Larana and green Osmuth
The Road So Far!
It all began at Jessaf Hold, in the protectorate of Madellon Weyr, for Larana – a young woman of 16 Turns, dreaming of becoming a green rider.
Larana was born to unusual privilege – a granddaughter of Winstone, Lord of mighty Jessaf Hold. Larana 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, Larana 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 Larana 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, Larana left to begin her candidacy at Madellon Weyr.
As a candidate, Larana 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 Larana! Backed up by her crony Cedranne, Auciet became the thorn in Larana's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.
The dragons' hum woke Erilde and Larana 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 Larana 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, Larana 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 Larana to find it. The quest took Larana 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.
Disrespecting her elders
In the Weyr's kitchen gardens, Larana 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 – Larana 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 Larana – but the literal red-handed lie did!
A Masterful order
In the dining hall, Larana 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, Larana 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. Larana 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 Larana a certain confidence in her own prospects!
A rising problem
Larana 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. Larana'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.
Madellon's kitchens – the heart of the Weyr, and domain of Headwoman Crauva – provided Larana with the opportunity to show off her work ethic before the Hatching. A round of chores duly pleased Crauva.
Eggs and baskets
A visit to the Archives led to a meeting with Tarshe, Madellon's Weyrwoman Second. When Larana 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 – Larana did!
Weyrbrat by name...
A run-in with a Weyrbrat – Terzon, whom Auciet had paid to cause Larana trouble – resulted in an unfortunate public incident. All too aware of being shaken down, Larana gave the kid a shove – in front of a number of witnesses – doing nothing for her reputation!
Seeking an easy way to slip into the Hatching Ground for an early peek, Larana 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 Larana hadn't reckoned on H'nar's incorruptible nature. H'nar rejected the money with outrage, and word of Larana'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, Larana 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 Larana didn't want to pass up.
Seeking knowledge of Erilde's parentage, Larana 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 Larana might construct a story about a long-dead rider. Larana 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!
Mindful of the Weyrlingmaster's orders to be smart for the Hatching, Larana visited Madellon's resident barber – green rider Z'fell – for a trim. Very conscious of her dignity, Larana ensured she came away with a cut she actually liked.
Wherry bad behaviour
Larana'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. Larana chose the former, and the Weyrlingmaster sent her to do penance in the wherry hatchery – though Larana remained on probation, with one more slip promising to rule her out of standing!
A curious development
Early in the day, Larana 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 glowbaskets, she crawled into a confusing maze of passages.
Larana never made it to the Hatching ground – instead, encountering an unusually intelligent feline in the tunnels. Following it deeper into the ventilation shafts, Larana came across the most unexpected discovery – a hidden room, full of a very peculiar selection of individuals. But she had barely taken stock of her situation before Vanzanth, the Weyrlingmaster's brown, forced his way into the room – ordering Larana out, and commanding her never to speak of the encounter again!
When it came to the Hatching, Larana had an excruciatingly long wait before the white-swirled grey-beige egg Hatched to reveal the dark emerald-green dragonet who would choose her, naming herself Osmuth.
A friend in me
And Larana 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?
It turned out that making an enemy of Larana was a very poor choice on Auciet's part. For the low, low price of just three marks, Larana had Grimes, the shady fellow loitering near the Gather stalls, spread a series of nasty rumours about Auciet. By the time the Weyrlingmaster mustered the candidate cohort immediately before the Hatching, the damage to Auciet's reputation was done – and she was ejected from the candidate pool without ever setting foot on the Sands!
After the Hatching
"Osmuth" by Chris S. Baily
The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Larana 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 Osmuth's first meal. That was Larana's first opportunity to speak to Erilde, too, and they introduced each other, with considerable delight, to their respective dragonets, Osmuth and Shaldeth.
It wasn't long before Osmuth's personality started to become evident. The emerald-green dragonet – the largest of her colour – immediately showed her devious and irreverent character, looking for mischief before she'd even left the Sands.
With both dragonets full to bursting with fresh meat, the newly minted dragonpairs left the Hatching sands for their new home: the weyrling barracks.
Another friend Larana made along the way – a young Weyrbred candidate, Brithie, whom Larana had encountered in a sudden crisis of confidence directly before the Hatching – hailed Larana at the barracks – crediting her with her successful Impression of a tiny bottle-green dragonet, Epatanth!
Meeting the Weyrleader
As Larana 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 to ask after their names. Larana was proud to introduce Osmuth to the Weyrleader – and to give him her full new name: Larana, rider of green Osmuth!
Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Osmuth's and Shaldeth's newborn itchiness, Larana 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
Larana and Erilde soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk Larana 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, Larana's grandfather, was faint with his praise for his granddaughter's Impression of Osmuth – 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 Larana, 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, Larana 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 Larana'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 Larana some advice about paying attention to her new classmates and surroundings, lest she fall foul of the Weyrlingmaster's penchant for snap quizzes, and made some observations on Osmuth.
A close encounter
On her way back to the barracks , Larana 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 Larana 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, Larana decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger.
Returning at last to Osmuth – billeted between Erilde's Shaldeth and a pale green dragonet – Larana 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 – Larana 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 Larana's Impression here. Larana and Osmuth's story will continue in Dragonchoice: Weyrling, coming soon!
Find out more about Larana's Impression here. Larana and Osmuth'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.
BIRDS OF A FEATHER
Osmuth and I make a very strong match!
SNAKES AND SNAILS
I haven't been very nice!
EBONY AND IVORY
Osmuth and I agreed on something very important!
Osmuth and I agreed on something quite important!