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Fritah and green Hypnath

The Road So Far!

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

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

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

Hatching Day

The dragons' hum woke Jopha and Fritah 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 Fritah left, Jopha – whose Impression robe was sadly overlarge for her petite frame – recruited Fritah'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, Fritah 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 Fritah to find it. Despite Fritah's best efforts, though, she didn't manage to complete and return the jewellery set before the Hatching.

Respecting her elders

In the infirmary, Fritah encountered Kisha – a blind old green rider giving the Weyr's Healers a difficult time about taking her medicine. Kisha challenged Fritah to answer three riddles before she would consent to behave. And Fritah rose to that challenge – answering all three correctly, and winning Kisha's grudging respect!

Kitchen diplomacy

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

A blue lady

Coming across T'gala, Pern's only female blue rider, bathing her Heppeth in the lake, Fritah 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 Fritah didn't want to pass up.

Hair today

Mindful of the Weyrlingmaster's orders to be smart for the Hatching, Fritah visited Madellon's resident barber, Z'fell, for a trim. But she 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 her expense!

The Hatching

When it came to the Hatching, Fritah had to wait a little while before the white-swirled grey-beige egg Hatched to reveal the dark emerald-green dragonet who would choose her, naming herself Hypnath.

With friends like these...

But Fritah's Impression of Hypnath came at a cost – to Jopha. Hypnath had looked like she was about to choose Jopha before Fritah pushed in front of her – claiming the green for herself. It would turn out to be a critical blow to Jopha's confidence. No other dragonet took an interest in her, and she was ultimately among the candidates left standing.

Whatever happened to Thippia?

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

After the Hatching

"Hypnath" by Chris S. Baily

The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Fritah 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 Hypnath's first meal. That was the first moment Fritah had truly grasped that Jopha wasn't going to be a weyrling alongside her – a truth that hit hard. In Jopha's absence, Arina, who'd Impressed a cloudy-green dragonet, Chanth – was a welcome friendly face.

It wasn't long before Hypnath's personality started to become evident. The emerald-green dragonet – the largest of her colour – immediately showed her devious and irreverent character, looking for mischief before she'd even left the Sands.

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

Meeting the Weyrleader

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

Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Hypnath's and Chanth's newborn itchiness, Fritah and Arina 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

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

A close encounter

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

Returning at last to Hypnath – billeted between Arina's Chanth and a pretty blue-green dragonet – Fritah 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 – Fritah 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?

Fritah and Hypnath's story will continue in Dragonchoice: Weyrling, coming soon!

Fritah'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

Hypnath and I complement each other!

Achievement Unlocked:
EBONY AND IVORY

Hypnath and I agreed on something very important!

Achievement Unlocked:
IN TUNE

Hypnath and I agreed on something quite important!

Achievement Unlocked:
ENEMY MINE

Hypnath and Kettymath took against each other!