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D'ved and bronze Ebenuth

The Road So Far!

It all began at Jessaf Hold, in the protectorate of Madellon Weyr, for David – a young man of 17 Turns, dreaming of becoming a bronze rider.

David was born to unusual privilege – a grandson of Winstone, Lord of mighty Jessaf Hold. David 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, David 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 David becoming a candidate – displeased that such a opportunity would ruin his plans for David's betrothal to a niece of Lord Orfen's. But he grudgingly accepted that, as David had his majority, he had the right to accept Search. And with Winstone's admonition that he Impress a bronze – or a brown at the very least – ringing in his ears, David left to begin his candidacy at Madellon Weyr.

As a candidate, David 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 David! Backed up by his crony Kestor, Rielat became the thorn in David's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.

Hatching Day

The dragons' hum woke Soburn and David 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 David 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, David 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 David to find it. Despite David's best efforts, though, he didn't manage to complete and return the jewellery set before the Hatching.

A Masterful order

In the dining hall, David 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, David 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. David even shared the largesse with Zielaph, who then introduced him to Fr'ton – who, having Impressed a bronze in spite of his less than boundless promise, gave David a certain confidence in his own prospects!

Kitchen diplomacy

Madellon's kitchens – the heart of the Weyr, and domain of Headwoman Crauva – provided David with the opportunity to show off his work ethic before the Hatching. A round of chores duly pleased Crauva, albeit cut short, literally, by the slip of a knife that sent David to the infirmary with a slice to be stitched up.

A shining example

Coming upon Santinoth – Madellon's biggest bronze – being bathed in the lake, David was quick to offer assistance to his rider, T'rello. It couldn't hurt to have some close-up experience with a bronze, could it?

Friend request

Conscious of Soburn's bashfulness, David 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 David that he wasn't interested in Soburn – or any other men, for that matter. But David'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!

A slithery customer

Early in the day, David 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.

By a stroke of ill luck, David strayed into tunnel snake territory! A huge, aggressive, and potently venomous female tunnel-snake guarded the exit to the Hatching ground. David was lucky to avoid being bitten. But ultimately he evaded the snake, dodging past it and slipping out onto the Hatching Sands.

Having survived his encounter with the tunnel-snake, David approached the clutch – but not stealthily enough! His presence woke Shimpath from her doze, and she and Muzzanth chased David off the sands!

The Hatching

When it came to the Hatching, David had an excruciatingly long wait before the black-freckled grey egg Hatched to reveal the deep classic-bronze dragonet who would choose him, naming himself Ebenuth.

A friend in me

And David 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 didn't turn up for the pre-Hatching muster, and – David's own suspicions notwithstanding – L'stev guessed that he had probably got himself lost trying to sneak into the Hatching Ground through the dangerous ventilation tunnels. Fortunately – David supposed – Weyrlingmaster A'len located the missing candidate, but too late for Rielat, who having been found unconscious, was promptly invalided out of standing!

After the Hatching

"Ebenuth" by Chris S. Baily

The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate David 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 Ebenuth's first meal. That was David's first opportunity to speak to Soburn, too, and they introduced each other, with considerable delight, to their respective dragonets, Ebenuth and Aeranth. Soburn also told David that his new name was to be – perhaps unsurprisingly – S'burn.

It wasn't long before Ebenuth's personality started to become evident. The energetic bronze dragonet, the classic shade of his colour, was unusually forceful even for his colour – promising to be a handful for his rider!

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

Meeting the Weyrleader

As David 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. David was proud to introduce Ebenuth to the Weyrleader. And after a brief conference with Ebenuth, David gave the Weyrleader his own new name: D'ved, rider of bronze Ebenuth!

Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Ebenuth's and Aeranth's newborn itchiness, D'ved 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'ved and S'burn soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk D'ved 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, D'ved's grandfather, was very pleased indeed to be able to boast to all and sundry that his grandson had Impressed a bronze, although he still managed to find fault with Ebenuth for failing to be the largest dragonet in the clutch – a criticism that the Weyrleaders were quick to cut short in their toast to D'ved and his bronze.

The rest of the evening passed in a blur for D'ved, 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'ved 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'ved'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'ved 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 Ebenuth.

A close encounter

On his way back to the barracks (by way of the infirmary, as ordered by Tarshe), D'ved 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'ved 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'ved decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger.

Returning at last to Ebenuth – billeted between S'burn's Aeranth and a mucky-looking brown dragonet – D'ved 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 bronze beside him – D'ved 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 David's Impression here. D'ved and Ebenuth's story will continue in Dragonchoice: Weyrling, coming soon!

D'ved'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

Ebenuth and I complement each other!

Achievement Unlocked:
PLEASE STATE THE NATURE OF THE MEDICAL EMERGENCY

I returned to the infirmary!

Achievement Unlocked:
EBONY AND IVORY

Ebenuth and I agreed on something very important!

Achievement Unlocked:
IN TUNE

Ebenuth and I agreed on something quite important!