D'nison and bronze Clausith
The Road So Far!
It all began at Madellon Weyr for Dennison – a young boy of 13 Turns, dreaming of becoming a dragonrider.
Dennison 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, Dennison 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, Dennison 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 Dennison! Backed up by his crony Varell, Gydeton became the thorn in Dennison's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.
The dragons' hum woke Martom and Dennison 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 Dennison 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, Dennison 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 Dennison to find it. Despite Dennison'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, Dennison encountered R'hren, a former Weyrleader of Madellon, now peacefully retired to potter among his beloved plants. R'hren asked Dennison to help him track down the ingredients for a warming salve to help his elderly bronze, Staamath, with his arthritic forepaws. Dennison duly located the components of R'hren's salve, winning the old bronze rider's approval in the process.
Dennison 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 Dennison 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 Dennison some intelligence on the Southern seven, his advice was somewhat garbled! Nonetheless, Dennison 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, Dennison 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, Dennison 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.
A rising problem
Dennison 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. Dennison'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 Dennison did annoy Soleigh, who wasn't impressed with him for prolonging Maris' binge by bringing her more wine!
Madellon's kitchens – the heart of the Weyr, and domain of Headwoman Crauva – provided Dennison 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 Dennison to the infirmary with a slice to be stitched up. And the kitchen was also the source of the hotfruit R'hren had sent Dennison to find for his warming salve.
Overkeen to get his hands on the last bubbly pie in the dining hall, Dennison took it – forcibly – from a small child. Not the nicest thing to do – but mmm, pie...
Eggs and baskets
A visit to the Archives led to a meeting with Tarshe, Madellon's Weyrwoman Second. When Dennison 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. But with one thing and another, Dennison didn't bring it back – earning the Weyrwoman Second's ire!
Weyrbrat by name...
A run-in with a Weyrbrat – Terzon, whom Gydeton had paid to cause Dennison trouble – resulted in an unfortunate public incident. All too aware of being shaken down, Dennison gave the kid a shove – in front of a number of witnesses – doing nothing for his reputation!
A shining example
Coming upon Santinoth – Madellon's biggest bronze – being bathed in the lake, Dennison 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?
A Weyrleader's mercy
Early in the day, Dennison 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 chance, he found a way onto the Hatching Ground – onto a very high ledge! Calling down for help was the only option, and a welcome – if embarrassing – lift down from Muzzanth himself returned Dennison safely to ground level.
Realising that honesty was the best policy, Dennison apologised to the Weyrleader for intruding – and was surprised to find T'gat remarkably sanguine about it, reminiscing about his own youthful journey through the passages. And a polite request granted Dennison the Weyrleader's permission to approach the clutch. He touched one of the eggs, marvelling at its palpable vitality.
When it came to the Hatching, Dennison had to wait a little while before the purple-speckled cream egg Hatched to reveal the bright golden-bronze dragonet who would choose him, naming himself Clausith.
With friends like these...
But Dennison's Impression of Clausith came at a cost – to Martom. Clausith had looked like he was about to choose Martom before Dennison pushed in front of him – claiming the bronze for himself. It would turn out to be a critical blow to Martom's confidence. No other dragonet took an interest in him, and he was ultimately among the candidates left standing.
Whatever happened to Gydeton?
For Gydeton, getting on Dennison's bad side proved to be an exceptionally poor choice. Dennison dosed Gydeton's clean underfurs with hotfruit before the Hatching, and for once, the admonition to always put on clean underpants turned out to have very negative consequences. It took a little while for the hotfruit to take effect, but by the time the candidates reached the Hatching Sands, Gydeton was in considerable distress. Unable to bear the burning sensation in his nether regions, he fled the Hatching Sands – squandering his chance at Impression!
After the Hatching
"Clausith" by Emily Holland
The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Dennison 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 Clausith's first meal. That was the first moment Dennison 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 Clausith's personality started to become evident. The bright-bronze dragonet, while the smallest of his colour, demonstrated an exceptional degree of self-possession and independent thought – not shy to push himself forward, or make his opinion heard.
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 Dennison made along the way – a young Holdbred candidate, Nichen, whom Dennison had encountered in a hopelessly dishevelled state directly before the Hatching – hailed Dennison at the barracks – crediting him with his successful Impression of a moon-blue dragonet, Yooth!
Meeting the Weyrleader
As Dennison 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. Dennison was proud to introduce Clausith to the Weyrleader. And after a brief conference with Clausith, Dennison gave the Weyrleader his own new name: D'nison, rider of bronze Clausith!
Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Clausith's and Destrath's newborn itchiness, D'nison 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'nison and Ch'liam soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk D'nison 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 bronze rider for the first time – though R'yeno couldn't resist making a crack about the new competition for his own bronze. And when the Weyrleaders came to drink a toast to D'nison, R'yeno further embarassed 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 D'nison, 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'nison 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'nison'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'nison 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 Clausith.
A close encounter
On his way back to the barracks (by way of the infirmary, as ordered by Tarshe), D'nison 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'nison 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'nison decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger.
Returning at last to Clausith – billeted between Ch'liam's Destrath and a slender green dragonet – D'nison 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 bronze beside him – D'nison 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?
Find out more about Dennison's Impression here. D'nison and Clausith's story will continue in Dragonchoice: Weyrling, coming soon!
Find out more about Dennison's Impression here. D'nison and Clausith'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
Clausith and I complement each other!
SUGAR AND SPICE
I've been a very nice person (so far)!
PLEASE STATE THE NATURE OF THE MEDICAL EMERGENCY
I returned to the infirmary!
EBONY AND IVORY
Clausith and I agreed on something very important!
Clausith and I disagreed on something quite important!