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Sahn and blue Tiemath

The Road So Far!

It all began at Jessaf Hold, in the protectorate of Madellon Weyr, for Sahn – a young woman of 18 Turns, dreaming of becoming a blue rider.

Sahn was born to unusual privilege – a granddaughter of Winstone, Lord of mighty Jessaf Hold. Sahn 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, Sahn 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 Sahn becoming a candidate – displeased that such a opportunity would ruin his plans for Sahn's betrothal to a nephew of Lord Orfen's. But he grudgingly accepted that, as Sahn had her majority, she had the right to accept Search. And with Winstone's admonition that she should remember her place as his granddaughter and not make a scene ringing in her ears, Sahn left to begin her candidacy at Madellon Weyr.

As a candidate, Sahn was assigned a bunkmate – Erilde, a quiet young woman from the Lower Caverns fearing a second unsuccessful Hatching, 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 – Auciet, a snobby and superior Holdbred girl – who took a firm disliking to Sahn! Backed up by her crony Cedranne, Auciet became the thorn in Sahn's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.

Hatching Day

The dragons' hum woke Erilde and Sahn on 102.03.17. Following a brief run-in with Auciet, 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 Sahn left, Erilde asked her to make enquiries about any dragonrider heritage she herself might possess, to give her confidence a boost before the Hatching.

The one-armed green rider and the thieving queen

Immediately on leaving the candidate barracks, Sahn 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 Sahn to find it. The quest took Sahn all over Madellon, from kitchens to lake to infirmary – but in the end she succeeded in reuniting the Weyrwoman's jewellery set, to general acclaim.

Respecting her elders

In the Weyr's kitchen gardens, Sahn encountered R'hren, a former Weyrleader of Madellon, now peacefully retired to potter among his beloved plants. R'hren asked Sahn to help him track down the ingredients for a warming salve to help his elderly bronze, Staamath, with his arthritic forepaws. Sahn duly located the components of R'hren's salve, winning the old bronze rider's approval in the process.

A Masterful order

In the dining hall, Sahn 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, Sahn 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. Sahn 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 Sahn a certain confidence in her own prospects!

A rising problem

Sahn 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. Sahn'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 Sahn 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 Sahn 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 Sahn 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 – Sahn did!

A blue lady

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

Hair today

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

The Hatching

When it came to the Hatching, Sahn had an excruciatingly long wait before the gleaming blue egg Hatched to reveal the bright indigo-blue dragonet who would choose her, naming himself Tiemath.

A friend bereft

But to Sahn's dismay, Erilde wasn't as fortunate. No dragonet showed an interest in her, and she was left among the candidates remaining unmatched at the end of the Hatching.

Whatever happened to Auciet?

Sadly, there was at least one fly in the numbweed. Auciet Impressed an unusually aggressive grass-green hatchling, making them Sahn and Tiemath's new classmates. (On the bright side, at least Cedranne didn't Impress!)

After the Hatching

"Tiemath" by Emily Holland

The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Sahn on her Impression, but it was Garlan, delighted that her risky choice of Winstone's granddaughter had Impressed, who stepped in to help with the immediate matter of Tiemath's first meal. That was the first moment Sahn had truly grasped that Erilde wasn't going to be a weyrling alongside her – a truth that hit hard. In Erilde's absence, Arina, who'd Impressed a cloudy-green dragonet, Chanth – was a welcome friendly face.

It wasn't long before Tiemath's personality started to become evident. The big indigo-blue dragonet, the largest of his colour, showed his alert and serious nature from the beginning, demonstrating a high degree of focus for a blue.

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 Sahn and Arina wiped the worst of the blood and sand from their tired new dragonets, the Weyrleader, T'gat, came to inspect both girls' dragonets – and in particular to remark upon Sahn's unusual Impression of a blue. T'gat further enquired if Sahn would like to elide her name, as T'gala had done, or not. Sahn elected not to elide her name – content to remain Sahn, rider of blue Tiemath!

Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Tiemath's and Chanth's newborn itchiness, Sahn and Arina 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

Sahn and Arina soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk Sahn had helped during the day greeted her with warm congratulations as she hunted through the throng – but, at last, she found her family.

Lord Winstone, Sahn's grandfather, was outraged by his granddaughter's highly irregular Impression of a blue dragon – calling her aberrant. The Weyrleaders were quick to take Sahn's part, but the damage to her relationship with her grandfather was done.

The rest of the evening passed in a blur for Sahn, 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, Sahn 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 Sahn'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 Sahn 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 Tiemath.

A close encounter

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

Returning at last to Tiemath – billeted between Arina's Chanth and a very large green dragonet – Sahn 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 blue beside her – Sahn 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?

Sahn and Tiemath's story will continue in Dragonchoice: Weyrling, coming soon!

Sahn'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:
THE YIN TO YOUR YANG

Tiemath and I complement each other!

Achievement Unlocked:
SUGAR AND SPICE

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

Achievement Unlocked:
EBONY AND IVORY

Tiemath and I agreed on something very important!

Achievement Unlocked:
BUM NOTE

Tiemath and I disagreed on something quite important!