K'tiahra and blue Rahecanth
The Road So Far!
It all began at the Harperhall at Kellad Hold, in the protectorate of Madellon Weyr, for Katiahra – a young woman of 16 Turns, dreaming of becoming a blue rider.
Katiahra was born the daughter of two Harpers at the Southern Harperhall, Kellad Hold. Surrounded by music, she was apprenticed to the Craft when she came of age. But she never excelled in any discipline, and it seemed as if an unremarkable career as a mid-level journeyman likely lay ahead for her. 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. Katiahra caught the attention of J'kel's blue Hozrath. And a sevenday later, Katiahra arrived at Madellon Weyr, joining the candidate pool for senior queen Shimpath's first clutch by her new mate Muzzanth.
As a candidate, Katiahra 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 Katiahra! Backed up by her crony Cedranne, Auciet became the thorn in Katiahra's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.
The dragons' hum woke Erilde and Katiahra 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 Katiahra 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, Katiahra 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 Katiahra to find it. Despite Katiahra's best efforts, though, she didn't manage to complete and return the jewellery set before the Hatching.
A rising problem
Katiahra 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. Katiahra'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.
A Harper born
Katiahra's Harper training came in handy when Carleah, the Weyr Singer, asked her to play a set with her ensemble in the dining hall. They played to a rapturous reception that gave Katiahra's confidence – and her mark purse – quite a boost!
Eggs and baskets
A visit to the Archives led to a meeting with Tarshe, Madellon's Weyrwoman Second. When Katiahra 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 – Katiahra did!
At the lake, T'gala – the only female blue rider on Pern – asked for Katiahra's help in bathing her big Southern blue, Heppeth. Katiahra, reluctant to get wet, refused – earning T'gala's dislike, and a blot on her reputation!
Seeking knowledge of Erilde's parentage, Katiahra visited the Weyr's Archives and sought advice from Weyrwoman Tarshe, the Weyrwoman Second. While Tarshe could find no evidence that Erilde's father had been a dragonrider, she suggested Katiahra might construct a story about a long-dead rider. Katiahra delved into Madellon's records and unearthed a brown rider, B'get, deceased some Turns ago, but of the right age to have fathered her friend. Bringing this plausible white lie to Erilde may have been a tad devious – but it had the desired effect on her belief that she could, in fact, possess the ability to Impress a dragon!
When it came to the Hatching, Katiahra had an excruciatingly long wait before the pearl-green egg Hatched to reveal the deep midnight-blue dragonet who would choose her, naming himself Rahecanth.
A friend in me
And Katiahra wasn't the only lucky one. To her delight, Erilde also Impressed, becoming the rider of an inquisitive teal-green hatchling, Shaldeth.
Whatever happened to Auciet?
Sadly, there was at least one fly in the numbweed. Auciet Impressed an unusually aggressive grass-green hatchling, making them Katiahra and Rahecanth's new classmates. (On the bright side, at least Cedranne didn't Impress!)
After the Hatching
"Rahecanth" by Chris S. Baily
The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Katiahra on her 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 Rahecanth's first meal. That was Katiahra's first opportunity to speak to Erilde, too, and they introduced each other, with considerable delight, to their respective dragonets, Rahecanth and Shaldeth.
It wasn't long before Rahecanth's personality started to become evident. The big midnight-blue dragonet showed an immediate desire to show off and preen – not surprising given his handsome colour and conformation!
With both dragonets full to bursting with fresh meat, the newly minted dragonpairs left the Hatching sands for their new home: the weyrling barracks.
Another friend Katiahra made along the way – a young Weyrbred candidate, Brithie, whom Katiahra had encountered in a sudden crisis of confidence directly before the Hatching – hailed Katiahra at the barracks – crediting her with her successful Impression of a tiny bottle-green dragonet, Epatanth!
Meeting the Weyrleader
As Katiahra and Erilde 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 Katiahra's unusual Impression of a blue. T'gat further enquired if Katiahra would like to elide her name, as T'gala had done, or not. Katiahra took up the opportunity to rename herself, and after a brief conference with Rahecanth, Katiahra gave the Weyrleader her new name – K'tiahra, rider of blue Rahecanth!
Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Rahecanth's and Shaldeth's newborn itchiness, K'tiahra and Erilde 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
K'tiahra and Erilde soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk K'tiahra had helped during the day greeted her with warm congratulations as she hunted through the throng – but, at last, she found her family.
K'tiahra's Harper parents were absolutely delighted to find themselves the mother and father of a blue rider and happier still to learn that K'tiahra had already brought her musical skills to the Weyr. And they were even more delighted to drink to K'tiahra and Rahecanth when the Weyrleaders arrived to toast them!
The rest of the evening passed in a blur for K'tiahra, 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, K'tiahra 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 K'tiahra'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 K'tiahra 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 Rahecanth.
A close encounter
On her way back to the barracks , K'tiahra 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 K'tiahra 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, K'tiahra decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger.
Returning at last to Rahecanth – billeted between Erilde's Shaldeth and a pale green dragonet – K'tiahra 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 – K'tiahra 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?
K'tiahra and Rahecanth's story will continue in Dragonchoice: Weyrling, coming soon!
CARRY ON WAYWARD SON
I travelled The Road So Far!
OUR ROB, OR ROSS
I received a mysterious box!
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.
THE YIN TO YOUR YANG
Rahecanth and I complement each other!
EBONY AND IVORY
Rahecanth and I agreed on something very important!
Rahecanth and I disagreed on something quite important!