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Raina and green Kosonth

The Road So Far!

It all began at Madellon Weyr for Raina – a young girl of 14 Turns, dreaming of becoming a green rider.

Raina was born the daughter of Nelya, a Headwoman's Second at Madellon Weyr. While she didn't have to be Searched, she 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, Raina looked forward to the Hatching with both excitement and trepidation – fearing she might not have what it takes to Impress, but hoping beyond hope that she would!

As a candidate, Raina was assigned a bunkmate – Jopha, a mischievous young Weyrbred girl prone to getting herself into trouble, 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 – Thippia, a foul-mouthed girl from the Seacraft – who took a firm disliking to Raina! Backed up by her crony Berrin, Thippia became the thorn in Raina's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.

Hatching Day

The dragons' hum woke Jopha and Raina on 102.03.17. Following a brief run-in with Thippia, 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 Raina left, Jopha – whose Impression robe was sadly overlarge for her petite frame – recruited Raina's help in getting it adjusted by her nemesis Shookana in the mending room.

The one-armed green rider and the thieving queen

Immediately on leaving the candidate barracks, Raina 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 Raina to find it. Despite Raina's best efforts, though, she didn't manage to complete and return the jewellery set before the Hatching.

A Masterful order

In the dining hall, Raina 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, Raina 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. Raina 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 Raina a certain confidence in her own prospects!

Kitchen diplomacy

Madellon's kitchens – the heart of the Weyr, and domain of Headwoman Crauva – provided Raina with the opportunity to show off her work ethic before the Hatching. A round of chores duly pleased Crauva.

The Hatching

When it came to the Hatching, Raina didn't have to wait too long for her date with destiny. The grey-splashed beige egg Hatched out a dark teal-green dragonet who told Raina her name was Kosonth.

A friend bereft

But to Raina's dismay, Jopha 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.

Whatever happened to Thippia?

Sadly, there was at least one fly in the numbweed. Thippia Impressed a very vocal mint-green hatchling, making them Raina and Kosonth's new classmates. (On the bright side, at least Berrin didn't Impress!)

After the Hatching

"Kosonth" by Chris S. Baily

The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Raina on her Impression, but it was old S'rius, delighted to have found yet another weyrling, who stepped in to help with the immediate matter of Kosonth's first meal. That was the first moment Raina had truly grasped that Jopha wasn't going to be a weyrling alongside her – a truth that hit hard. In Jopha's absence, Arina, who'd Impressed a cloudy-green dragonet, Chanth – was a welcome friendly face.

It wasn't long before Kosonth's personality started to become evident. The teal-green dragonet, inquisitive about everything from the instant of her hatching, also proved to be an especially sweet-natured and kind character.

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 sister

Another friend Raina made along the way – a young Weyrbred candidate, Brithie, whom Raina had encountered in a sudden crisis of confidence directly before the Hatching – hailed Raina at the barracks – crediting her with her successful Impression of a tiny bottle-green dragonet, Epatanth!

Meeting the Weyrleader

As Raina 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. Raina was proud to introduce Kosonth to the Weyrleader – and to give him her full new name: Raina, rider of green Kosonth!

Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Kosonth's and Chanth's newborn itchiness, Raina 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

Raina and Arina soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk Raina had helped during the day greeted her with warm congratulations as she hunted through the throng – but, at last, she found her family.

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

The rest of the evening passed in a blur for Raina, 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, Raina 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 Raina'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 Raina some advice about paying attention to her new classmates and surroundings, lest she fall foul of the Weyrlingmaster's penchant for snap quizzes, and made some observations on Kosonth.

A close encounter

On her way back to the barracks , Raina 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 Raina 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, Raina decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger.

Returning at last to Kosonth – billeted between Arina's Chanth and a very large green dragonet – Raina 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 – Raina 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?

Raina and Kosonth's story will continue in Dragonchoice: Weyrling, coming soon!

Raina'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:
MIRROR IMAGE

Kosonth and I match perfectly!

Achievement Unlocked:
EBONY AND IVORY

Kosonth and I agreed on something very important!

Achievement Unlocked:
IN TUNE

Kosonth and I agreed on something quite important!

Achievement Unlocked:
ENEMY MINE

Kosonth and Naisseth took against each other!