Oshera and green Marienth
The Road So Far!
It all began at Jessaf Hold, in the protectorate of Madellon Weyr, for Oshera – a young woman of 17 Turns, dreaming of becoming a green rider.
Oshera was born the daughter of a modest cotholder at Jessaf Hold, working alongside her widowed father to work their allotted land, and help bring up her young twin siblings, Albon and Gettie. And in early 102, when a green rider, N'jol, and his Kistrith came to Jessaf in search of candidates for Madellon Weyr's hardening clutch, Oshera didn't even present herself as a hopeful. Yet it was Oshera that Kistrith singled out among all those young people. She almost didn't accept Search – anxious not to abandon her father. But he insisted, revealing that his late wife, Oshera's mother, had always dreamed of being a dragonrider – and gifting Oshera with her blue feather pendant as a lucky charm.
As a candidate, Oshera 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 Oshera! Backed up by her crony Cedranne, Auciet became the thorn in Oshera's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.
The dragons' hum woke Erilde and Oshera 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 Oshera 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, Oshera 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 Oshera to find it. Despite Oshera's best efforts, though, she didn't manage to complete and return the jewellery set before the Hatching.
Respecting her elders
In the Weyr's kitchen gardens, Oshera encountered R'hren, a former Weyrleader of Madellon, now peacefully retired to potter among his beloved plants. R'hren asked Oshera to help him track down the ingredients for a warming salve to help his elderly bronze, Staamath, with his arthritic forepaws. Oshera duly located the components of R'hren's salve, winning the old bronze rider's approval in the process.
Gifted a small pot of the salve, Oshera offered it to old S'rius, who was equally appreciative of the gift. And while Kisha, the blind old green rider Oshera encountered in the infirmary, would have nothing to do with one of R'hren's concoctions, she too grew to approve of Oshera – especially after she solved all three of her fiendish riddles!
Oshera 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 Oshera 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 Oshera some intelligence on the Southern seven, his advice was somewhat garbled! Nonetheless, Oshera 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, Oshera met her 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, Oshera 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. Oshera even shared the largesse with Zielaph, who then introduced her to Fr'ton – who, having Impressed a bronze in spite of his less than boundless promise, gave Oshera a certain confidence in her own prospects!
A rising problem
Oshera 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 Oshera 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 – she still ultimately failed to reconcile the star-crossed green riding lovers!
Madellon's kitchens – the heart of the Weyr, and domain of Headwoman Crauva – provided Oshera with the opportunity to show off her work ethic before the Hatching. A round of chores duly pleased Crauva, and earned her a selection of goodies warm from the oven.. And the kitchen was also the source of the hotfruit R'hren had sent Oshera to find for his warming salve.
Oshera certainly indulged her sweet tooth before the Hatching – laying claim to not one, not two, but three different types of bubbly pie Albeit she stole one of them..
Weyrbrat by name...
A run-in with a Weyrbrat – Terzon, whom Auciet had paid to cause Oshera trouble – resulted in an unfortunate public incident. All too aware of being shaken down, Oshera gave the kid a shove – in front of a number of witnesses – doing nothing for her reputation!
A blue lady
Coming across T'gala, Pern's only female blue rider, bathing her Heppeth in the lake, Oshera 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 Oshera didn't want to pass up.
Seeking knowledge of Erilde's parentage, Oshera 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 Oshera might construct a story about a long-dead rider. Oshera 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!
A slithery customer
Early in the day, Oshera found out about a secret way into the Hatching Ground via storeroom that might allow her a sneaky peek at the eggs before the Hatching. Successfully entering the combination to the lock on the storeroom door, and suitably equipped with a glowbasket, she crawled into a confusing maze of passages.
By a stroke of ill luck, Oshera strayed into tunnel snake territory! A huge, aggressive, and potently venomous female tunnel-snake guarded the exit to the Hatching ground. Oshera was lucky to avoid being bitten. But ultimately she evaded the snake, dodging past it and slipping out onto the Hatching Sands.
Having survived her encounter with the snake, Oshera crept closer to the clutch – close enough to touch an egg – before beating a hasty retreat from the Hatching Ground!
When it came to the Hatching, Oshera had to wait a little while before the long pale grey egg Hatched to reveal the light cloudy-green dragonet who would choose her, naming herself Marienth.
But Marienth was nearly beaten to Oshera by another dragonet – an inquisitive teal-green hatchling who seemed torn between Oshera and Erilde. Sensing that she wasn't the best match for her, Oshera stepped aside to give Erilde precedence – resulting in her Impression of the little green, Shaldeth.
Whatever happened to Auciet?
It turned out that making an enemy of Oshera was a very poor choice on Auciet's part. For the low, low price of just three marks, Oshera had Grimes, the shady fellow loitering near the Gather stalls, spread a series of nasty rumours about Auciet. By the time the Weyrlingmaster mustered the candidate cohort immediately before the Hatching, the damage to Auciet's reputation was done – and she was ejected from the candidate pool without ever setting foot on the Sands!
After the Hatching
"Marienth" by Emily Holland
The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Oshera on her Impression, but it was N'jol, delighted that his most humble candidate had Impressed, who stepped in to help with the immediate matter of Marienth's first meal. That was Oshera's first opportunity to speak to Erilde, too, and they introduced each other, with considerable delight, to their respective dragonets, Marienth and Shaldeth.
It wasn't long before Marienth's personality started to become evident. The cloudy-green dragonet, being a very forthright and direct character, spared no time in making it clear that she wouldn't take any nonsense from anyone – her new rider included!
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 Oshera made along the way – a young Weyrbred candidate, Brithie, whom Oshera had encountered in a sudden crisis of confidence directly before the Hatching – hailed Oshera at the barracks – crediting her with her successful Impression of a tiny bottle-green dragonet, Epatanth!
Meeting the Weyrleader
As Oshera 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 to ask after their names. Oshera was proud to introduce Marienth to the Weyrleader – and to give him her full new name: Oshera, rider of green Marienth!
Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Marienth's and Shaldeth's newborn itchiness, Oshera 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
Oshera and Erilde soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk Oshera had helped during the day greeted her with warm congratulations as she hunted through the throng – but, at last, she found her family.
Oshera's father almost couldn't believe his daughter's good fortune, completely thrilled to be the father of a dragonrider. And he was even more starstruck when the Weyrleaders came to drink a toast to Oshera and Marienth.
The rest of the evening passed in a blur for Oshera, 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, Oshera 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 Oshera'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 Oshera 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 Marienth.
A close encounter
On her way back to the barracks , Oshera 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 Oshera 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, Oshera decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger.
Returning at last to Marienth – billeted between Erilde's Shaldeth and a very large green dragonet – Oshera 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 green beside her – Oshera 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?
Find out more about Oshera's Impression here. Oshera and Marienth's story will continue in Dragonchoice: Weyrling, coming soon!
Find out more about Oshera's Impression here. Oshera and Marienth'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
Marienth and I complement each other!
SUGAR AND SPICE
I've been a very nice person (so far)!
EBONY AND IVORY
Marienth and I agreed on something very important!
Marienth and I agreed on something quite important!