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Reina and green Buxath

The Road So Far!

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

Reina 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, Reina 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, Reina 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 Reina! Backed up by her crony Berrin, Thippia became the thorn in Reina's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.

Hatching Day

The dragons' hum woke Jopha and Reina 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 Reina left, Jopha – whose Impression robe was sadly overlarge for her petite frame – recruited Reina'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, Reina 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 Reina to find it. Despite Reina'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, Reina encountered R'hren, a former Weyrleader of Madellon, now peacefully retired to potter among his beloved plants. R'hren asked Reina to help him track down the ingredients for a warming salve to help his elderly bronze, Staamath, with his arthritic forepaws. Reina duly located the components of R'hren's salve, winning the old bronze rider's approval in the process.

Southern comfort

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

Sadly, though, Fr'ton's garbled instructions proved too convoluted for even Reina to follow, and the drinks order went rather wrong!

A rising problem

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

Hot stuff

Madellon's kitchen was the source of the hotfruit R'hren had sent Reina to find for his warming salve. Headwoman Crauva handed one over immediately she asked for it, pleased to be helping such an august figure as the old Weyrleader.

Eggs and baskets

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

A blue lady

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

Friend request

Knowing of Jopha's chequered history with Shookana, mistress of the Weyr's mending room, Reina approached the task of having her robe adjusted with considerable caution. Realising that falsehood would be the wrong approach, Reina went to Shookana with the truth – and a gift of popcorn. And while Reina doubted if Shookana and Jopha will ever be friends, the restoration of her Hatching robe to a suitable length did a great deal for her self-confidence!

A Weyrleader's mercy

Early in the day, Reina 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 Reina safely to ground level.

Realising that honesty was the best policy, Reina 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 Reina the Weyrleader's permission to approach the clutch. She touched one of the eggs, marvelling at its palpable vitality. And something about the spotted green and cream egg made her feel strangely certain that she would Impress later that day.

The Hatching

When it came to the Hatching, Reina had to wait a little while before the spotted green and cream egg Hatched to reveal the vivid sea-green dragonet who would choose her, naming herself Buxath.

A friend in me

And Reina wasn't the only lucky one. To her delight, Jopha also Impressed, becoming the rider of a big emerald-green hatchling, Deimoth.

Whatever happened to Thippia?

Thippia didn't turn up for the pre-Hatching muster, and – Reina'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 – Reina supposed – Weyrlingmaster A'len located the missing candidate, but too late for Thippia, who having been found unconscious, was promptly invalided out of standing!

After the Hatching

"Buxath" by Emily Holland

The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Reina 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 Buxath's first meal. That was Reina's first opportunity to speak to Jopha, too, and they introduced each other, with considerable delight, to their respective dragonets, Buxath and Deimoth.

It wasn't long before Buxath'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 Reina made along the way – a young Weyrbred candidate, Brithie, whom Reina had encountered in a sudden crisis of confidence directly before the Hatching – hailed Reina at the barracks – crediting her with her successful Impression of a tiny bottle-green dragonet, Epatanth!

Meeting the Weyrleader

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

Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Buxath's and Deimoth's newborn itchiness, Reina and Jopha 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

Reina and Jopha soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk Reina 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 Reina and Buxath, 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 Reina, 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, Reina 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 Reina'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 Reina 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 Buxath.

A close encounter

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

Returning at last to Buxath – billeted between Jopha's Deimoth and a pretty blue-green dragonet – Reina 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 – Reina 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?

Reina and Buxath's story will continue in Dragonchoice: Weyrling, coming soon!

Reina'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

Buxath and I make a very strong match!

Achievement Unlocked:
THE PATH LESS TRAVELLED

I pre-Impressed Buxath by touching her egg before the Hatching!

Achievement Unlocked:
SUGAR AND SPICE

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

Achievement Unlocked:
EBONY AND IVORY

Buxath and I agreed on something very important!

Achievement Unlocked:
IN TUNE

Buxath and I agreed on something quite important!