Attolia and green Querarth
The Road So Far!
It all began at Madellon Weyr for Attolia – a young girl of 15 Turns, dreaming of becoming a green rider.
Attolia was born the daughter of Wingleader R'yeno and green rider Evie of Madellon Weyr. While she didn't have to be Searched, she 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, Attolia looked forward to the Hatching with both excitement and trepidation – half convinced that she would be meeting her own dragon at last; half terrified of failing to meet the standards expected of a Wingleader's daughter!
As a candidate, Attolia 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 Attolia! Backed up by her crony Berrin, Thippia became the thorn in Attolia's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.
The dragons' hum woke Jopha and Attolia 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 Attolia left, Jopha – whose Impression robe was sadly overlarge for her petite frame – recruited Attolia'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, Attolia 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 Attolia to find it. The quest took Attolia 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.
Respecting her elders
In the Weyr's kitchen gardens, Attolia encountered R'hren, a former Weyrleader of Madellon, now peacefully retired to potter among his beloved plants. R'hren asked Attolia to help him track down the ingredients for a warming salve to help his elderly bronze, Staamath, with his arthritic forepaws. Attolia 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, Attolia offered it to old S'rius, who was equally appreciative of the gift. And while Kisha, the blind old green rider Attolia encountered in the infirmary, would have nothing to do with one of R'hren's concoctions, she too grew to approve of Attolia – especially after she solved all three of her fiendish riddles!
Attolia 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 Attolia 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 Attolia some intelligence on the Southern seven, his advice was somewhat garbled! Nonetheless, Attolia unravelled Archidath's confusing suggestions and got the right packages to the right dragons – without being growled at!
A Masterful order
In the dining hall, Attolia 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, Attolia 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. Attolia 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 Attolia a certain confidence in her own prospects!
A rising problem
Attolia 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. Attolia'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.
Attolia perhaps overestimated her own competence when it came to a disastrous spell on the Harper dais in the dining hall. Accompanying Weyr Singer Carleah – badly – on the tambourine, she was lucky not to be booed off the stage!
Madellon's kitchens – the heart of the Weyr, and domain of Headwoman Crauva – provided Attolia with the opportunity to show off her work ethic before the Hatching. A round of chores duly pleased Crauva, and earned her a selection of goodies warm from the oven.. And the kitchen was also the source of the hotfruit R'hren had sent Attolia to find for his warming salve.
Attolia certainly indulged her sweet tooth before the Hatching – laying claim to not one, not two, but three different types of bubbly pie .
Eggs and baskets
A visit to the Archives led to a meeting with Tarshe, Madellon's Weyrwoman Second. When Attolia 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 – Attolia did!
Weyrbrat by name...
A run-in with a Weyrbrat – Terzon, whom Thippia had paid to cause Attolia trouble – resulted in an unfortunate public incident. All too aware of being shaken down, Attolia gave the kid a shove – in front of a number of witnesses – doing nothing for her reputation!
A blue lady
Coming across T'gala, Pern's only female blue rider, bathing her Heppeth in the lake, Attolia 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 Attolia didn't want to pass up.
Knowing of Jopha's chequered history with Shookana, mistress of the Weyr's mending room, Attolia approached the task of having her robe adjusted with considerable caution. Realising that falsehood would be the wrong approach, Attolia went to Shookana with the truth – and a gift of popcorn. And while Attolia 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!
Mindful of the Weyrlingmaster's orders to be smart for the Hatching, Attolia visited Madellon's resident barber – green rider Z'fell – for a trim. Very conscious of her dignity, Attolia ensured she came away with a cut she actually liked.
A Weyrleader's mercy
Early in the day, Attolia 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 a glowbasket, she crawled into a confusing maze of passages. By chance, she found a way onto the Hatching Ground – onto a very high ledge! Calling down for help was the only option, and a welcome – if embarrassing – lift down from Muzzanth himself returned Attolia safely to ground level.
Realising that honesty was the best policy, Attolia apologised to the Weyrleader for intruding – and was surprised to find T'gat remarkably sanguine about it, reminiscing about his own youthful journey through the passages. And a polite request granted Attolia the Weyrleader's permission to approach the clutch. She touched one of the eggs, marvelling at its palpable vitality.
When it came to the Hatching, Attolia had to wait a little while before the pearlescently pink egg Hatched to reveal the deep bottle-green dragonet who would choose her, naming herself Querarth.
But Querarth was nearly beaten to Attolia by another dragonet – a big emerald-green hatchling who seemed torn between Attolia and Jopha. Sensing that she wasn't the best match for her, Attolia stepped aside to give Jopha precedence – resulting in her Impression of the green dragonet, Deimoth.
Whatever happened to Thippia?
Thippia didn't turn up for the pre-Hatching muster, and – Attolia's own suspicions notwithstanding – L'stev guessed that she had probably got herself lost trying to sneak into the Hatching Ground through the dangerous ventilation tunnels. Fortunately – Attolia supposed – Weyrlingmaster A'len located the missing candidate, but too late for Thippia, who having been found unconscious, was promptly invalided out of standing!
After the Hatching
"Querarth" by Chris S. Baily
The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Attolia on her Impression, but it was old S'rius, delighted to have found yet another weyrling, who stepped in to help with the immediate matter of Querarth's first meal. That was Attolia's first opportunity to speak to Jopha, too, and they introduced each other, with considerable delight, to their respective dragonets, Querarth and Deimoth.
It wasn't long before Querarth's personality started to become evident. The bottle-green dragonet – by some margin the smallest hatchling of the clutch – had a nervous and wary personality to match, startling at everything and everyone.
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 Attolia 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. Attolia was proud to introduce Querarth to the Weyrleader – and to give him her full new name: Attolia, rider of green Querarth!
Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Querarth's and Deimoth's newborn itchiness, Attolia 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
Attolia and Jopha soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk Attolia had helped during the day greeted her with warm congratulations as she hunted through the throng – but, at last, she found her family.
R'yeno and Evie couldn't have been happier to greet their daughter as a green rider for the first time . And when the Weyrleaders came to drink a toast to Attolia and Querarth, R'yeno was delighted to embarrass his daughter 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 Attolia, 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, Attolia 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 Attolia'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 Attolia 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 Querarth.
A close encounter
On her way back to the barracks , Attolia 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 Attolia 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, Attolia decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger.
Returning at last to Querarth – billeted between Jopha's Deimoth and a pale green dragonet – Attolia 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 – Attolia 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 Attolia's Impression here. Attolia and Querarth's story will continue in Dragonchoice: Weyrling, coming soon!
Find out more about Attolia's Impression here. Attolia and Querarth'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
Querarth and I complement each other!
SUGAR AND SPICE
I've been a very nice person (so far)!
EBONY AND IVORY
Querarth and I agreed on something very important!
Querarth and I agreed on something quite important!