H'var and blue Faragoth
The Road So Far!
It all began at Madellon Weyr for Havar – a young boy of 15 Turns, dreaming of becoming a blue rider.
Havar was born the son of Wingleader R'yeno and green rider Evie of 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, Havar looked forward to the Hatching with both excitement and trepidation – half convinced that he would be meeting his own dragon at last; half terrified of failing to meet the standards expected of a Wingleader's son!
As a candidate, Havar 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 Havar! Backed up by his crony Varell, Gydeton became the thorn in Havar's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.
The dragons' hum woke Martom and Havar 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 Havar 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, Havar 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 Havar to find it. The quest took Havar all over Madellon, from kitchens to lake to infirmary – but in the end he succeeded in reuniting the Weyrwoman's jewellery set, to general acclaim.
Respecting his elders
In the Weyr's kitchen gardens, Havar encountered R'hren, a former Weyrleader of Madellon, now peacefully retired to potter among his beloved plants. R'hren asked Havar to help him track down the ingredients for a warming salve to help his elderly bronze, Staamath, with his arthritic forepaws. Havar 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, Havar offered it to old S'rius, who was equally appreciative of the gift. And while Kisha, the blind old green rider Havar encountered in the infirmary, would have nothing to do with one of R'hren's concoctions, she too grew to approve of Havar – especially after he solved all three of her fiendish riddles!
Havar 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 Havar 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 Havar some intelligence on the Southern seven, his advice was somewhat garbled! Nonetheless, Havar 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, Havar 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, Havar 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. Havar 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 Havar a certain confidence in his own prospects!
A rising problem
Havar 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. Havar'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.
Havar perhaps overestimated his own competence when it came to a disastrous spell on the Harper dais in the dining hall. Accompanying Weyr Singer Carleah – badly – on the tambourine, he was lucky not to be booed off the stage!
Madellon's kitchens – the heart of the Weyr, and domain of Headwoman Crauva – provided Havar with the opportunity to show off his work ethic before the Hatching. A round of chores duly pleased Crauva, and earned him a selection of goodies warm from the oven.. And the kitchen was also the source of the hotfruit R'hren had sent Havar to find for his warming salve.
Havar certainly indulged his sweet tooth before the Hatching – laying claim to not one, not two, but three different types of bubbly pie .
Eggs and baskets
A visit to the Archives led to a meeting with Tarshe, Madellon's Weyrwoman Second. When Havar 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. But with one thing and another, Havar didn't bring it back – earning the Weyrwoman Second's ire!
Weyrbrat by name...
A run-in with a Weyrbrat – Terzon, whom Gydeton had paid to cause Havar trouble – resulted in an unfortunate public incident. All too aware of being shaken down, Havar gave the kid a shove – in front of a number of witnesses – doing nothing for his reputation!
A blue lady
Coming across T'gala, Pern's only female blue rider, bathing her Heppeth in the lake, Havar offered his assistance – which T'gala gladly accepted.
Given Havar'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 Havar 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!
Mindful of the Weyrlingmaster's orders to be smart for the Hatching, Havar visited Madellon's resident barber – green rider Z'fell – for a trim. Very conscious of his dignity, Havar ensured he came away with a cut he actually liked.
A Weyrleader's mercy
Early in the day, Havar found out about a secret way into the Hatching Ground via storeroom that might allow him 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, he crawled into a confusing maze of passages. By chance, he found a way onto the Hatching Ground – onto a very high ledge! Calling down for help was the only option, and a welcome – if embarrassing – lift down from Muzzanth himself returned Havar safely to ground level.
Realising that honesty was the best policy, Havar apologised to the Weyrleader for intruding – and was surprised to find T'gat remarkably sanguine about it, reminiscing about his own youthful journey through the passages. And a polite request granted Havar the Weyrleader's permission to approach the clutch. He touched one of the eggs, marvelling at its palpable vitality.
But when it came to the Hatching, Havar had a less than ordinary experience. While bathing in the lake, Havar was swamped by a brown dragon's careless landing – and almost drowned. He survived – only to be invalided out of the Hatching and confined to the infirmary. But an earlier conversation with S'rius, gave Havar the notion that he might still be able to Impress – if he could just reach the Sands in time. He staggered from his sickbed, across the Weyr, and onto the Sands – just in time to Impress the very last dragonet, a blue who named himself Faragoth.
Whatever happened to Gydeton?
Sadly, there was at least one fly in the numbweed. Gydeton Impressed the biggest dragonet of the clutch, a hefty dark-brown hatchling, making them Havar and Faragoth's new classmates. (On the bright side, at least Varell didn't Impress!)
After the Hatching
"Faragoth" by Emily Holland
The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Havar 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 Faragoth's first meal. That was Havar's first opportunity to speak to Martom, too, and they introduced each other, with considerable delight, to their respective dragonets, Faragoth and Kauth. Martom also told Havar that his new name was to be – perhaps unsurprisingly – M'tom.
It wasn't long before Faragoth'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.
Meeting the Weyrleader
As Havar 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. Havar was proud to introduce Faragoth to the Weyrleader. And after a brief conference with Faragoth, Havar gave the Weyrleader his own new name: H'var, rider of blue Faragoth!
Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Faragoth's and Kauth's newborn itchiness, H'var 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'var and M'tom soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk H'var had helped during the day greeted him with warm congratulations as he hunted through the throng – but, at last, he found his family.
R'yeno and Evie couldn't have been happier to greet their son as a blue rider for the first time . And when the Weyrleaders came to drink a toast to H'var and Faragoth, R'yeno was delighted to embarrass his son by insinuating that Gryth would be stiffer competition to Muzzanth in Shimpath's next flight.
The rest of the evening passed in a blur for H'var, 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'var 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'var'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'var 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 Faragoth.
A close encounter
On his way back to the barracks (by way of the infirmary, as ordered by Tarshe), H'var 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'var 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'var decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger.
Returning at last to Faragoth – billeted between M'tom's Kauth and a slender green dragonet – H'var 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 blue beside him – H'var 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 Havar's Impression here. H'var and Faragoth's story will continue in Dragonchoice: Weyrling, coming soon!
Find out more about Havar's Impression here. H'var and Faragoth's story will continue in Dragonchoice: Weyrling, coming soon!
CARRY ON WAYWARD SON
I travelled The Road So Far!
OUR ROB, OR ROSS
I received a mysterious box!
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.
THE YIN TO YOUR YANG
Faragoth and I complement each other!
SUGAR AND SPICE
I've been a very nice person (so far)!
PLEASE STATE THE NATURE OF THE MEDICAL EMERGENCY
I returned to the infirmary!
EBONY AND IVORY
Faragoth and I agreed on something very important!
Faragoth and I agreed on something quite important!