Login | Register

H'lan and bronze Sachath

The Road So Far!

It all began at Madellon Weyr for Harlan – a young boy of 13 Turns, dreaming of becoming a bronze rider.

Harlan was born the son of Nelya, a Headwoman's Second at 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 with no dragonrider blood, Harlan looked forward to the Hatching with both excitement and trepidation – fearing he might not have what it takes to Impress, but hoping beyond hope that he would!

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

Hatching Day

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

Southern comfort

Harlan 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 Harlan 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 Harlan some intelligence on the Southern seven, his advice was somewhat garbled! Nonetheless, Harlan 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, Harlan 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, Harlan 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. Harlan 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 Harlan a certain confidence in his own prospects!

A rising problem

Harlan 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. Harlan'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.

Kitchen diplomacy

Madellon's kitchens – the heart of the Weyr, and domain of Headwoman Crauva – provided Harlan 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 Harlan to the infirmary with a slice to be stitched up. And the kitchen was also the source of the hotfruit R'hren had sent Harlan 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 Harlan 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 – Harlan did!

Weyrbrat by name...

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

Friend request

Given Harlan's age, finding some wine for Martom proved difficult – the Weyr Vintner, Master Saxton, refused to sell it to an underage candidate. His only other alternative was an illicit purchase from the shady figure of Grimes. And L'stev's warning about getting drunk before the Hatching held weight. The Vintner's offering of alcohol-free grape juice gave Harlan an idea – and offering it to Martom, none the wiser for the substitution, still had the desired effect of boosting his confidence before the Hatching – without any unwanted side-effects!

The Hatching

When it came to the Hatching, Harlan had to wait a little while before the large greeny-grey egg Hatched to reveal the pale greeny-bronze dragonet who would choose him, naming himself Sachath.

But Sachath was nearly beaten to Harlan by another dragonet – a bright golden-bronze hatchling who seemed torn between Harlan and Martom. Sensing that he wasn't the best match for him, Harlan stepped aside to give his friend precedence – resulting in Martom's Impression of the little bronze, Kauth.

Whatever happened to Gydeton?

Gydeton didn't turn up for the pre-Hatching muster, and – Harlan's own suspicions notwithstanding – L'stev guessed that he had probably got himself lost trying to sneak into the Hatching Ground through the dangerous ventilation tunnels. Fortunately – Harlan supposed – Weyrlingmaster A'len located the missing candidate, but too late for Gydeton, who having been found unconscious, was promptly invalided out of standing!

After the Hatching

"Sachath" by Chris S. Baily

The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Harlan 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 Sachath's first meal. That was Harlan's first opportunity to speak to Martom, too, and they introduced each other, with considerable delight, to their respective dragonets, Sachath and Kauth. Martom also told Harlan that his new name was to be – perhaps unsurprisingly – M'tom.

It wasn't long before Sachath's personality started to become evident. The pale bronze dragonet – the largest of the clutch, and the image of his father Muzzanth – proved to be a particular intelligent and perceptive character even minutes out of the egg.

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

Meeting the Weyrleader

As Harlan and M'tom 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. Harlan was proud to introduce Sachath to the Weyrleader. And after a brief conference with Sachath, Harlan gave the Weyrleader his own new name: H'lan, rider of bronze Sachath!

Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Sachath's and Kauth's newborn itchiness, H'lan and M'tom 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

H'lan and M'tom soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk H'lan had helped during the day greeted him with warm congratulations as he hunted through the throng – but, at last, he found his family.

H'lan's mother, Nelya, was thrilled by her son's Impression – though perhaps not quite as ecstatic as H'lan's younger siblings, Ashi and Halante. As the first dragonrider in the family, H'lan was keenly aware of what it meant to his brother and sister. And when the Weyrleaders came to drink a toast to H'lan and Sachath, Valonna was particularly delighted for Nelya – one of her most trusted Headwoman Seconds.

The rest of the evening passed in a blur for H'lan, 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, H'lan 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 H'lan'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 H'lan 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 Sachath.

A close encounter

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

Returning at last to Sachath – billeted between M'tom's Kauth and a slender green dragonet – H'lan 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 – H'lan 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 Harlan's Impression here. H'lan and Sachath's story will continue in Dragonchoice: Weyrling, coming soon!

H'lan'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

Sachath and I complement each other!

Achievement Unlocked:
SUGAR AND SPICE

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

Achievement Unlocked:
PLEASE STATE THE NATURE OF THE MEDICAL EMERGENCY

I returned to the infirmary!

Achievement Unlocked:
EBONY AND IVORY

Sachath and I agreed on something very important!

Achievement Unlocked:
IN TUNE

Sachath and I agreed on something quite important!