Login | Register

V'lin and brown Lanariath

The Road So Far!

It all began at Jessaf Hold, in the protectorate of Madellon Weyr, for Valin – a young man of 16 Turns, dreaming of becoming a dragonrider.

Valin was born to unusual privilege – a grandson of Winstone, Lord of mighty Jessaf Hold. Valin 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, Valin 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 Valin 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, Valin left to begin his candidacy at Madellon Weyr.

As a candidate, Valin 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 Valin! Backed up by his crony Kestor, Rielat became the thorn in Valin's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.

Hatching Day

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

Respecting his elders

In the Weyr's kitchen gardens, Valin encountered R'hren, a former Weyrleader of Madellon, now peacefully retired to potter among his beloved plants. R'hren asked Valin to help him track down the ingredients for a warming salve to help his elderly bronze, Staamath, with his arthritic forepaws. Valin 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, Valin offered it to old S'rius, who was equally appreciative of the gift. And while Kisha, the blind old green rider Valin encountered in the infirmary, would have nothing to do with one of R'hren's concoctions, she too grew to approve of Valin – especially after he solved all three of her fiendish riddles!

Southern comfort

Valin 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 Valin 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 Valin some intelligence on the Southern seven, his advice was somewhat garbled! Nonetheless, Valin 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, Valin 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, Valin 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. Valin 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 Valin a certain confidence in his own prospects!

A rising problem

Valin 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. Valin'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 Valin did annoy Soleigh, who wasn't impressed with him 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 Valin with the opportunity to show off his 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 Valin 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, Valin offered his assistance – which T'gala gladly accepted.

Friend request

Conscious of Soburn's bashfulness, Valin 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 Valin that he wasn't interested in Soburn – or any other men, for that matter. But Valin'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!

Hair today

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

A slithery customer

Early in the day, Valin found out about a secret way into the Hatching Ground via storeroom that might allow him 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, he crawled into a confusing maze of passages.

By a stroke of ill luck, Valin strayed into tunnel snake territory! A huge, aggressive, and potently venomous female tunnel-snake guarded the exit to the Hatching ground. Valin was lucky to avoid being bitten. But ultimately he evaded the snake, dodging past it and slipping out onto the Hatching Sands.

Having survived his encounter with the tunnel-snake, Valin approached the clutch – but not stealthily enough! His presence woke Shimpath from her doze, and she and Muzzanth chased Valin off the sands!

The Hatching

When it came to the Hatching, Valin had to wait a little while before the moonlike grey egg Hatched to reveal the warm milky-klah brown dragonet who would choose him, naming himself Lanariath.

A friend in me

And Valin 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?

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

After the Hatching

"Lanariath" by Chris S. Baily

The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Valin 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 Lanariath's first meal. That was Valin's first opportunity to speak to Soburn, too, and they introduced each other, with considerable delight, to their respective dragonets, Lanariath and Aeranth. Soburn also told Valin that his new name was to be – perhaps unsurprisingly – S'burn.

It wasn't long before Lanariath's personality started to become evident. The little klah-coloured brown proved to be exceptionally friendly and forward from the very beginning, wanting nothing more than to introduce himself to everyone he met.

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 brother

Another friend Valin made along the way – a young Holdbred candidate, Nichen, whom Valin had encountered in a hopelessly dishevelled state directly before the Hatching – hailed Valin at the barracks – crediting him with his successful Impression of a moon-blue dragonet, Yooth!

Meeting the Weyrleader

As Valin 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. Valin was proud to introduce Lanariath to the Weyrleader. And after a brief conference with Lanariath, Valin gave the Weyrleader his own new name: V'lin, rider of brown Lanariath!

Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Lanariath's and Aeranth's newborn itchiness, V'lin 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

V'lin and S'burn soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk V'lin 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, V'lin's grandfather, was grudgingly satisfied with Lanariath's colour, if clearly disappointed that his grandson hadn't managed to Impress a bronze – a criticism that the Weyrleaders were quick to cut short in their toast to V'lin and Lanariath.

The rest of the evening passed in a blur for V'lin, 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, V'lin 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 V'lin'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 V'lin 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 Lanariath.

A close encounter

On his way back to the barracks , V'lin 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 V'lin 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, V'lin decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger.

Returning at last to Lanariath – billeted between S'burn's Aeranth and a mucky-looking brown dragonet – V'lin 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 brown beside him – V'lin 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?

V'lin and Lanariath's story will continue in Dragonchoice: Weyrling, coming soon!

V'lin'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:
STRANGE BEDFELLOWS

I make a very odd match with Lanariath!

Achievement Unlocked:
SUGAR AND SPICE

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

Achievement Unlocked:
BUM NOTE

Lanariath and I disagreed on something quite important!

Achievement Unlocked:
BROKEN STRINGS

Lanariath and I disagreed on something very important!