T'romi and brown Mabonth
The Road So Far!
It all began at the Harperhall at Kellad Hold, in the protectorate of Madellon Weyr, for Turomi – a young boy of 13 Turns, dreaming of becoming a brown rider.
Turomi was born the son of two Harpers at the Southern Harperhall, Kellad Hold. Surrounded by music, he was apprenticed to the Craft when he came of age. But he never excelled in any discipline, and it seemed as if an unremarkable career as a mid-level journeyman likely lay ahead for him. 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. Turomi caught the attention of J'kel's blue Hozrath. And a sevenday later, Turomi arrived at Madellon Weyr, joining the candidate pool for senior queen Shimpath's first clutch by her new mate Muzzanth.
As a candidate, Turomi 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 Turomi! Backed up by his crony Varell, Gydeton became the thorn in Turomi's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.
The dragons' hum woke Martom and Turomi 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 Turomi 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, Turomi 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 Turomi to find it. Despite Turomi's best efforts, though, he didn't manage to complete and return the jewellery set before the Hatching.
Respecting his elders
In the Weyr's kitchen gardens, Turomi encountered R'hren, a former Weyrleader of Madellon, now peacefully retired to potter among his beloved plants. R'hren asked Turomi to help him track down the ingredients for a warming salve to help his elderly bronze, Staamath, with his arthritic forepaws. Turomi 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, Turomi offered it to old S'rius, who was equally appreciative of the gift. And while Kisha, the blind old green rider Turomi encountered in the infirmary, would have nothing to do with one of R'hren's concoctions, she too grew to approve of Turomi – especially after he solved all three of her fiendish riddles!
A rising problem
Turomi 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. Turomi'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.
A Harper born
Turomi's Harper training came in handy when Carleah, the Weyr Singer, asked him to play a set with her ensemble in the dining hall. They played to a rapturous reception that gave Turomi's confidence – and his mark purse – quite a boost!
Madellon's kitchens – the heart of the Weyr, and domain of Headwoman Crauva – provided Turomi with the opportunity to show off his 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 Turomi to find for his warming salve.
Overkeen to get his hands on the last bubbly pie in the dining hall, Turomi took it – forcibly – from a small child. Not the nicest thing to do – but mmm, pie...
Eggs and baskets
A visit to the Archives led to a meeting with Tarshe, Madellon's Weyrwoman Second. When Turomi 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. Which – mindful of not offending such an important personage of the Weyr – Turomi did!
Weyrbrat by name...
A run-in with a Weyrbrat – Terzon, whom Gydeton had paid to cause Turomi trouble – resulted in an unfortunate public incident. All too aware of being shaken down, Turomi 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, Turomi offered his assistance – which T'gala gladly accepted.
Mindful of the Weyrlingmaster's orders to be smart for the Hatching, Turomi visited Madellon's resident barber, Z'fell, for a trim. But he fell foul of the green rider's perverse sense of humour, and came away with a curious cut – short on top, long at the back – that prompted quite a number of odd looks and laughs at his expense!
A breath of foul air
Early in the day, Turomi 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. The route he chose turned out to be thick with choking toxic fumes from Madellon's volcanic foundation, and Turomi soon found himself struggling for breath.
Undeterred, Turomi pushed through the discomfort, and emerged shortly onto the Hatching Sands. But he wasn't quiet enough. Shimpath, dozing only very lightly, awoke, and she and Muzzanth chased Turomi from the Sands!
When it came to the Hatching, Turomi had an excruciatingly long wait before the very large dark grey egg Hatched to reveal the deep turned-earth brown dragonet who would choose him, naming himself Mabonth.
A friend bereft
But to Turomi's dismay, Martom wasn't as fortunate. No dragonet showed an interest in him, and he was left among the candidates remaining unmatched at the end of the Hatching.
Whatever happened to Gydeton?
It turned out that making an enemy of Turomi was a very poor choice on Gydeton's part. For the low, low price of just three marks, Turomi had Grimes, the shady fellow loitering near the Gather stalls, spread a series of nasty rumours about Gydeton. By the time the Weyrlingmaster mustered the candidate cohort immediately before the Hatching, the damage to Gydeton's reputation was done – and he was ejected from the candidate pool without ever setting foot on the Sands!
After the Hatching
"Mabonth" by Emily Holland
The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Turomi on his 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 Mabonth's first meal. That was the first moment Turomi had truly grasped that Martom wasn't going to be a weyrling alongside him – a truth that hit hard. In Martom's absence, Chiliam – the highborn lad from Kellad, who'd Impressed a dusty-brown dragonet, Destrath, and who now styled himself Ch'liam – was a welcome friendly face.
It wasn't long before Mabonth's personality started to become evident. The substantial dark-brown dragonet – chunkier than any other hatchling – had a stolid, non-nonsense character to match, speaking his mind without hesitation or tact.
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 Turomi made along the way – a young Holdbred candidate, Nichen, whom Turomi had encountered in a hopelessly dishevelled state directly before the Hatching – hailed Turomi at the barracks – crediting him with his successful Impression of a moon-blue dragonet, Yooth!
Meeting the Weyrleader
As Turomi and Ch'liam 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. Turomi was proud to introduce Mabonth to the Weyrleader. And after a brief conference with Mabonth, Turomi gave the Weyrleader his own new name: T'romi, rider of brown Mabonth!
Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Mabonth's and Destrath's newborn itchiness, T'romi and Ch'liam 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
T'romi and Ch'liam soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk T'romi had helped during the day greeted him with warm congratulations as he hunted through the throng – but, at last, he found his family.
T'romi's Harper parents were absolutely delighted to find themselves the mother and father of a brown rider and happier still to learn that T'romi had already brought his musical skills to the Weyr. And they were even more delighted to drink to T'romi and Mabonth when the Weyrleaders arrived to toast them!
The rest of the evening passed in a blur for T'romi, 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, T'romi 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 T'romi'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 T'romi 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 Mabonth.
A close encounter
On his way back to the barracks (by way of the infirmary, as ordered by Tarshe), T'romi 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 T'romi 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, T'romi decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger.
Returning at last to Mabonth – billeted between Ch'liam's Destrath and a bright bronze dragonet – T'romi 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 brown beside him – T'romi 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?
T'romi and Mabonth'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
Mabonth and I complement each other!
...what did I just see?
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
Mabonth and I agreed on something very important!
Mabonth and I agreed on something quite important!
Mabonth and Sespanath took against each other!