Login | Register

Clari and blue Areehath

The Road So Far!

It all began at the Harperhall at Kellad Hold, in the protectorate of Madellon Weyr, for Clari – a young woman of 16 Turns, dreaming of becoming a blue rider.

Clari was born the daughter of two Harpers at the Southern Harperhall, Kellad Hold. Surrounded by music, she was apprenticed to the Craft when she came of age. But she never excelled in any discipline, and it seemed as if an unremarkable career as a mid-level journeyman likely lay ahead for her. And then, in early 102, J'kel – a dragonrider of Madellon Weyr – came to Kellad Hold in search of candidates for the new clutch hardening on the Sands of Madellon Weyr. Clari caught the attention of J'kel's blue Hozrath. And a sevenday later, Clari arrived at Madellon Weyr, joining the candidate pool for senior queen Shimpath's first clutch by her new mate Muzzanth.

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

Hatching Day

The dragons' hum woke Erilde and Clari 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 Clari 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, Clari was flagged down by M'shen – a green rider with only one arm. But whatever he wanted, Clari never discovered, after making a mean-spirited joke about M'shen's missing hand that – not unreasonably – made the green rider take against her.

Respecting her elders

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

A Masterful order

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

A rising problem

Clari 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. And while Clari did manage to get G'tron excluded from the flight – not to mention another blue rider, G'pellas, who was needed in the Harper ensemble – she still ultimately failed to reconcile the star-crossed green riding lovers!

A Harper born

Clari's Harper training came in handy when Carleah, the Weyr Singer, asked her to play a set with her ensemble in the dining hall. They played to a rapturous reception that gave Clari's confidence – and her mark purse – quite a boost!

Kitchen diplomacy

Madellon's kitchens – the heart of the Weyr, and domain of Headwoman Crauva – provided Clari 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 Clari to find for his warming salve.

Weyrbrat by name...

A run-in with a Weyrbrat – Terzon, whom Auciet had paid to cause Clari trouble – resulted in an unfortunate public incident. All too aware of being shaken down, Clari 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, Clari 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 Clari hadn't reckoned on H'nar's incorruptible nature. H'nar rejected the money with outrage, and word of Clari'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, Clari 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 Clari didn't want to pass up.

Friend request

Seeking knowledge of Erilde's parentage, Clari 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 Clari might construct a story about a long-dead rider. Clari 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!

A breath of foul air

Setting aside her petty rivalry with Auciet in the face of a genuine emergency, Clari set about getting Auciet to safety. And on crawling out onto the Hatching Ground, half suffocated herself, she raised the alarm with the Weyrleader before being overcome by the ordeal, and fainting there on the sand.

Clari woke in the infirmary, and while the Weyrleader and Weyrlingmaster questioned her sternly about her adventures, the fact that Clari had certainly saved Auciet's life counted in her favour, despite having disobeyed the order not to go meddling in the tunnels.

The Hatching

When it came to the Hatching, Clari had an excruciatingly long wait before the grey-swirled silvery cream egg Hatched to reveal the very pale moon-blue dragonet who would choose her, naming himself Areehath.

A friend in me

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

After the Hatching

"Areehath" by Chris S. Baily

The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Clari on her Impression, but it was J'kel, thrilled that Hozrath had finally found a successful candidate after so long without, who stepped in to help with the immediate matter of Areehath's first meal. That was Clari's first opportunity to speak to Erilde, too, and they introduced each other, with considerable delight, to their respective dragonets, Areehath and Shaldeth.

It wasn't long before Areehath's personality started to become evident. The moon-blue dragonet, while seemingly reluctant to even leave his egg, showed glimmers of a curiously perceptive and knowing mind beneath his apparent laziness.

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

Meeting the Weyrleader

As Clari 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 Clari's unusual Impression of a blue. T'gat further enquired if Clari would like to elide her name, as T'gala had done, or not. Clari elected not to elide her name – content to remain Clari, rider of blue Areehath!

Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Areehath's and Shaldeth's newborn itchiness, Clari 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

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

Clari's Harper parents were absolutely delighted to find themselves the mother and father of a blue rider and happier still to learn that Clari had already brought her musical skills to the Weyr. And they were even more delighted to drink to Clari and Areehath when the Weyrleaders arrived to toast them!

The rest of the evening passed in a blur for Clari, 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, Clari 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 Clari'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 Clari 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 Areehath.

A close encounter

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

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

Clari'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:
BIRDS OF A FEATHER

Areehath and I make a very strong match!

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

Areehath and I agreed on something very important!

Achievement Unlocked:
IN TUNE

Areehath and I agreed on something quite important!