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Marva and green Ischiath

The Road So Far!

It all began at Madellon Weyr for Marva – a young girl of 13 Turns, dreaming of becoming a green rider.

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

Hatching Day

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

Southern comfort

Marva 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 Marva 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 Marva some intelligence on the Southern seven, his advice was somewhat garbled! Nonetheless, Marva 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, Marva 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, Marva 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. Marva even shared the largesse with Zielaph, who then introduced her to Fr'ton – who, having Impressed a bronze in spite of his less than boundless promise, gave Marva a certain confidence in her own prospects!

A rising problem

Marva 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. Marva'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 Marva 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 Marva 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 Marva 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, Marva 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 Marva didn't want to pass up.

Friend request

Knowing of Jopha's chequered history with Shookana, mistress of the Weyr's mending room, Marva approached the task of having her robe adjusted with considerable caution. Realising that falsehood would be the wrong approach, Marva went to Shookana with the truth – and a gift of popcorn. And while Marva 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 slithery customer

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

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

The Hatching

When it came to the Hatching, Marva had an excruciatingly long wait before the pearlescently pink egg Hatched to reveal the deep bottle-green dragonet who would choose her, naming herself Ischiath.

A friend in me

And Marva 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 – Marva'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 – Marva 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

"Ischiath" by Chris S. Baily

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

It wasn't long before Ischiath's personality started to become evident. The bottle-green dragonet – by some margin the smallest hatchling of the clutch – had a nervous and wary personality to match, startling at everything and everyone.

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

Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Ischiath's and Deimoth's newborn itchiness, Marva 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

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

A close encounter

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

Returning at last to Ischiath – billeted between Jopha's Deimoth and a pale green dragonet – Marva 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 – Marva 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?

Marva and Ischiath's story will continue in Dragonchoice: Weyrling, coming soon!

Marva'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

Ischiath 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

Ischiath and I agreed on something very important!

Achievement Unlocked:
IN TUNE

Ischiath and I agreed on something quite important!