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J'vos and brown Oulanth

The Road So Far!

It all began at Madellon Weyr for Jarvis – a young man of 16 Turns, dreaming of becoming a dragonrider.

Jarvis 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. Having been left standing at a Hatching once before, Jarvis wrestled with the fear that he wouldn't live up to his rider parents' expectations a second time.

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

Hatching Day

The dragons' hum woke Soburn and Jarvis 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 Jarvis 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, Jarvis 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 Jarvis to find it. The quest took Jarvis all over Madellon, from kitchens to lake to infirmary – but in the end he succeeded in reuniting the Weyrwoman's jewellery set, to general acclaim.

Respecting his elders

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

A Masterful order

In the dining hall, Jarvis 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, Jarvis 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. Jarvis 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 Jarvis a certain confidence in his own prospects!

A rising problem

Jarvis 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. And while Jarvis did manage to get G'tron excluded from the flight – not to mention another blue rider, G'pellas, who was needed in the Harper ensemble – he still ultimately failed to reconcile the star-crossed green riding lovers!

Kitchen diplomacy

Madellon's kitchens – the heart of the Weyr, and domain of Headwoman Crauva – provided Jarvis 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 Jarvis 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 Jarvis 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 – Jarvis did!

A blue lady

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

Friend request

Conscious of Soburn's bashfulness, Jarvis approached the object of his affections – H'nar, Wingleader of the Betweenless Wing – with some circumspection. Still, when questioned, H'nar insisted he had to know who was making enquiries of him. And when he learned the identity of his admirer, he told Jarvis that he wasn't interested in Soburn – or any other men, for that matter. But Jarvis's agile pivot in questioning revealed that a close friend of H'nar's – blue rider M'rany – might be a viable alternative. Thus encouraged, Soburn began to think more positively of life as a dragonrider – even if H'nar would end up being his Wingleader!

Hair today

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

The Hatching

When it came to the Hatching, Jarvis didn't have to wait too long for his date with destiny. The moonlike grey egg Hatched out a warm milky-klah brown dragonet who told Jarvis his name was Oulanth.

A friend in me

And Jarvis wasn't the only lucky one. To his delight, Soburn also Impressed, becoming the rider of a slender olive-green hatchling, Aeranth.

Whatever happened to Rielat?

Sadly, there was at least one fly in the numbweed. Rielat Impressed an impressively proportioned indigo-blue hatchling, making them Jarvis and Oulanth's new classmates. (On the bright side, at least Kestor didn't Impress!)

After the Hatching

"Oulanth" by Chris S. Baily

The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Jarvis 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 Oulanth's first meal. That was Jarvis's first opportunity to speak to Soburn, too, and they introduced each other, with considerable delight, to their respective dragonets, Oulanth and Aeranth. Soburn also told Jarvis that his new name was to be – perhaps unsurprisingly – S'burn.

It wasn't long before Oulanth's personality started to become evident. The little klah-coloured brown proved to be exceptionally friendly and forward from the very beginning, wanting nothing more than to introduce himself to everyone he met.

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

Meeting the Weyrleader

As Jarvis and S'burn 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. Jarvis was proud to introduce Oulanth to the Weyrleader. And after a brief conference with Oulanth, Jarvis gave the Weyrleader his own new name: J'vos, rider of brown Oulanth!

Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Oulanth's and Aeranth's newborn itchiness, J'vos and S'burn 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

J'vos and S'burn soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk J'vos 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 brown rider for the first time . And when the Weyrleaders came to drink a toast to J'vos and Oulanth, 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 J'vos, 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, J'vos 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 J'vos's background with him – including much of what he had got up to on the morning of the Hatching – for good and ill. She cleared up an anomaly with his new name, too. She offered J'vos 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 Oulanth.

A close encounter

On his way back to the barracks , J'vos 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 J'vos 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, J'vos decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger – though he did give L'stev his new name.

Returning at last to Oulanth – billeted between S'burn's Aeranth and a mucky-looking brown dragonet – J'vos 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 brown beside him – J'vos was struck with a deep sense of foreboding. Who was the mysterious dragonrider in the hooded cloak? What was the significance of the strange wooden box? And how had the stranger known J'vos's new name?

J'vos and Oulanth's story will continue in Dragonchoice: Weyrling, coming soon!

J'vos'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:
APOSTROPHE NOW

I love the smell of elision in the morning!

Achievement Unlocked:
DEED POLL

I changed my name by choice!

Achievement Unlocked:
CEASE AND DESIST

I prevented legal difficulties by changing my name!

Achievement Unlocked:
ONE STEVE LIMIT

I avoided duplicating a Dragonchoice character's name!

Achievement Unlocked:
THE YIN TO YOUR YANG

Oulanth and I complement each other!

Achievement Unlocked:
SUGAR AND SPICE

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

Achievement Unlocked:
EBONY AND IVORY

Oulanth and I agreed on something very important!

Achievement Unlocked:
IN TUNE

Oulanth and I agreed on something quite important!