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Persha and green Biplath

The Road So Far!

It all began at Jessaf Hold, in the protectorate of Madellon Weyr, for Persha – a young woman of 17 Turns, dreaming of becoming a green rider.

Persha was born to unusual privilege – a granddaughter of Winstone, Lord of mighty Jessaf Hold. Persha 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, Persha 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 Persha becoming a candidate – displeased that such a opportunity would ruin his plans for Persha's betrothal to a nephew of Lord Orfen's. But he grudgingly accepted that, as Persha had her majority, she had the right to accept Search. And with Winstone's admonition that she should remember her place as his granddaughter and not make a scene ringing in her ears, Persha left to begin her candidacy at Madellon Weyr.

As a candidate, Persha 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 Persha! Backed up by her crony Cedranne, Auciet became the thorn in Persha's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.

Hatching Day

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

Respecting her elders

In the Weyr's kitchen gardens, Persha encountered R'hren, a former Weyrleader of Madellon, now peacefully retired to potter among his beloved plants. R'hren asked Persha to help him track down the ingredients for a warming salve to help his elderly bronze, Staamath, with his arthritic forepaws. Persha duly located the components of R'hren's salve, winning the old bronze rider's approval in the process.

A Masterful order

In the dining hall, Persha 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, Persha 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.

A rising problem

Persha 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. Persha'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 Persha did annoy Soleigh, who wasn't impressed with her for prolonging Maris' binge by bringing her more wine!

Kitchen diplomacy

Madellon's kitchens – the heart of the Weyr, and domain of Headwoman Crauva – provided Persha 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 Persha to find for his warming salve.

A shining example

Coming upon Santinoth – Madellon's biggest bronze – being bathed in the lake, Persha was quick to offer assistance to his rider, T'rello. Perhaps Persha was never going to Impress a bronze – but it couldn't hurt to have some hands-on experience!

The Hatching

When it came to the Hatching, Persha had to wait a little while before the blotchy pale turquoise egg Hatched to reveal the bright olive-green dragonet who would choose her, naming herself Biplath.

A friend bereft

But to Persha's dismay, Erilde wasn't as fortunate. No dragonet showed an interest in her, and she was left among the candidates remaining unmatched at the end of the Hatching.

Whatever happened to Auciet?

Auciet's victimisation of Persha had serious consequences – for Auciet. Not everyone would have tattled on her the way Persha did, but her complaints about the other girl, together with L'stev's already thin opinion of Auciet, had the desired effect. Directly before the Hatching, L'stev ejected Auciet from the candidate pool!

After the Hatching

"Biplath" by Emily Holland

The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Persha 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 Biplath's first meal. That was the first moment Persha 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 Biplath's personality started to become evident. The rather slender olive-green dragonet demonstrated an immediate haughty pride in herself – and in her 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.

Meeting the Weyrleader

As Persha 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. Persha was proud to introduce Biplath to the Weyrleader – and to give him her full new name: Persha, rider of green Biplath!

Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Biplath's and Chanth's newborn itchiness, Persha 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

Persha and Arina soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk Persha 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, Persha's grandfather, was faint with his praise for his granddaughter's Impression of Biplath – 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 Persha, 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, Persha 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 Persha'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 Persha 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 Biplath.

A close encounter

On her way back to the barracks , Persha 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 Persha 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, Persha decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger.

Returning at last to Biplath – billeted between Arina's Chanth and a pretty blue-green dragonet – Persha 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 – Persha 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 Persha's Impression here. Persha and Biplath's story will continue in Dragonchoice: Weyrling, coming soon!

Persha'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

Biplath and I complement each other!

Achievement Unlocked:
SUGAR AND SPICE

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

Achievement Unlocked:
EBONY AND IVORY

Biplath and I agreed on something very important!

Achievement Unlocked:
IN TUNE

Biplath and I agreed on something quite important!