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Ransa and green Gibbsith

The Road So Far!

It all began at Jessaf Hold, in the protectorate of Madellon Weyr, for Ransa – a young woman of 18 Turns, dreaming of becoming a green rider.

Ransa was born to unusual privilege – a granddaughter of Winstone, Lord of mighty Jessaf Hold. Ransa 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, Ransa 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 Ransa becoming a candidate – displeased that such a opportunity would ruin his plans for Ransa's betrothal to a nephew of Lord Orfen's. But he grudgingly accepted that, as Ransa 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, Ransa left to begin her candidacy at Madellon Weyr.

As a candidate, Ransa 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 Ransa! Backed up by her crony Cedranne, Auciet became the thorn in Ransa's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.

Hatching Day

The dragons' hum woke Erilde and Ransa 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 Ransa 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

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

Disrespecting her elders

In the Weyr's kitchen gardens, Ransa encountered R'hren, a former Weyrleader of Madellon, now peacefully retired to potter among his beloved plants. But they got off to a poor start – Ransa had unwittingly taken a redfruit without permission – and furthermore lied about it when challenged by the old bronze rider. The scrumping alone might not have turned R'hren against Ransa – but the literal red-handed lie did!

Overkeen to get her hands on the last bubbly pie in the dining hall, Ransa 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 Ransa 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. But with one thing and another, Ransa didn't bring it back – earning the Weyrwoman Second's ire!

Weyrbrat by name...

A run-in with a Weyrbrat – Terzon, whom Auciet had paid to cause Ransa trouble – resulted in an unfortunate public incident. All too aware of being shaken down, Ransa gave the kid a shove – in front of a number of witnesses – doing nothing for her reputation!

A shining example

Coming upon Santinoth – Madellon's biggest bronze – being bathed in the lake, Ransa was quick to offer assistance to his rider, T'rello. Perhaps Ransa was never going to Impress a bronze – but it couldn't hurt to have some hands-on experience!

Wherry bad behaviour

Ransa's assorted instances of bad behaviour finally caught up with her. L'stev collared her in the Bowl and gave her an ultimatum – buck up her ideas, or sit the Hatching out. Ransa chose the former, and the Weyrlingmaster sent her to do penance in the wherry hatchery – though Ransa remained on probation, with one more slip promising to rule her out of standing!

A slithery customer

Early in the day, Ransa found out about a secret way into the Hatching Ground via storeroom that might allow her 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, she crawled into a confusing maze of passages.

By a stroke of ill luck, Ransa strayed into tunnel snake territory! A huge, aggressive, and potently venomous female tunnel-snake guarded the exit to the Hatching ground. Ransa was bitten – badly – and immediately felt the effects of the snake's paralysing venom. But ultimately she evaded the snake, dodging past it and slipping out onto the Hatching Sands.

But the snake's venom had done its work, and Ransa collapsed trying to reach the eggs, waking up in the infirmary.

The Hatching

But when it came to the Hatching, Ransa had a less than ordinary experience. While trying to sneak into the Hatching Ground for a surreptitious look at the eggs, she disturbed an immense, highly venomous tunnel-snake. She survived the encounter, but not without a cost – she was bitten. Seeking immediate aid from the Weyr Healer, Isnan, saved her life – but got her invalided out of the Hatching and confined to the infirmary. But an earlier conversation with a veteran blue rider, S'rius, gave Ransa the notion that she might still be able to Impress – if she could just reach the Sands in time. She staggered from her sickbed, across the Weyr, and onto the Sands – just in time to Impress the very last dragonet, a green who named herself Gibbsith.

Whatever happened to Auciet?

Sadly, there was at least one fly in the numbweed. Auciet Impressed an unusually aggressive grass-green hatchling, making them Ransa and Gibbsith's new classmates. (On the bright side, at least Cedranne didn't Impress!)

After the Hatching

"Gibbsith" by Emily Holland

The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Ransa 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 Gibbsith's first meal. That was the first moment Ransa 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 Gibbsith'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.

Meeting the Weyrleader

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

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

Ransa and Arina soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk Ransa 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, Ransa's grandfather, was faint with his praise for his granddaughter's Impression of Gibbsith – 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 Ransa, 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, Ransa 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 Ransa'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 Ransa 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 Gibbsith.

A close encounter

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

Returning at last to Gibbsith – billeted between Arina's Chanth and a very large green dragonet – Ransa 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 – Ransa 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 Ransa's Impression here. Ransa and Gibbsith's story will continue in Dragonchoice: Weyrling, coming soon!

Ransa'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

Gibbsith 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

Gibbsith and I agreed on something very important!

Achievement Unlocked:
IN TUNE

Gibbsith and I agreed on something quite important!

Achievement Unlocked:
BFFs

Gibbsith and Naisseth made friends!