Winone and green Sauzanth
The Road So Far!
It all began at Jessaf Hold, in the protectorate of Madellon Weyr, for Winone – a young woman of 18 Turns, dreaming of becoming a blue rider.
Winone was born to unusual privilege – a granddaughter of Winstone, Lord of mighty Jessaf Hold. Winone 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, Winone 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 Winone becoming a candidate – displeased that such a opportunity would ruin his plans for Winone's betrothal to a nephew of Lord Orfen's. But he grudgingly accepted that, as Winone 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, Winone left to begin her candidacy at Madellon Weyr.
As a candidate, Winone 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 Winone! Backed up by her crony Cedranne, Auciet became the thorn in Winone's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.
The dragons' hum woke Erilde and Winone 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 Winone 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, Winone 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 Winone to find it. The quest took Winone 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, Winone encountered R'hren, a former Weyrleader of Madellon, now peacefully retired to potter among his beloved plants. R'hren asked Winone to help him track down the ingredients for a warming salve to help his elderly bronze, Staamath, with his arthritic forepaws. Winone 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, Winone offered it to old S'rius, who was equally appreciative of the gift. And while Kisha, the blind old green rider Winone encountered in the infirmary, would have nothing to do with one of R'hren's concoctions, she too grew to approve of Winone – especially after she solved all three of her fiendish riddles!
Winone 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 Winone 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 Winone some intelligence on the Southern seven, his advice was somewhat garbled! Nonetheless, Winone 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, Winone 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, Winone 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. Winone 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 Winone a certain confidence in her own prospects!
A rising problem
Winone 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. Winone'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 Winone did annoy Soleigh, who wasn't impressed with her for prolonging Maris' binge by bringing her more wine!
Madellon's kitchens – the heart of the Weyr, and domain of Headwoman Crauva – provided Winone 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 Winone 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 Winone 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 – Winone did!
A blue lady
Coming across T'gala, Pern's only female blue rider, bathing her Heppeth in the lake, Winone 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 Winone didn't want to pass up.
Mindful of the Weyrlingmaster's orders to be smart for the Hatching, Winone visited Madellon's resident barber – green rider Z'fell – for a trim. Very conscious of her dignity, Winone ensured she came away with a cut she actually liked.
A breath of foul air
Setting aside her petty rivalry with Auciet in the face of a genuine emergency, Winone set about getting Auciet to safety. And on crawling out onto the Hatching Ground, half suffocated herself, she raised the alarm with the Weyrleader before being overcome by the ordeal, and fainting there on the sand.
Winone woke in the infirmary, and while the Weyrleader and Weyrlingmaster questioned her sternly about her adventures, the fact that Winone had certainly saved Auciet's life counted in her favour, despite having disobeyed the order not to go meddling in the tunnels.
When it came to the Hatching, Winone had to wait for every other dragonet to Hatch and choose a rider before the spotted green and cream egg Hatched to reveal the vivid sea-green hatchling who would choose her, naming herself Sauzanth.
A friend bereft
But to Winone'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.
After the Hatching
"Sauzanth" by Emily Holland
The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Winone 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 Sauzanth's first meal. That was the first moment Winone 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 Sauzanth'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.
Another friend Winone made along the way – a young Weyrbred candidate, Brithie, whom Winone had encountered in a sudden crisis of confidence directly before the Hatching – hailed Winone at the barracks – crediting her with her successful Impression of a tiny bottle-green dragonet, Epatanth!
Meeting the Weyrleader
As Winone 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 to ask after their names. Winone was proud to introduce Sauzanth to the Weyrleader – and to give him her full new name: Winone, rider of green Sauzanth!
Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Sauzanth's and Chanth's newborn itchiness, Winone 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
Winone and Arina soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk Winone 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, Winone's grandfather, was faint with his praise for his granddaughter's Impression of Sauzanth – suggesting that she should have waited for a chance at a queen. The Weyrleaders were swift to insist that Impressing any dragon was a great achievement!
The rest of the evening passed in a blur for Winone, 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, Winone 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 Winone'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 Winone some advice about paying attention to her new classmates and surroundings, lest she fall foul of the Weyrlingmaster's penchant for snap quizzes, advised her to report to Master Isnan before returning to the barracks to get her injuries checked again, and made some observations on Sauzanth.
A close encounter
On her way back to the barracks (by way of the infirmary, as ordered by Tarshe), Winone 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 Winone 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, Winone decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger.
Returning at last to Sauzanth – billeted between Arina's Chanth and a very large green dragonet – Winone 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 green beside her – Winone 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 Winone's Impression here. Winone and Sauzanth's story will continue in Dragonchoice: Weyrling, coming soon!
Find out more about Winone's Impression here. Winone and Sauzanth'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
Sauzanth 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
Sauzanth and I agreed on something very important!
Sauzanth and I agreed on something quite important!
Sauzanth and Naisseth made friends!