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D'niel and green Jubilth

The Road So Far!

It all began at the Harperhall at Kellad Hold, in the protectorate of Madellon Weyr, for Daniel – a young man of 18 Turns, dreaming of becoming a green rider.

Daniel was born the son of two Harpers at the Southern Harperhall, Kellad Hold. Surrounded by music, he was apprenticed to the Craft when he came of age. But he never excelled in any discipline, and it seemed as if an unremarkable career as a mid-level journeyman likely lay ahead for him. And then, in early 102, J'kel – a dragonrider of Madellon Weyr – came to Kellad Hold in search of candidates for the new clutch hardening on the Sands of Madellon Weyr. Daniel caught the attention of J'kel's blue Hozrath. And a sevenday later, Daniel arrived at Madellon Weyr, joining the candidate pool for senior queen Shimpath's first clutch by her new mate Muzzanth.

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

Hatching Day

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

Southern comfort

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

A rising problem

Daniel 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. Daniel'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 Daniel 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 Daniel 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 Daniel 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 Daniel 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 – Daniel did!

A blue lady

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

With friends like these...

But handling Soburn's long-distance crush required a delicacy that Daniel sadly didn't possess. Revealing too much to H'nar – and then failing to treat Soburn's bruised feelings with any sort of care – destroyed Daniel pining friend's confidence. Having already failed to Impress once, and now crushed by the rejection of a rider who would certainly be his Wingleader should he ever Impress, Soburn decided to rule himself out of candidacy entirely.

A slithery customer

Early in the day, Daniel 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, Daniel strayed into tunnel snake territory! A huge, aggressive, and potently venomous female tunnel-snake guarded the exit to the Hatching ground. Daniel 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 snake, Daniel crept closer to the clutch – close enough to touch an egg – before beating a hasty retreat from the Hatching Ground!

The Hatching

When it came to the Hatching, Daniel didn't have to wait at all for his date with destiny. The blotchy pale turquoise egg that Hatched first produced a bright olive-green hatchling who spared no time in choosing Daniel, naming herself Jubilth.

Whatever happened to Rielat?

Rielat didn't turn up for the pre-Hatching muster, and – Daniel'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 – Daniel 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

"Jubilth" by Emily Holland

The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Daniel on his Impression, but it was J'kel, thrilled that Hozrath had finally found a successful candidate after so long without, who stepped in to help with the immediate matter of Jubilth's first meal. That was the first moment Daniel had truly grasped that Soburn wasn't going to be a weyrling alongside him – a truth that hit hard. In Soburn'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 Jubilth's personality started to become evident. The rather slender olive-green dragonet demonstrated an immediate haughty pride in herself – and in her rider.

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 Daniel 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. Daniel was proud to introduce Jubilth to the Weyrleader. And after a brief conference with Jubilth, Daniel gave the Weyrleader his own new name: D'niel, rider of green Jubilth!

Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Jubilth's and Destrath's newborn itchiness, D'niel 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

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

D'niel's Harper parents were absolutely delighted to find themselves the mother and father of a green rider - even though it meant he would be leaving the Harpercraft for good. And they were even more delighted to drink to D'niel and Jubilth when the Weyrleaders arrived to toast them!

The rest of the evening passed in a blur for D'niel, 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, D'niel 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 D'niel'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 D'niel 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 Jubilth.

A close encounter

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

Returning at last to Jubilth – billeted between Ch'liam's Destrath and a bright bronze dragonet – D'niel 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 green beside him – D'niel 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?

D'niel and Jubilth's story will continue in Dragonchoice: Weyrling, coming soon!

D'niel'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:
MIRROR IMAGE

Jubilth and I match perfectly!

Achievement Unlocked:
SUGAR AND SPICE

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

Achievement Unlocked:
EBONY AND IVORY

Jubilth and I agreed on something very important!

Achievement Unlocked:
IN TUNE

Jubilth and I agreed on something quite important!