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G'wyn and brown Drabath

The Road So Far!

It all began at the Healer Hall at Blue Shale Hold, in the protectorate of Madellon Weyr, for Gywn – a young boy of 15 Turns, dreaming of becoming a blue rider.

Gywn was born the son of two Master Healers at the Southern Healerhall, Blue Shale Hold. He was treating minor injuries even before he was formally apprenticed to the Craft. But frustration with the drudgery of the long apprenticeship made Gywn 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. Gywn was assigned to treat the minor condition. But P'lian's Sparth – despite his colour, a budding Search-sensitive dragon – insisted that Gywn was a likely sort for candidacy. And a sevenday later, Gywn arrived at Madellon Weyr, joining the candidate pool for senior queen Shimpath's first clutch by her new mate Muzzanth.

As a candidate, Gywn was assigned a bunkmate – Martom, a confident young Weyrbred lad, 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 – Gydeton, the blustering, entitled son of Lord Meturvian of Kellad – who took a firm disliking to Gywn! Backed up by his crony Varell, Gydeton became the thorn in Gywn's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.

Hatching Day

The dragons' hum woke Martom and Gywn on 102.03.17. Following a brief run-in with Gydeton, 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 Gywn left, Martom – keen to prove himself by Impressing on his first attempt – asked him for help procuring some additional confidence in the form of some alcohol.

The one-armed green rider and the thieving queen

Immediately on leaving the candidate barracks, Gywn 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 Gywn to find it. Despite Gywn'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, Gywn encountered R'hren, a former Weyrleader of Madellon, now peacefully retired to potter among his beloved plants. R'hren asked Gywn to help him track down the ingredients for a warming salve to help his elderly bronze, Staamath, with his arthritic forepaws. Gywn 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, Gywn offered it to old S'rius, who was equally appreciative of the gift. And while Kisha, the blind old green rider Gywn encountered in the infirmary, would have nothing to do with one of R'hren's concoctions, she too grew to approve of Gywn – especially after he solved all three of her fiendish riddles!

A Masterful order

In the dining hall, Gywn 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, Gywn 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. Gywn 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 Gywn a certain confidence in his own prospects!

A rising problem

Gywn 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. Gywn's intervention successfully got rid of G'tron, whose Imdoth was very sweet indeed on Bristath, from the mating flight and reconciled the two green riders.

Kitchen diplomacy

Madellon's kitchens – the heart of the Weyr, and domain of Headwoman Crauva – provided Gywn with the opportunity to show off his 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 Gywn 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 Gywn 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 – Gywn did!

A blue lady

Coming across T'gala, Pern's only female blue rider, bathing her Heppeth in the lake, Gywn offered his assistance – which T'gala gladly accepted.

Friend request

Given Gywn's age, finding some wine for Martom proved difficult – the Weyr Vintner, Master Saxton, refused to sell it to an underage candidate. His only other alternative was an illicit purchase from the shady figure of Grimes. And L'stev's warning about getting drunk before the Hatching held weight. The Vintner's offering of alcohol-free grape juice gave Gywn an idea – and offering it to Martom, none the wiser for the substitution, still had the desired effect of boosting his confidence before the Hatching – without any unwanted side-effects!

The Hatching

When it came to the Hatching, Gywn didn't have to wait at all for his date with destiny. The moonlike grey egg that Hatched first produced a warm milky-klah brown hatchling who spared no time in choosing Gywn, naming himself Drabath.

A friend in me

And Gywn wasn't the only lucky one. To his delight, Martom also Impressed, becoming the rider of a bright golden-bronze hatchling, Kauth.

Whatever happened to Gydeton?

Sadly, there was at least one fly in the numbweed. Gydeton Impressed the biggest dragonet of the clutch, a hefty dark-brown hatchling, making them Gywn and Drabath's new classmates. (On the bright side, at least Varell didn't Impress!)

After the Hatching

"Drabath" by Chris S. Baily

The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Gywn on his 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 Drabath's first meal. That was Gywn's first opportunity to speak to Martom, too, and they introduced each other, with considerable delight, to their respective dragonets, Drabath and Kauth. Martom also told Gywn that his new name was to be – perhaps unsurprisingly – M'tom.

It wasn't long before Drabath's personality started to become evident. The little klah-coloured brown proved to be exceptionally friendly and forward from the very beginning, wanting nothing more than to introduce himself to everyone he met.

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

Meeting the Weyrleader

As Gywn and M'tom 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. Gywn was proud to introduce Drabath to the Weyrleader. And after a brief conference with Drabath, Gywn gave the Weyrleader his own new name: G'wyn, rider of brown Drabath!

Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Drabath's and Kauth's newborn itchiness, G'wyn and M'tom 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

G'wyn and M'tom soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk G'wyn had helped during the day greeted him with warm congratulations as he hunted through the throng – but, at last, he found his family.

G'wyn's father, a loud man in normal times, was positively bellowing with pleasure at G'wyn's Impression – albeit with a certain disappointment that his son wouldn't be continuing in the Healercraft. And he embarrassed both his son, and his long-suffering wife, still further when the Weyrleaders came to drink a toast to G'wyn and Drabath – remarking, very loudly, on the parentage of Valonna's soon-to-arrive first baby!

The rest of the evening passed in a blur for G'wyn, 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, G'wyn 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 G'wyn'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 G'wyn some advice about paying attention to his new classmates and surroundings, lest he fall foul of the Weyrlingmaster's penchant for snap quizzes, and made some observations on Drabath.

A close encounter

On his way back to the barracks , G'wyn 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 G'wyn 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, G'wyn decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger.

Returning at last to Drabath – billeted between M'tom's Kauth and a slender green dragonet – G'wyn 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 brown beside him – G'wyn 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?

G'wyn and Drabath's story will continue in Dragonchoice: Weyrling, coming soon!

G'wyn'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

Drabath and I complement each other!

Achievement Unlocked:
SUGAR AND SPICE

I've been a very nice person (so far)!

Achievement Unlocked:
EBONY AND IVORY

Drabath and I agreed on something very important!

Achievement Unlocked:
IN TUNE

Drabath and I agreed on something quite important!