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R'nor and green Liminth

The Road So Far!

It all began at Jessaf Hold, in the protectorate of Madellon Weyr, for Raynor – a young boy of 13 Turns, dreaming of becoming a blue rider.

Raynor was born to unusual privilege – a grandson of Winstone, Lord of mighty Jessaf Hold. Raynor 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, Raynor 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 Raynor becoming a candidate – while conceding that he could spare a younger grandchild. And with Winstone's admonition that he Impress a bronze – or a brown at the very least – ringing in his ears, Raynor left to begin his candidacy at Madellon Weyr.

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

Hatching Day

The dragons' hum woke Martom and Raynor 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 Raynor 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

Immediately on leaving the candidate barracks, Raynor was flagged down by M'shen – a green rider with only one arm. But whatever he wanted, Raynor never discovered, after making a mean-spirited joke about M'shen's missing hand that – not unreasonably – made the green rider take against him.

Respecting his elders

In the Weyr's kitchen gardens, Raynor encountered R'hren, a former Weyrleader of Madellon, now peacefully retired to potter among his beloved plants. R'hren asked Raynor to help him track down the ingredients for a warming salve to help his elderly bronze, Staamath, with his arthritic forepaws. Raynor duly located the components of R'hren's salve, winning the old bronze rider's approval in the process.

A Masterful order

In the dining hall, Raynor 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, Raynor 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.

Hot stuff

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

Overkeen to get his hands on the last bubbly pie in the dining hall, Raynor 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 Raynor 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 – Raynor did!

Weyrbrat by name...

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

Friend request

Given Raynor's age, finding some wine for Martom proved difficult – the Weyr Vintner, Master Saxton, refused to sell it to an underage candidate. His only other alternative was an illicit purchase from the shady figure of Grimes. And L'stev's warning about getting drunk before the Hatching held weight. The Vintner's offering of alcohol-free grape juice gave Raynor an idea – and offering it to Martom, none the wiser for the substitution, still had the desired effect of boosting his confidence before the Hatching – without any unwanted side-effects!

Wherry bad behaviour

Raynor's assorted instances of bad behaviour finally caught up with him. L'stev collared him in the Bowl and gave him an ultimatum – buck up his ideas, or sit the Hatching out. Raynor chose the former, and the Weyrlingmaster sent him to do penance in the wherry hatchery – though Raynor remained on probation, with one more slip promising to rule him out of standing!

The Hatching

When it came to the Hatching, Raynor had to wait a little while before the rough-textured cloudy white egg Hatched to reveal the vivid grassy-green dragonet who would choose him, naming herself Liminth.

A friend in me

And Raynor wasn't the only lucky one. To his delight, Martom also Impressed, becoming the rider of a bright golden-bronze hatchling, Kauth.

Whatever happened to Gydeton?

For Gydeton, getting on Raynor's bad side proved to be an exceptionally poor choice. Raynor dosed Gydeton's clean underfurs with hotfruit before the Hatching, and for once, the admonition to always put on clean underpants turned out to have very negative consequences. It took a little while for the hotfruit to take effect, but by the time the candidates reached the Hatching Sands, Gydeton was in considerable distress. Unable to bear the burning sensation in his nether regions, he fled the Hatching Sands – squandering his chance at Impression!

After the Hatching

"Liminth" by Emily Holland

The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Raynor on his Impression, but it was Garlan, delighted that her risky choice of Winstone's grandson had Impressed, who stepped in to help with the immediate matter of Liminth's first meal. That was Raynor's first opportunity to speak to Martom, too, and they introduced each other, with considerable delight, to their respective dragonets, Liminth and Kauth. Martom also told Raynor that his new name was to be – perhaps unsurprisingly – M'tom.

It wasn't long before Liminth's personality started to become evident. The little grass-green dragonet, small for her colour, made up for her size with a fierce, aggressive personality – and very evident teeth!

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 brother

Another friend Raynor made along the way – a young Holdbred candidate, Nichen, whom Raynor had encountered in a hopelessly dishevelled state directly before the Hatching – hailed Raynor at the barracks – crediting him with his successful Impression of a moon-blue dragonet, Yooth!

Meeting the Weyrleader

As Raynor and M'tom 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. Raynor was proud to introduce Liminth to the Weyrleader. And after a brief conference with Liminth, Raynor gave the Weyrleader his own new name: R'nor, rider of green Liminth!

Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Liminth's and Kauth's newborn itchiness, R'nor and M'tom 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

R'nor and M'tom soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk R'nor had helped during the day greeted him with warm congratulations as he hunted through the throng – but, at last, he found his family.

Lord Winstone, R'nor's grandfather, was in a state of high dudgeon about his grandson's Impression of a green. A tense scene ensued, with the Weyrleaders obliged to step in to defend R'nor from his grandfather's fury – but the damage was already done.

The rest of the evening passed in a blur for R'nor, 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, R'nor 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 R'nor'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 R'nor 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 Liminth.

A close encounter

On his way back to the barracks , R'nor 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 R'nor 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, R'nor decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger.

Returning at last to Liminth – billeted between M'tom's Kauth and a mucky-looking brown dragonet – R'nor 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 green beside him – R'nor 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?

R'nor and Liminth's story will continue in Dragonchoice: Weyrling, coming soon!

R'nor'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:
OPPOSITES ATTRACT

I make quite a strange match with Liminth!

Achievement Unlocked:
SNAKES AND SNAILS

I haven't been very nice!

Achievement Unlocked:
EBONY AND IVORY

Liminth and I agreed on something very important!

Achievement Unlocked:
BUM NOTE

Liminth and I disagreed on something quite important!