Ora and green Galshanth
The Road So Far!
It all began at Jessaf Hold, in the protectorate of Madellon Weyr, for Moraia – a young girl of 14 Turns, dreaming of becoming a green rider.
Moraia was born to unusual privilege – a granddaughter of Winstone, Lord of mighty Jessaf Hold. Moraia 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, Moraia 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 Moraia 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, Moraia left to begin her candidacy at Madellon Weyr.
As a candidate, Moraia 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 Moraia! Backed up by her crony Berrin, Thippia became the thorn in Moraia's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.
The dragons' hum woke Jopha and Moraia 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 Moraia left, Jopha – whose Impression robe was sadly overlarge for her petite frame – recruited Moraia'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, Moraia 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 Moraia to find it. The quest took Moraia 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, Moraia encountered R'hren, a former Weyrleader of Madellon, now peacefully retired to potter among his beloved plants. R'hren asked Moraia to help him track down the ingredients for a warming salve to help his elderly bronze, Staamath, with his arthritic forepaws. Moraia 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, Moraia offered it to old S'rius, who was equally appreciative of the gift. And while Kisha, the blind old green rider Moraia encountered in the infirmary, would have nothing to do with one of R'hren's concoctions, she too grew to approve of Moraia – especially after she solved all three of her fiendish riddles!
Moraia 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 Moraia 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 Moraia some intelligence on the Southern seven, his advice was somewhat garbled! Nonetheless, Moraia unravelled Archidath's confusing suggestions and got the right packages to the right dragons – without being growled at!
A rising problem
Moraia 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. And while Moraia did manage to get G'tron excluded from the flight – not to mention another blue rider, G'pellas, who was needed in the Harper ensemble – she still ultimately failed to reconcile the star-crossed green riding lovers!
Madellon's kitchens – the heart of the Weyr, and domain of Headwoman Crauva – provided Moraia with the opportunity to show off her 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 Moraia to find for his warming salve.
Eggs and baskets
A visit to the Archives led to a meeting with Tarshe, Madellon's Weyrwoman Second. When Moraia 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. But with one thing and another, Moraia didn't bring it back – earning the Weyrwoman Second's ire!
Weyrbrat by name...
A run-in with a Weyrbrat – Terzon, whom Thippia had paid to cause Moraia trouble – resulted in an unfortunate public incident. All too aware of being shaken down, Moraia gave the kid a shove – in front of a number of witnesses – doing nothing for her reputation!
Seeking an easy way to slip into the Hatching Ground for an early peek, Moraia encountered H'nar – Wingleader of the Betweenless Wing – on guard at the entrance. It may have seemed like a good idea to offer him a few marks for safe passage – but Moraia hadn't reckoned on H'nar's incorruptible nature. H'nar rejected the money with outrage, and word of Moraia's attempt to bribe him made its way back to the Weyrlingmaster!
A blue lady
Coming across T'gala, Pern's only female blue rider, bathing her Heppeth in the lake, Moraia 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 Moraia didn't want to pass up.
Mindful of the Weyrlingmaster's orders to be smart for the Hatching, Moraia visited Madellon's resident barber – green rider Z'fell – for a trim. Very conscious of her dignity, Moraia ensured she came away with a cut she actually liked.
A slithery customer
Early in the day, Moraia 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 a stroke of ill luck, Moraia strayed into tunnel snake territory! A huge, aggressive, and potently venomous female tunnel-snake guarded the exit to the Hatching ground. Moraia was lucky to avoid being bitten. But ultimately she evaded the snake, dodging past it and slipping out onto the Hatching Sands.
Having survived her encounter with the snake, Moraia crept closer to the clutch – close enough to touch an egg – before beating a hasty retreat from the Hatching Ground!
When it came to the Hatching, Moraia didn't have to wait too long for her date with destiny. The white-swirled grey-beige egg Hatched out a dark emerald-green dragonet who told Moraia her name was Galshanth.
With friends like these...
But Moraia's Impression of Galshanth came at a cost – to Jopha. Galshanth had looked like she was about to choose Jopha before Moraia 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?
It turned out that making an enemy of Moraia was a very poor choice on Thippia's part. For the low, low price of just three marks, Moraia had Grimes, the shady fellow loitering near the Gather stalls, spread a series of nasty rumours about Thippia. By the time the Weyrlingmaster mustered the candidate cohort immediately before the Hatching, the damage to Thippia's reputation was done – and she was ejected from the candidate pool without ever setting foot on the Sands!
After the Hatching
"Galshanth" by Chris S. Baily
The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Moraia 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 Galshanth's first meal. That was the first moment Moraia 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 Galshanth'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.
Meeting the Weyrleader
As Moraia 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. Moraia was proud to introduce Galshanth to the Weyrleader – and to give him her full new name: Ora, rider of green Galshanth!
Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Galshanth's and Chanth's newborn itchiness, Ora 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
Ora and Arina soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk Ora 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, Ora's grandfather, was faint with his praise for his granddaughter's Impression of Galshanth – 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 Ora, 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, Ora 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 Ora's background with her – including much of what she had got up to on the morning of the Hatching – for good and ill. She cleared up an anomaly with her new name, too. She offered Ora 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 Galshanth.
A close encounter
On her way back to the barracks , Ora 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 Ora 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, Ora decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger – though she did give L'stev her new name.
Returning at last to Galshanth – billeted between Arina's Chanth and a pretty blue-green dragonet – Ora 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 – Ora was struck with a deep sense of foreboding. Who was the mysterious dragonrider in the hooded cloak? What was the significance of the strange wooden box? And how had the stranger known Ora's new name?
Find out more about Moraia's Impression here. Ora and Galshanth's story will continue in Dragonchoice: Weyrling, coming soon!
Find out more about Moraia's Impression here. Ora and Galshanth'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!
I changed my name by choice!
BIRDS OF A FEATHER
Galshanth and I make a very strong match!
SUGAR AND SPICE
I've been a very nice person (so far)!
EBONY AND IVORY
Galshanth and I agreed on something very important!
Galshanth and I agreed on something quite important!
Galshanth and Kettymath took against each other!