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K'shi and brown Riccith

The Road So Far!

It all began at Jessaf Hold, in the protectorate of Madellon Weyr, for Kevashi – a young boy of 14 Turns, dreaming of becoming a brown rider.

Kevashi was born the son of a modest cotholder at Jessaf Hold, working alongside his widowed father to work their allotted land, and help bring up his 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, Kevashi didn't even present himself as a hopeful. Yet it was Kevashi that Kistrith singled out among all those young people. He almost didn't accept Search – anxious not to abandon his father. But he insisted, revealing that his late wife, Kevashi's mother, had always dreamed of being a dragonrider – and gifting Kevashi with her blue feather pendant as a lucky charm.

As a candidate, Kevashi 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 Kevashi! Backed up by his crony Varell, Gydeton became the thorn in Kevashi's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.

Hatching Day

The dragons' hum woke Martom and Kevashi 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 Kevashi 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, Kevashi 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 Kevashi to find it. Despite Kevashi's best efforts, though, he didn't manage to complete and return the jewellery set before the Hatching.

Respecting his elders

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

A Masterful order

In the dining hall, Kevashi 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, Kevashi 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. Kevashi 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 Kevashi a certain confidence in his own prospects!

A rising problem

Kevashi 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. Kevashi'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.

Kitchen diplomacy

Madellon's kitchens – the heart of the Weyr, and domain of Headwoman Crauva – provided Kevashi 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 Kevashi to find for his warming salve.

Eggs and baskets

A visit to the Archives led to a meeting with Tarshe, Madellon's Weyrwoman Second. When Kevashi expressed an interested in looking up some Weyr records, Tarshe offered him the loan of a glowbasket – on the proviso that he return it afterwards. Which – mindful of not offending such an important personage of the Weyr – Kevashi did!

Weyrbrat by name...

A run-in with a Weyrbrat – Terzon, whom Gydeton had paid to cause Kevashi trouble – resulted in an unfortunate public incident. All too aware of being shaken down, Kevashi gave the kid a shove – in front of a number of witnesses – doing nothing for his reputation!

A blue lady

Coming across T'gala, Pern's only female blue rider, bathing her Heppeth in the lake, Kevashi offered his assistance – which T'gala gladly accepted.

The Hatching

When it came to the Hatching, Kevashi didn't have to wait too long for his date with destiny. The unassuming grey-green egg Hatched out a deep russet-brown dragonet who told Kevashi his name was Riccith.

A friend bereft

But to Kevashi'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?

Sadly, there was at least one fly in the numbweed. Gydeton Impressed the biggest dragonet of the clutch, a hefty dark-brown hatchling, making them Kevashi and Riccith's new classmates. (On the bright side, at least Varell didn't Impress!)

After the Hatching

"Riccith" by Emily Holland

The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Kevashi on his Impression, but it was N'jol, delighted that his most humble candidate had Impressed, who stepped in to help with the immediate matter of Riccith's first meal. That was the first moment Kevashi 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 Riccith's personality started to become evident. The little russet-brown dragonet proved unusually quiet, speaking only seldom, and showing a strong preference for his own company – and his rider's.

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

Meeting the Weyrleader

As Kevashi 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. Kevashi was proud to introduce Riccith to the Weyrleader. And after a brief conference with Riccith, Kevashi gave the Weyrleader his own new name: K'shi, rider of brown Riccith!

Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Riccith's and Destrath's newborn itchiness, K'shi 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

K'shi and Ch'liam soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk K'shi had helped during the day greeted him with warm congratulations as he hunted through the throng – but, at last, he found his family.

K'shi's father almost couldn't believe his son'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 K'shi and Riccith.

The rest of the evening passed in a blur for K'shi, 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, K'shi 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 K'shi'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 K'shi 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 Riccith.

A close encounter

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

Returning at last to Riccith – billeted between Ch'liam's Destrath and a bright bronze dragonet – K'shi 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 – K'shi 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?

K'shi and Riccith's story will continue in Dragonchoice: Weyrling, coming soon!

K'shi'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:
BIRDS OF A FEATHER

Riccith and I make a very strong match!

Achievement Unlocked:
SUGAR AND SPICE

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

Achievement Unlocked:
EBONY AND IVORY

Riccith and I agreed on something very important!

Achievement Unlocked:
IN TUNE

Riccith and I agreed on something quite important!