Login | Register

Dallian and blue Smorth

The Road So Far!

It all began at Madellon Weyr for Dallian – a young woman of 18 Turns, dreaming of becoming a blue rider.

Dallian 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. Having been left standing at a Hatching once before, Dallian struggled with both her modest upbringing as a Weyr child with no rider blood, and her fear that she wasn't dragonrider material.

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

Hatching Day

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

Southern comfort

Dallian 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 Dallian 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 Dallian some intelligence on the Southern seven, his advice was somewhat garbled! Nonetheless, Dallian 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, Dallian 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, Dallian 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.

A rising problem

Dallian 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. Dallian'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 Dallian with the opportunity to show off her work ethic before the Hatching. A round of chores duly pleased Crauva, albeit cut short, literally, by the slip of a knife that sent Dallian to the infirmary with a slice to be stitched up. And the kitchen was also the source of the hotfruit R'hren had sent Dallian 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 Dallian 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 – Dallian did!

A blue lady

Coming across T'gala, Pern's only female blue rider, bathing her Heppeth in the lake, Dallian 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 Dallian didn't want to pass up.

Friend request

Seeking knowledge of Erilde's parentage, Dallian visited the Weyr's Archives and sought advice from Weyrwoman Tarshe, the Weyrwoman Second. While Tarshe could find no evidence that Erilde's father had been a dragonrider, she suggested Dallian might construct a story about a long-dead rider. Dallian delved into Madellon's records and unearthed a brown rider, B'get, deceased some Turns ago, but of the right age to have fathered her friend. Bringing this plausible white lie to Erilde may have been a tad devious – but it had the desired effect on her belief that she could, in fact, possess the ability to Impress a dragon!

Hair today

Mindful of the Weyrlingmaster's orders to be smart for the Hatching, Dallian visited Madellon's resident barber, Z'fell, for a trim. But she fell foul of the green rider's perverse sense of humour, and came away with a curious cut – short on top, long at the back – that prompted quite a number of odd looks and laughs at her expense!

The Hatching

When it came to the Hatching, Dallian had an excruciatingly long wait before the green-clouded blue egg Hatched to reveal the dark steel-blue dragonet who would choose her, naming himself Smorth.

A friend in me

And Dallian wasn't the only lucky one. To her delight, Erilde also Impressed, becoming the rider of an inquisitive teal-green hatchling, Shaldeth.

Whatever happened to Auciet?

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

After the Hatching

"Smorth" by Emily Holland

The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Dallian 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 Smorth's first meal. That was Dallian's first opportunity to speak to Erilde, too, and they introduced each other, with considerable delight, to their respective dragonets, Smorth and Shaldeth.

It wasn't long before Smorth's personality started to become evident. The dark blue dragonet, among the smallest of his colour, turned out to be of an endearingly shy and modest character, rather requiring of encouragement.

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

Meeting the Weyrleader

As Dallian and Erilde wiped the worst of the blood and sand from their tired new dragonets, the Weyrleader, T'gat, came to inspect both girls' dragonets – and in particular to remark upon Dallian's unusual Impression of a blue. T'gat further enquired if Dallian would like to elide her name, as T'gala had done, or not. Dallian elected not to elide her name – content to remain Dallian, rider of blue Smorth!

Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Smorth's and Shaldeth's newborn itchiness, Dallian and Erilde 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

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

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

The rest of the evening passed in a blur for Dallian, 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, Dallian 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 Dallian'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 Dallian 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 Smorth.

A close encounter

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

Returning at last to Smorth – billeted between Erilde's Shaldeth and a very large green dragonet – Dallian 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 blue beside her – Dallian 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 Dallian's Impression here. Dallian and Smorth's story will continue in Dragonchoice: Weyrling, coming soon!

Dallian'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:
OPPOSITES ATTRACT

I make quite a strange match with Smorth!

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

Smorth and I agreed on something very important!

Achievement Unlocked:
BUM NOTE

Smorth and I disagreed on something quite important!