Ferie and green Caydath
The Road So Far!
It all began at the Healer Hall at Blue Shale Hold, in the protectorate of Madellon Weyr, for Ferie – a young woman of 17 Turns, dreaming of becoming a green rider.
Ferie was born the daughter of two Master Healers at the Southern Healerhall, Blue Shale Hold. She was treating minor injuries even before she was formally apprenticed to the Craft. But frustration with the drudgery of the long apprenticeship made Ferie an undistinguished crafter, lacking the focus or passion demanded by the Healerhall. And then, in early 102, brown rider P'lian came to the Healer Hall complaining of frostbitten fingers. Ferie was assigned to treat the minor condition. But P'lian's Sparth – despite his colour, a budding Search-sensitive dragon – insisted that Ferie was a likely sort for candidacy. And a sevenday later, Ferie arrived at Madellon Weyr, joining the candidate pool for senior queen Shimpath's first clutch by her new mate Muzzanth.
As a candidate, Ferie was assigned a bunkmate – Erilde, a quiet young woman from the Lower Caverns fearing a second unsuccessful Hatching, 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 – Auciet, a snobby and superior Holdbred girl – who took a firm disliking to Ferie! Backed up by her crony Cedranne, Auciet became the thorn in Ferie's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.
The dragons' hum woke Erilde and Ferie on 102.03.17. Following a brief run-in with Auciet, 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 Ferie left, Erilde asked her to make enquiries about any dragonrider heritage she herself might possess, to give her confidence a boost before the Hatching.
The one-armed green rider and the thieving queen
Immediately on leaving the candidate barracks, Ferie 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 Ferie to find it. The quest took Ferie 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, Ferie encountered R'hren, a former Weyrleader of Madellon, now peacefully retired to potter among his beloved plants. R'hren asked Ferie to help him track down the ingredients for a warming salve to help his elderly bronze, Staamath, with his arthritic forepaws. Ferie 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, Ferie offered it to old S'rius, who was equally appreciative of the gift. And while Kisha, the blind old green rider Ferie encountered in the infirmary, would have nothing to do with one of R'hren's concoctions, she too grew to approve of Ferie – especially after she solved all three of her fiendish riddles!
Ferie 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 Ferie 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 Ferie some intelligence on the Southern seven, his advice was somewhat garbled! Nonetheless, Ferie 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, Ferie 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, Ferie 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. Ferie 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 Ferie a certain confidence in her own prospects!
A rising problem
Ferie 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. Ferie'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. Even if Ferie did annoy Soleigh, who wasn't impressed with her for prolonging Maris' binge by bringing her more wine!
Ferie 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 Ferie 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 Ferie to find for his warming salve.
Ferie 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 Ferie 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 – Ferie did!
A blue lady
Coming across T'gala, Pern's only female blue rider, bathing her Heppeth in the lake, Ferie 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 Ferie didn't want to pass up.
Mindful of the Weyrlingmaster's orders to be smart for the Hatching, Ferie visited Madellon's resident barber – green rider Z'fell – for a trim. Very conscious of her dignity, Ferie ensured she came away with a cut she actually liked.
A slithery customer
Early in the day, Ferie 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, Ferie strayed into tunnel snake territory! A huge, aggressive, and potently venomous female tunnel-snake guarded the exit to the Hatching ground. Ferie 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, Ferie crept closer to the clutch – close enough to touch an egg – before beating a hasty retreat from the Hatching Ground! And something about the grey-splashed beige egg made her feel strangely certain that she would Impress later that day.
When it came to the Hatching, Ferie had to wait a little while before the grey-splashed beige egg Hatched to reveal the dark teal-green dragonet who would choose her, naming herself Caydath.
With friends like these...
But Ferie's Impression of Caydath came at a cost – to Erilde. Caydath had looked like she was about to choose Erilde before Ferie pushed in front of her – claiming the green for herself. It would turn out to be a critical blow to Erilde's confidence. No other dragonet took an interest in her, and she was ultimately among the candidates left standing.
Whatever happened to Auciet?
It turned out that making an enemy of Ferie was a very poor choice on Auciet's part. For the low, low price of just three marks, Ferie had Grimes, the shady fellow loitering near the Gather stalls, spread a series of nasty rumours about Auciet. By the time the Weyrlingmaster mustered the candidate cohort immediately before the Hatching, the damage to Auciet's reputation was done – and she was ejected from the candidate pool without ever setting foot on the Sands!
After the Hatching
"Caydath" by Chris S. Baily
The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Ferie on her Impression, but it was P'lian, ecstatic that Sparth's very first Search had yielded an Impression, who stepped in to help with the immediate matter of Caydath's first meal. That was the first moment Ferie had truly grasped that Erilde wasn't going to be a weyrling alongside her – a truth that hit hard. In Erilde's absence, Arina, who'd Impressed a cloudy-green dragonet, Chanth – was a welcome friendly face.
It wasn't long before Caydath's personality started to become evident. The teal-green dragonet, inquisitive about everything from the instant of her hatching, also proved to be an especially sweet-natured and kind character.
With both dragonets full to bursting with fresh meat, the newly minted dragonpairs left the Hatching sands for their new home: the weyrling barracks.
Another friend Ferie made along the way – a young Weyrbred candidate, Brithie, whom Ferie had encountered in a sudden crisis of confidence directly before the Hatching – hailed Ferie at the barracks – crediting her with her successful Impression of a tiny bottle-green dragonet, Epatanth!
Meeting the Weyrleader
As Ferie 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. Ferie was proud to introduce Caydath to the Weyrleader – and to give him her full new name: Ferie, rider of green Caydath!
Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Caydath's and Chanth's newborn itchiness, Ferie 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
Ferie and Arina soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk Ferie had helped during the day greeted her with warm congratulations as she hunted through the throng – but, at last, she found her family.
Ferie's father, a loud man in normal times, was positively bellowing with pleasure at Ferie's Impression – albeit with a certain disappointment that his daughter wouldn't be continuing in the Healercraft. And he embarrassed both his daughter, and his long-suffering wife, still further when the Weyrleaders came to drink a toast to Ferie and Caydath – remarking, very loudly, on the parentage of Valonna's soon-to-arrive first baby!
The rest of the evening passed in a blur for Ferie, 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, Ferie 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 Ferie'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 Ferie 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 Caydath.
A close encounter
On her way back to the barracks , Ferie 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 Ferie 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, Ferie decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger.
Returning at last to Caydath – billeted between Arina's Chanth and a very large green dragonet – Ferie 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 – Ferie 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?
Ferie and Caydath'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
Caydath and I make a very strong match!
THE PATH LESS TRAVELLED
I pre-Impressed Caydath by touching her egg before the Hatching!
SUGAR AND SPICE
I've been a very nice person (so far)!
EBONY AND IVORY
Caydath and I agreed on something very important!
Caydath and I agreed on something quite important!
Caydath and Naisseth took against each other!