D'fae and blue Putranith
The Road So Far!
It all began at the Harperhall at Kellad Hold, in the protectorate of Madellon Weyr, for Dirfae – a young man of 18 Turns, dreaming of becoming a blue rider.
Dirfae was born the son of two Harpers at the Southern Harperhall, Kellad Hold. Surrounded by music, he was apprenticed to the Craft when he came of age. But he never excelled in any discipline, and it seemed as if an unremarkable career as a mid-level journeyman likely lay ahead for him. And then, in early 102, J'kel – a dragonrider of Madellon Weyr – came to Kellad Hold in search of candidates for the new clutch hardening on the Sands of Madellon Weyr. Dirfae caught the attention of J'kel's blue Hozrath. And a sevenday later, Dirfae arrived at Madellon Weyr, joining the candidate pool for senior queen Shimpath's first clutch by her new mate Muzzanth.
As a candidate, Dirfae was assigned a bunkmate – Soburn, an anxious Weyrbred youth with one failed Hatching already haunting him, 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 – Rielat, a self-important apprentice Weaver – who took a firm disliking to Dirfae! Backed up by his crony Kestor, Rielat became the thorn in Dirfae's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.
The dragons' hum woke Soburn and Dirfae on 102.03.17. Following a brief run-in with Rielat, 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 Dirfae left, Soburn asked him to find out if H'nar, the young Wingleader of the Betweenless Wing, might currently be seeing someone – or not.
The one-armed green rider and the thieving queen
Immediately on leaving the candidate barracks, Dirfae 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 Dirfae to find it. Despite Dirfae's best efforts, though, he didn't manage to complete and return the jewellery set before the Hatching.
Respecting his elders
In the Weyr's kitchen gardens, Dirfae encountered R'hren, a former Weyrleader of Madellon, now peacefully retired to potter among his beloved plants. R'hren asked Dirfae to help him track down the ingredients for a warming salve to help his elderly bronze, Staamath, with his arthritic forepaws. Dirfae 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, Dirfae offered it to old S'rius, who was equally appreciative of the gift. And while Kisha, the blind old green rider Dirfae encountered in the infirmary, would have nothing to do with one of R'hren's concoctions, she too grew to approve of Dirfae – especially after he solved all three of her fiendish riddles!
Dirfae 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 Dirfae 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 Dirfae some intelligence on the Southern seven, his advice was somewhat garbled! Nonetheless, Dirfae unravelled Archidath's confusing suggestions and got the right packages to the right dragons – without being growled at!
A rising problem
Dirfae 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. Dirfae'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.
Madellon's kitchen was the source of the hotfruit R'hren had sent Dirfae 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.
Eggs and baskets
A visit to the Archives led to a meeting with Tarshe, Madellon's Weyrwoman Second. When Dirfae 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 – Dirfae did!
A blue lady
Coming across T'gala, Pern's only female blue rider, bathing her Heppeth in the lake, Dirfae offered his assistance – which T'gala gladly accepted.
Conscious of Soburn's bashfulness, Dirfae approached the object of his affections – H'nar, Wingleader of the Betweenless Wing – with some circumspection. Still, when questioned, H'nar insisted he had to know who was making enquiries of him. And when he learned the identity of his admirer, he told Dirfae that he wasn't interested in Soburn – or any other men, for that matter. But Dirfae's agile pivot in questioning revealed that a close friend of H'nar's – blue rider M'rany – might be a viable alternative. Thus encouraged, Soburn began to think more positively of life as a dragonrider – even if H'nar would end up being his Wingleader!
Mindful of the Weyrlingmaster's orders to be smart for the Hatching, Dirfae 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!
A breath of foul air
Early in the day, Dirfae found out about a secret way into the Hatching Ground via storeroom that might allow him 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, he crawled into a confusing maze of passages. The route he chose turned out to be thick with choking toxic fumes from Madellon's volcanic foundation, and Dirfae soon found himself struggling for breath.
Undeterred, Dirfae pushed through the discomfort, and emerged shortly onto the Hatching Sands. But he wasn't quiet enough. Shimpath, dozing only very lightly, awoke, and she and Muzzanth chased Dirfae from the Sands!
When it came to the Hatching, Dirfae had to wait a little while before the grey-swirled silvery cream egg Hatched to reveal the very pale moon-blue dragonet who would choose him, naming himself Putranith.
A friend in me
And Dirfae wasn't the only lucky one. To his delight, Soburn also Impressed, becoming the rider of a slender olive-green hatchling, Aeranth.
Whatever happened to Rielat?
Rielat's victimisation of Dirfae had serious consequences – for Rielat. Not everyone would have tattled on him the way Dirfae did, but his complaints about the other boy, together with L'stev's already thin opinion of Rielat, had the desired effect. Directly before the Hatching, L'stev ejected Rielat from the candidate pool!
After the Hatching
"Putranith" by Chris S. Baily
The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Dirfae on his Impression, but it was J'kel, thrilled that Hozrath had finally found a successful candidate after so long without, who stepped in to help with the immediate matter of Putranith's first meal. That was Dirfae's first opportunity to speak to Soburn, too, and they introduced each other, with considerable delight, to their respective dragonets, Putranith and Aeranth. Soburn also told Dirfae that his new name was to be – perhaps unsurprisingly – S'burn.
It wasn't long before Putranith's personality started to become evident. The moon-blue dragonet, while seemingly reluctant to even leave his egg, showed glimmers of a curiously perceptive and knowing mind beneath his apparent laziness.
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 Dirfae and S'burn 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. Dirfae was proud to introduce Putranith to the Weyrleader. And after a brief conference with Putranith, Dirfae gave the Weyrleader his own new name: D'fae, rider of blue Putranith!
Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Putranith's and Aeranth's newborn itchiness, D'fae and S'burn 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
D'fae and S'burn soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk D'fae had helped during the day greeted him with warm congratulations as he hunted through the throng – but, at last, he found his family.
D'fae's Harper parents were absolutely delighted to find themselves the mother and father of a blue rider - even though it meant he would be leaving the Harpercraft for good. And they were even more delighted to drink to D'fae and Putranith when the Weyrleaders arrived to toast them!
The rest of the evening passed in a blur for D'fae, 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, D'fae 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 D'fae'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 D'fae some advice about paying attention to his new classmates and surroundings, lest he fall foul of the Weyrlingmaster's penchant for snap quizzes, advised him to report to Master Isnan before returning to the barracks to get his injuries checked again, and made some observations on Putranith.
A close encounter
On his way back to the barracks (by way of the infirmary, as ordered by Tarshe), D'fae 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 D'fae 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, D'fae decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger.
Returning at last to Putranith – billeted between S'burn's Aeranth and a mucky-looking brown dragonet – D'fae 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 – D'fae 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 Dirfae's Impression here. D'fae and Putranith's story will continue in Dragonchoice: Weyrling, coming soon!
Find out more about Dirfae's Impression here. D'fae and Putranith'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.
BIRDS OF A FEATHER
Putranith and I make a very strong match!
THE PATH LESS TRAVELLED
I pre-Impressed Putranith by touching his egg before the Hatching!
SUGAR AND SPICE
I've been a very nice person (so far)!
PLEASE STATE THE NATURE OF THE MEDICAL EMERGENCY
I returned to the infirmary!
EBONY AND IVORY
Putranith and I agreed on something very important!
Putranith and I agreed on something quite important!