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Pearl and green Bramsath

The Road So Far!

It all began at Jessaf Hold, in the protectorate of Madellon Weyr, for Pearl – a young girl of 15 Turns, dreaming of becoming a green rider.

Pearl was born to unusual privilege – a granddaughter of Winstone, Lord of mighty Jessaf Hold. Pearl 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, Pearl 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 Pearl 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, Pearl left to begin her candidacy at Madellon Weyr.

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

Hatching Day

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

Southern comfort

Pearl 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 Pearl 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 Pearl some intelligence on the Southern seven, his advice was somewhat garbled! Nonetheless, Pearl unravelled Archidath's confusing suggestions and got the right packages to the right dragons – without being growled at!

Hot stuff

Madellon's kitchen was the source of the hotfruit R'hren had sent Pearl to find for his warming salve. Headwoman Crauva handed one over immediately she asked for it, pleased to be helping such an august figure as the old Weyrleader.

A shining example

Coming upon Santinoth – Madellon's biggest bronze – being bathed in the lake, Pearl was quick to offer assistance to his rider, T'rello. Perhaps Pearl was never going to Impress a bronze – but it couldn't hurt to have some hands-on experience!

Friend request

Knowing of Jopha's chequered history with Shookana, mistress of the Weyr's mending room, Pearl approached the task of having her robe adjusted with considerable caution. Realising that falsehood would be the wrong approach, Pearl went to Shookana with the truth – and a gift of popcorn. And while Pearl 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!

The Hatching

When it came to the Hatching, Pearl had to wait for every other dragonet to Hatch and choose a rider before the spotted green and cream egg Hatched to reveal the vivid sea-green hatchling who would choose her, naming herself Bramsath.

A friend in me

And Pearl wasn't the only lucky one. To her delight, Jopha also Impressed, becoming the rider of a big emerald-green hatchling, Deimoth.

Whatever happened to Thippia?

Sadly, there was at least one fly in the numbweed. Thippia Impressed a very vocal mint-green hatchling, making them Pearl and Bramsath's new classmates. (On the bright side, at least Berrin didn't Impress!)

After the Hatching

"Bramsath" by Emily Holland

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

It wasn't long before Bramsath's personality started to become evident. The sea-green dragonet – ambiguously coloured at first glance, but unequivocally female when asked – proved to have a particularly playful and fun-loving outlook on life.

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

Meeting the Weyrleader

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

Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Bramsath's and Deimoth's newborn itchiness, Pearl 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

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

A close encounter

On her way back to the barracks , Pearl 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 Pearl 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, Pearl decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger.

Returning at last to Bramsath – billeted between Jopha's Deimoth and a pretty blue-green dragonet – Pearl 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 – Pearl 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 Pearl's Impression here. Pearl and Bramsath's story will continue in Dragonchoice: Weyrling, coming soon!

Pearl'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

Bramsath and I complement each other!

Achievement Unlocked:
SUGAR AND SPICE

I've been a very nice person (so far)!

Achievement Unlocked:
EBONY AND IVORY

Bramsath and I agreed on something very important!

Achievement Unlocked:
IN TUNE

Bramsath and I agreed on something quite important!