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R'yala and blue Dasypoth

The Road So Far!

It all began at Madellon Weyr for Ryevala – a young girl of 15 Turns, dreaming of becoming a blue rider.

Ryevala 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. As a first-time candidate, Ryevala looked forward to the Hatching with both excitement and trepidation – half convinced that she would be meeting her own dragon at last; half terrified of failing to meet the standards expected of a Wingleader's daughter!

As a candidate, Ryevala was assigned a bunkmate – Jopha, a mischievous young Weyrbred girl prone to getting herself into trouble, 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 – Thippia, a foul-mouthed girl from the Seacraft – who took a firm disliking to Ryevala! Backed up by her crony Berrin, Thippia became the thorn in Ryevala's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.

Hatching Day

The dragons' hum woke Jopha and Ryevala on 102.03.17. Following a brief run-in with Thippia, 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 Ryevala left, Jopha – whose Impression robe was sadly overlarge for her petite frame – recruited Ryevala's help in getting it adjusted by her nemesis Shookana in the mending room.

The one-armed green rider and the thieving queen

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

The Hatching

But when it came to the Hatching, Ryevala had a less than ordinary experience. While bathing in the lake, Ryevala was swamped by a brown dragon's careless landing – and almost drowned. She survived – only to be invalided out of the Hatching and confined to the infirmary. But an earlier conversation with S'rius, gave Ryevala the notion that she might still be able to Impress – if she could just reach the Sands in time. She staggered from her sickbed, across the Weyr, and onto the Sands – just in time to Impress the very last dragonet, a blue who named himself Dasypoth.

Whatever happened to Thippia?

Sadly, there was at least one fly in the numbweed. Thippia Impressed a very vocal mint-green hatchling, making them Ryevala and Dasypoth's new classmates. (On the bright side, at least Berrin didn't Impress!)

After the Hatching

"Dasypoth" by Chris S. Baily

The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Ryevala 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 Dasypoth's first meal. That was the first moment Ryevala had truly grasped that Jopha wasn't going to be a weyrling alongside her – a truth that hit hard. In Jopha's absence, Arina, who'd Impressed a cloudy-green dragonet, Chanth – was a welcome friendly face.

It wasn't long before Dasypoth's personality started to become evident. The big midnight-blue dragonet showed an immediate desire to show off and preen – not surprising given his handsome colour and conformation!

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 Ryevala and Arina 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 Ryevala's unusual Impression of a blue. T'gat further enquired if Ryevala would like to elide her name, as T'gala had done, or not. Ryevala took up the opportunity to rename herself, and after a brief conference with Dasypoth, Ryevala gave the Weyrleader her new name – R'yala, rider of blue Dasypoth!

Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Dasypoth's and Chanth's newborn itchiness, R'yala and Arina 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

R'yala and Arina soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk R'yala 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 R'yala and Dasypoth, 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 R'yala, 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, R'yala 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 R'yala's background with her – including much of what she had got up to on the morning of the Hatching – for good and ill. She cleared up an anomaly with her new name, too. She offered R'yala some advice about paying attention to her new classmates and surroundings, lest she fall foul of the Weyrlingmaster's penchant for snap quizzes, advised her to report to Master Isnan before returning to the barracks to get her injuries checked again, and made some observations on Dasypoth.

A close encounter

On her way back to the barracks (by way of the infirmary, as ordered by Tarshe), R'yala 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 R'yala 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, R'yala decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger – though she did give L'stev her new name.

Returning at last to Dasypoth – billeted between Arina's Chanth and a very large green dragonet – R'yala 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 – R'yala was struck with a deep sense of foreboding. Who was the mysterious dragonrider in the hooded cloak? What was the significance of the strange wooden box? And how had the stranger known R'yala's new name?

R'yala and Dasypoth's story will continue in Dragonchoice: Weyrling, coming soon!

R'yala'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:
DEED POLL

I changed my name by choice!

Achievement Unlocked:
CEASE AND DESIST

I prevented legal difficulties by changing my name!

Achievement Unlocked:
ONE STEVE LIMIT

I avoided duplicating a Dragonchoice character's name!

Achievement Unlocked:
THEY'RE DEAD, DAVE

I changed my name to respect the deceased!

Achievement Unlocked:
THE YIN TO YOUR YANG

Dasypoth and I complement each other!

Achievement Unlocked:
SNAKES AND SNAILS

I haven't been very nice!

Achievement Unlocked:
PLEASE STATE THE NATURE OF THE MEDICAL EMERGENCY

I returned to the infirmary!

Achievement Unlocked:
EBONY AND IVORY

Dasypoth and I agreed on something very important!

Achievement Unlocked:
IN TUNE

Dasypoth and I agreed on something quite important!