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T'nen and bronze Tuwath

The Road So Far!

It all began at the Healer Hall at Blue Shale Hold, in the protectorate of Madellon Weyr, for Tallonen – a young boy of 15 Turns, dreaming of becoming a bronze rider.

Tallonen was born the son of two Master Healers at the Southern Healerhall, Blue Shale Hold. He was treating minor injuries even before he was formally apprenticed to the Craft. But frustration with the drudgery of the long apprenticeship made Tallonen an undistinguished crafter, lacking the focus or passion demanded by the Healerhall. And then, in early 102, brown rider P'lian came to the Healer Hall complaining of frostbitten fingers. Tallonen was assigned to treat the minor condition. But P'lian's Sparth – despite his colour, a budding Search-sensitive dragon – insisted that Tallonen was a likely sort for candidacy. And a sevenday later, Tallonen arrived at Madellon Weyr, joining the candidate pool for senior queen Shimpath's first clutch by her new mate Muzzanth.

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

Hatching Day

The dragons' hum woke Martom and Tallonen 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 Tallonen 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

Immediately on leaving the candidate barracks, Tallonen was flagged down by M'shen – a green rider with only one arm. But whatever he wanted, Tallonen never discovered, after making a mean-spirited joke about M'shen's missing hand that – not unreasonably – made the green rider take against him.

Respecting his elders

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

A rising problem

Tallonen 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 Tallonen 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 Tallonen 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 Tallonen 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 Tallonen 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 – Tallonen did!

Weyrbrat by name...

A run-in with a Weyrbrat – Terzon, whom Gydeton had paid to cause Tallonen trouble – resulted in an unfortunate public incident. All too aware of being shaken down, Tallonen 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, Tallonen 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 breath of foul air

Early in the day, Tallonen 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. The route he chose turned out to be thick with choking toxic fumes from Madellon's volcanic foundation, and Tallonen soon found himself struggling for breath. And then he came across Gydeton – having apparently followed Tallonen into the passageways – lying unconscious and insensible in the fume-filled tunnel.

Setting aside his petty rivalry with Gydeton in the face of a genuine emergency, Tallonen set about making Gydeton stable – glad for the Healer kit he always carried with him. And on crawling out onto the Hatching Ground, half suffocated himself, he raised the alarm with the Weyrleader before being overcome by the ordeal, and fainting there on the sand.

Tallonen woke in the infirmary, and while the Weyrleader and Weyrlingmaster questioned him sternly about his adventures, the fact that Tallonen had certainly saved Gydeton's life counted in his favour, despite having disobeyed the order not to go meddling in the tunnels.

The Hatching

When it came to the Hatching, Tallonen didn't have to wait too long for his date with destiny. The black-freckled grey egg Hatched out a deep classic-bronze dragonet who told Tallonen his name was Tuwath.

A friend bereft

But to Tallonen'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.

After the Hatching

"Tuwath" by Chris S. Baily

The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Tallonen on his Impression, but it was P'lian, ecstatic that Sparth's very first Search had yielded an Impression, who stepped in to help with the immediate matter of Tuwath's first meal. That was the first moment Tallonen 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 Tuwath's personality started to become evident. The energetic bronze dragonet, the classic shade of his colour, was unusually forceful even for his colour – promising to be a handful for his rider!

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

Meeting the Weyrleader

As Tallonen 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. Tallonen was proud to introduce Tuwath to the Weyrleader. And after a brief conference with Tuwath, Tallonen gave the Weyrleader his own new name: T'nen, rider of bronze Tuwath!

Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Tuwath's and Destrath's newborn itchiness, T'nen 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

T'nen and Ch'liam soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk T'nen had helped during the day greeted him with warm congratulations as he hunted through the throng – but, at last, he found his family.

T'nen's father, a loud man in normal times, was positively bellowing with pleasure at T'nen's Impression – albeit with a certain disappointment that his son wouldn't be continuing in the Healercraft. And he embarrassed both his son, and his long-suffering wife, still further when the Weyrleaders came to drink a toast to T'nen and Tuwath – remarking, very loudly, on the parentage of Valonna's soon-to-arrive first baby!

The rest of the evening passed in a blur for T'nen, 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, T'nen 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 T'nen'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 T'nen 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 Tuwath.

A close encounter

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

Returning at last to Tuwath – billeted between Ch'liam's Destrath and a bright bronze dragonet – T'nen 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 – T'nen 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 Tallonen's Impression here. T'nen and Tuwath's story will continue in Dragonchoice: Weyrling, coming soon!

T'nen'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

Tuwath and I complement each other!

Achievement Unlocked:
SNAKES AND SNAILS

I haven't been very nice!

Achievement Unlocked:
PLEASE STATE THE NATURE OF THE MEDICAL EMERGENCY

I returned to the infirmary!

Achievement Unlocked:
EBONY AND IVORY

Tuwath and I agreed on something very important!

Achievement Unlocked:
IN TUNE

Tuwath and I agreed on something quite important!