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Lunaia and green Piperath

The Road So Far!

It all began at Madellon Weyr for Lunaia – a young woman of 18 Turns, dreaming of becoming a blue rider.

Lunaia 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. Having been left standing at a Hatching once before, Lunaia wrestled with the fear that she wouldn't live up to her rider parents' expectations a second time.

As a candidate, Lunaia 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 Lunaia! Backed up by her crony Cedranne, Auciet became the thorn in Lunaia's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.

Hatching Day

The dragons' hum woke Erilde and Lunaia 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 Lunaia 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, Lunaia 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 Lunaia to find it. The quest took Lunaia all over Madellon, from kitchens to lake to infirmary – but in the end she succeeded in reuniting the Weyrwoman's jewellery set, to general acclaim.

Respecting her elders

In the Weyr's kitchen gardens, Lunaia encountered R'hren, a former Weyrleader of Madellon, now peacefully retired to potter among his beloved plants. R'hren asked Lunaia to help him track down the ingredients for a warming salve to help his elderly bronze, Staamath, with his arthritic forepaws. Lunaia duly located the components of R'hren's salve, winning the old bronze rider's approval in the process.

Southern comfort

Lunaia 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 Lunaia 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 Lunaia some intelligence on the Southern seven, his advice was somewhat garbled! Nonetheless, Lunaia 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, Lunaia 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, Lunaia 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.

A rising problem

Lunaia 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. Lunaia'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. Even if Lunaia did annoy Soleigh, who wasn't impressed with her for prolonging Maris' binge by bringing her more wine!

Kitchen diplomacy

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

A blue lady

Coming across T'gala, Pern's only female blue rider, bathing her Heppeth in the lake, Lunaia 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 Lunaia didn't want to pass up.

Friend request

Seeking knowledge of Erilde's parentage, Lunaia 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 Lunaia might construct a story about a long-dead rider. Lunaia 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!

Hair today

Mindful of the Weyrlingmaster's orders to be smart for the Hatching, Lunaia visited Madellon's resident barber – green rider Z'fell – for a trim. Very conscious of her dignity, Lunaia ensured she came away with a cut she actually liked.

A Weyrleader's mercy

Early in the day, Lunaia 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 chance, she found a way onto the Hatching Ground – onto a very high ledge! Calling down for help was the only option, and a welcome – if embarrassing – lift down from Muzzanth himself returned Lunaia safely to ground level.

Realising that honesty was the best policy, Lunaia apologised to the Weyrleader for intruding – and was surprised to find T'gat remarkably sanguine about it, reminiscing about his own youthful journey through the passages. And a polite request granted Lunaia the Weyrleader's permission to approach the clutch. She touched one of the eggs, marvelling at its palpable vitality.

The Hatching

When it came to the Hatching, Lunaia had to wait for every other dragonet to Hatch and choose a rider before the spotted green and cream egg Hatched to reveal the vivid sea-green hatchling who would choose her, naming herself Piperath.

A friend in me

And Lunaia wasn't the only lucky one. To her delight, Erilde also Impressed, becoming the rider of an inquisitive teal-green hatchling, Shaldeth.

Whatever happened to Auciet?

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

After the Hatching

"Piperath" by Emily Holland

The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Lunaia 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 Piperath's first meal. That was Lunaia's first opportunity to speak to Erilde, too, and they introduced each other, with considerable delight, to their respective dragonets, Piperath and Shaldeth.

It wasn't long before Piperath's personality started to become evident. The sea-green dragonet – ambiguously coloured at first glance, but unequivocally female when asked – proved to have a particularly playful and fun-loving outlook on life.

With both dragonets full to bursting with fresh meat, the newly minted dragonpairs left the Hatching sands for their new home: the weyrling barracks.

Big sister

Another friend Lunaia made along the way – a young Weyrbred candidate, Brithie, whom Lunaia had encountered in a sudden crisis of confidence directly before the Hatching – hailed Lunaia at the barracks – crediting her with her successful Impression of a tiny bottle-green dragonet, Epatanth!

Meeting the Weyrleader

As Lunaia 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. Lunaia was proud to introduce Piperath to the Weyrleader – and to give him her full new name: Lunaia, rider of green Piperath!

Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Piperath's and Shaldeth's newborn itchiness, Lunaia 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

Lunaia and Erilde soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk Lunaia 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 green rider for the first time . And when the Weyrleaders came to drink a toast to Lunaia and Piperath, 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 Lunaia, 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, Lunaia 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 Lunaia'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 Lunaia 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 Piperath.

A close encounter

On her way back to the barracks , Lunaia 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 Lunaia 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, Lunaia decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger.

Returning at last to Piperath – billeted between Erilde's Shaldeth and a pale green dragonet – Lunaia 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 – Lunaia 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?

Lunaia and Piperath's story will continue in Dragonchoice: Weyrling, coming soon!

Lunaia'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:
OPPOSITES ATTRACT

I make quite a strange match with Piperath!

Achievement Unlocked:
SUGAR AND SPICE

I've been a very nice person (so far)!

Achievement Unlocked:
EBONY AND IVORY

Piperath and I agreed on something very important!

Achievement Unlocked:
BUM NOTE

Piperath and I disagreed on something quite important!