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Lyda and green Eucomith

The Road So Far!

It all began at Jessaf Hold, in the protectorate of Madellon Weyr, for Lyda – a young girl of 13 Turns, dreaming of becoming a queen rider.

Lyda was born to unusual privilege – a granddaughter of Winstone, Lord of mighty Jessaf Hold. Lyda 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, Lyda 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 Lyda becoming a candidate – while conceding that he could spare a younger grandchild. And with Winstone's admonition that she should remember her place as his granddaughter and not make a scene ringing in her ears, Lyda left to begin her candidacy at Madellon Weyr.

As a candidate, Lyda 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 Lyda! Backed up by her crony Berrin, Thippia became the thorn in Lyda's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.

Hatching Day

The dragons' hum woke Jopha and Lyda 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 Lyda left, Jopha – whose Impression robe was sadly overlarge for her petite frame – recruited Lyda'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, Lyda 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 Lyda to find it. Despite Lyda's best efforts, though, she didn't manage to complete and return the jewellery set before the Hatching.

Respecting her elders

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

A Masterful order

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

A rising problem

Lyda 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. Lyda'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. Even if Lyda did annoy Soleigh, who wasn't impressed with her for prolonging Maris' binge by bringing her more wine!

Kitchen diplomacy

Madellon's kitchens – the heart of the Weyr, and domain of Headwoman Crauva – provided Lyda with the opportunity to show off her 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 Lyda 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 Lyda 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, Lyda didn't bring it back – earning the Weyrwoman Second's ire!

Weyrbrat by name...

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

Backhander backfired

Seeking an easy way to slip into the Hatching Ground for an early peek, Lyda encountered H'nar – Wingleader of the Betweenless Wing – on guard at the entrance. It may have seemed like a good idea to offer him a few marks for safe passage – but Lyda hadn't reckoned on H'nar's incorruptible nature. H'nar rejected the money with outrage, and word of Lyda's attempt to bribe him made its way back to the Weyrlingmaster!

A blue lady

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

Friend request

Knowing of Jopha's chequered history with Shookana, mistress of the Weyr's mending room, Lyda approached the task of having her robe adjusted with considerable caution. Realising that falsehood would be the wrong approach, Lyda went to Shookana with the truth – and a gift of popcorn. And while Lyda doubted if Shookana and Jopha will ever be friends, the restoration of her Hatching robe to a suitable length did a great deal for her self-confidence!

Wherry bad behaviour

Lyda'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. Lyda chose the former, and the Weyrlingmaster sent her to do penance in the wherry hatchery – though Lyda remained on probation, with one more slip promising to rule her out of standing!

A breath of foul air

Early in the day, Lyda 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. The route she chose turned out to be thick with choking toxic fumes from Madellon's volcanic foundation, and Lyda soon found herself struggling for breath.

Undeterred, Lyda pushed through the discomfort, and emerged shortly onto the Hatching Sands. But she wasn't quiet enough. Shimpath, dozing only very lightly, awoke, and she and Muzzanth chased Lyda from the Sands!

The Hatching

Disaster almost struck during the Hatching when Lyda – following some dubious advice about attempting to force a dragonet to choose her – put her self in the path of a less than receptive green hatchling. The green, clearly objecting to being crowded, lashed out at Lyda – slicing her arm. Luckily for Lyda, the mauling wasn't a fatal one – though it could have been, as an irate L'stev told her when patching up the injury on the spot. Even more luckily, the incident didn't deter another dragonet – the green who Hatched from the blotchy pale turquoise – from choosing Lyda and naming herself Eucomith!

Whatever happened to Thippia?

It turned out that making an enemy of Lyda was a very poor choice on Thippia's part. For the low, low price of just three marks, Lyda had Grimes, the shady fellow loitering near the Gather stalls, spread a series of nasty rumours about Thippia. By the time the Weyrlingmaster mustered the candidate cohort immediately before the Hatching, the damage to Thippia's reputation was done – and she was ejected from the candidate pool without ever setting foot on the Sands!

After the Hatching

"Eucomith" by Emily Holland

The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Lyda 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 Eucomith's first meal. That was Lyda's first opportunity to speak to Jopha, too, and they introduced each other, with considerable delight, to their respective dragonets, Eucomith and Deimoth.

It wasn't long before Eucomith's personality started to become evident. The rather slender olive-green dragonet demonstrated an immediate haughty pride in herself – and in her 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.

Meeting the Weyrleader

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

Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Eucomith's and Deimoth's newborn itchiness, Lyda and Jopha 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

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

A close encounter

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

Returning at last to Eucomith – billeted between Jopha's Deimoth and a pale green dragonet – Lyda 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 – Lyda 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 Lyda's Impression here. Lyda and Eucomith's story will continue in Dragonchoice: Weyrling, coming soon!

Lyda'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

Eucomith and I complement each other!

Achievement Unlocked:
THE PATH LESS TRAVELLED

I pre-Impressed Eucomith by touching her egg before the Hatching!

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

Eucomith and I agreed on something very important!

Achievement Unlocked:
IN TUNE

Eucomith and I agreed on something quite important!