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P'ker and blue Myrtath

The Road So Far!

It all began at Madellon Weyr for Parker – a young boy of 13 Turns, dreaming of becoming a blue rider.

Parker 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, Parker 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, Parker 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 Parker! Backed up by his crony Varell, Gydeton became the thorn in Parker's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.

Hatching Day

The dragons' hum woke Martom and Parker 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 Parker 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, Parker 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 Parker to find it. Despite Parker's best efforts, though, he didn't manage to complete and return the jewellery set before the Hatching.

A Masterful order

In the dining hall, Parker 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, Parker 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.

Kitchen diplomacy

Madellon's kitchens – the heart of the Weyr, and domain of Headwoman Crauva – provided Parker with the opportunity to show off his work ethic before the Hatching. A round of chores duly pleased Crauva.

Weyrbrat by name...

A run-in with a Weyrbrat – Terzon, whom Gydeton had paid to cause Parker trouble – resulted in an unfortunate public incident. All too aware of being shaken down, Parker 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, Parker offered his assistance – which T'gala gladly accepted.

Hair today

Mindful of the Weyrlingmaster's orders to be smart for the Hatching, Parker 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!

The Hatching

When it came to the Hatching, Parker didn't have to wait at all for his date with destiny. The green-clouded blue egg that Hatched first produced a dark steel-blue hatchling who spared no time in choosing Parker, naming himself Myrtath.

A friend bereft

But to Parker'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?

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 Parker and Myrtath's new classmates. (On the bright side, at least Varell didn't Impress!)

After the Hatching

"Myrtath" by Emily Holland

The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Parker 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 Myrtath's first meal. That was the first moment Parker 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 Myrtath'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 Parker 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. Parker was proud to introduce Myrtath to the Weyrleader. And after a brief conference with Myrtath, Parker gave the Weyrleader his own new name: P'ker, rider of blue Myrtath!

Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Myrtath's and Destrath's newborn itchiness, P'ker 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

P'ker and Ch'liam soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk P'ker 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 P'ker and Myrtath, 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 P'ker, 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, P'ker 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 P'ker'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 P'ker some advice about paying attention to his new classmates and surroundings, lest he fall foul of the Weyrlingmaster's penchant for snap quizzes, and made some observations on Myrtath.

A close encounter

On his way back to the barracks , P'ker 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 P'ker 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, P'ker decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger.

Returning at last to Myrtath – billeted between Ch'liam's Destrath and a bright bronze dragonet – P'ker 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 – P'ker 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?

P'ker and Myrtath's story will continue in Dragonchoice: Weyrling, coming soon!

P'ker'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

Myrtath and I complement each other!

Achievement Unlocked:
EBONY AND IVORY

Myrtath and I agreed on something very important!

Achievement Unlocked:
IN TUNE

Myrtath and I agreed on something quite important!