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R'en and green Querarth

The Road So Far!

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

Ren was born the son of Wingleader R'yeno and green rider Evie of Madellon Weyr. While he didn't have to be Searched, he 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, Ren looked forward to the Hatching with both excitement and trepidation – half convinced that he would be meeting his own dragon at last; half terrified of failing to meet the standards expected of a Wingleader's son!

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

Hatching Day

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

Respecting his elders

In the infirmary, Ren encountered Kisha – a blind old green rider giving the Weyr's Healers a difficult time about taking her medicine. Kisha challenged Ren to answer three riddles before she would consent to behave. And Ren rose to that challenge – answering all three correctly, and winning Kisha's grudging respect!

Kitchen diplomacy

Madellon's kitchens – the heart of the Weyr, and domain of Headwoman Crauva – provided Ren with the opportunity to show off his work ethic before the Hatching. A round of chores duly pleased Crauva, albeit cut short, literally, by the slip of a knife that sent Ren to the infirmary with a slice to be stitched up.

A shining example

Coming upon Santinoth – Madellon's biggest bronze – being bathed in the lake, Ren was quick to offer assistance to his rider, T'rello. It couldn't hurt to have some close-up experience with a bronze, could it?

The Hatching

When it came to the Hatching, Ren had an excruciatingly long wait before the spotted green and cream egg Hatched to reveal the vivid sea-green dragonet who would choose him, naming herself Querarth.

A friend bereft

But to Ren'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 Ren and Querarth's new classmates. (On the bright side, at least Varell didn't Impress!)

After the Hatching

"Querarth" by Emily Holland

The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Ren on his Impression, but it was old S'rius, delighted to have found yet another weyrling, who stepped in to help with the immediate matter of Querarth's first meal. That was the first moment Ren 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 Querarth'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 brother

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

Meeting the Weyrleader

As Ren 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. Ren was proud to introduce Querarth to the Weyrleader. And after a brief conference with Querarth, Ren gave the Weyrleader his own new name: R'en, rider of green Querarth!

Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Querarth's and Destrath's newborn itchiness, R'en 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

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

R'yeno and Evie couldn't have been happier to greet their son as a green rider for the first time . And when the Weyrleaders came to drink a toast to R'en and Querarth, R'yeno was delighted to embarrass his son 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 R'en, 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, R'en 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 R'en'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 R'en some advice about paying attention to his new classmates and surroundings, lest he fall foul of the Weyrlingmaster's penchant for snap quizzes, advised him to report to Master Isnan before returning to the barracks to get his injuries checked again, and made some observations on Querarth.

A close encounter

On his way back to the barracks (by way of the infirmary, as ordered by Tarshe), R'en 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 R'en 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, R'en decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger.

Returning at last to Querarth – billeted between Ch'liam's Destrath and a slender green dragonet – R'en 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 – R'en 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?

R'en and Querarth's story will continue in Dragonchoice: Weyrling, coming soon!

R'en'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

Querarth and I complement each other!

Achievement Unlocked:
PLEASE STATE THE NATURE OF THE MEDICAL EMERGENCY

I returned to the infirmary!

Achievement Unlocked:
EBONY AND IVORY

Querarth and I agreed on something very important!

Achievement Unlocked:
BUM NOTE

Querarth and I disagreed on something quite important!