaceth.
A friend bereft
But to Termer's dismay, Martom wasn't as fortunate. No dragonet showed an interest in him, and he was left among the candidates remaining unmatched at the end of the Hatching.
Whatever happened to Gydeton?
It turned out that making an enemy of Termer was a very poor choice on Gydeton's part. For the low, low price of just three marks, Termer had Grimes, the shady fellow loitering near the Gather stalls, spread a series of nasty rumours about Gydeton. By the time the Weyrlingmaster mustered the candidate cohort immediately before the Hatching, the damage to Gydeton's reputation was done – and he was ejected from the candidate pool without ever setting foot on the Sands!
After the Hatching
"Bryaceth" by Emily Holland
The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Termer on his Impression, but it was Garlan, delighted that her risky choice of Winstone's grandson had Impressed, who stepped in to help with the immediate matter of Bryaceth's first meal. That was the first moment Termer had truly grasped that Martom wasn't going to be a weyrling alongside him – a truth that hit hard. In Martom's absence, Chiliam – the highborn lad from Kellad, who'd Impressed a dusty-brown dragonet, Destrath, and who now styled himself Ch'liam – was a welcome friendly face.
It wasn't long before Bryaceth'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.
Meeting the Weyrleader
As Termer and Ch'liam 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. Termer was proud to introduce Bryaceth to the Weyrleader. And after a brief conference with Bryaceth, Termer gave the Weyrleader his own new name: T'mer, rider of bronze Bryaceth!
Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Bryaceth's and Destrath's newborn itchiness, T'mer and Ch'liam 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
T'mer and Ch'liam soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk T'mer had helped during the day greeted him with warm congratulations as he hunted through the throng – but, at last, he found his family.
Lord Winstone, T'mer's grandfather, was very pleased indeed to be able to boast to all and sundry that his grandson had Impressed a bronze, although he still managed to find fault with Bryaceth for failing to be the largest dragonet in the clutch – a criticism that the Weyrleaders were quick to cut short in their toast to T'mer and his bronze.
The rest of the evening passed in a blur for T'mer, 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, T'mer 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 T'mer'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 T'mer 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 Bryaceth.
A close encounter
On his way back to the barracks , T'mer 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 T'mer 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, T'mer decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger.
Returning at last to Bryaceth – billeted between Ch'liam's Destrath and a slender green dragonet – T'mer 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 – T'mer 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?
T'mer and Bryaceth'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
Bryaceth and I complement each other!
SNAKES AND SNAILS
I haven't been very nice!
EBONY AND IVORY
Bryaceth and I agreed on something very important!
Bryaceth and I agreed on something quite important!