M'vrey and brown Faberiath
The Road So Far!
It all began at Madellon Weyr for Maravrey – a young man of 18 Turns, dreaming of becoming a brown rider.
Maravrey was born the son of Nelya, a Headwoman's Second at Madellon Weyr. While he didn't have to be Searched, he was 'given the nod' as a likely dragonrider by the Weyr's most senior retired Search pair – S'rius and his elderly blue Padseth. Having been left standing at a Hatching once before, Maravrey struggled with both his modest upbringing as a Weyr child with no rider blood, and his fear that he wasn't dragonrider material.
As a candidate, Maravrey 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 Maravrey! Backed up by his crony Kestor, Rielat became the thorn in Maravrey's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.
The dragons' hum woke Soburn and Maravrey 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 Maravrey 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, Maravrey 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 Maravrey to find it. The quest took Maravrey all over Madellon, from kitchens to lake to infirmary – but in the end he succeeded in reuniting the Weyrwoman's jewellery set, to general acclaim.
Respecting his elders
In the Weyr's kitchen gardens, Maravrey encountered R'hren, a former Weyrleader of Madellon, now peacefully retired to potter among his beloved plants. R'hren asked Maravrey to help him track down the ingredients for a warming salve to help his elderly bronze, Staamath, with his arthritic forepaws. Maravrey 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, Maravrey offered it to old S'rius, who was equally appreciative of the gift. And while Kisha, the blind old green rider Maravrey encountered in the infirmary, would have nothing to do with one of R'hren's concoctions, she too grew to approve of Maravrey – especially after he solved all three of her fiendish riddles!
Maravrey 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 Maravrey 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 Maravrey some intelligence on the Southern seven, his advice was somewhat garbled! Nonetheless, Maravrey 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, Maravrey 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, Maravrey 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. Maravrey 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 Maravrey a certain confidence in his own prospects!
A rising problem
Maravrey 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. Maravrey'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 Maravrey did annoy Soleigh, who wasn't impressed with him for prolonging Maris' binge by bringing her more wine!
Madellon's kitchens – the heart of the Weyr, and domain of Headwoman Crauva – provided Maravrey 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 Maravrey 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 Maravrey 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 – Maravrey did!
A blue lady
Coming across T'gala, Pern's only female blue rider, bathing her Heppeth in the lake, Maravrey offered his assistance – which T'gala gladly accepted.
Mindful of the Weyrlingmaster's orders to be smart for the Hatching, Maravrey 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, Maravrey 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 Maravrey soon found himself struggling for breath.
Undeterred, Maravrey 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 Maravrey from the Sands!
When it came to the Hatching, Maravrey had to wait a little while before the moonlike grey egg Hatched to reveal the warm milky-klah brown dragonet who would choose him, naming himself Faberiath.
A friend bereft
But to Maravrey's dismay, Soburn wasn't as fortunate. No dragonet showed an interest in him, and he was left among the candidates remaining unmatched at the end of the Hatching.
Whatever happened to Rielat?
It turned out that making an enemy of Maravrey was a very poor choice on Rielat's part. For the low, low price of just three marks, Maravrey had Grimes, the shady fellow loitering near the Gather stalls, spread a series of nasty rumours about Rielat. By the time the Weyrlingmaster mustered the candidate cohort immediately before the Hatching, the damage to Rielat's reputation was done – and he was ejected from the candidate pool without ever setting foot on the Sands!
After the Hatching
"Faberiath" by Chris S. Baily
The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Maravrey on his Impression, but it was old S'rius, delighted to have found yet another weyrling, who stepped in to help with the immediate matter of Faberiath's first meal. That was the first moment Maravrey had truly grasped that Soburn wasn't going to be a weyrling alongside him – a truth that hit hard. In Soburn's absence, Chiliam – the highborn lad from Kellad, who'd Impressed a dusty-brown dragonet, Destrath, and who now styled himself Ch'liam – was a welcome friendly face.
It wasn't long before Faberiath'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.
Another friend Maravrey made along the way – a young Holdbred candidate, Nichen, whom Maravrey had encountered in a hopelessly dishevelled state directly before the Hatching – hailed Maravrey at the barracks – crediting him with his successful Impression of a moon-blue dragonet, Yooth!
Meeting the Weyrleader
As Maravrey and Ch'liam 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. Maravrey was proud to introduce Faberiath to the Weyrleader. And after a brief conference with Faberiath, Maravrey gave the Weyrleader his own new name: M'vrey, rider of brown Faberiath!
Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Faberiath's and Destrath's newborn itchiness, M'vrey and Ch'liam 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
M'vrey and Ch'liam soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk M'vrey had helped during the day greeted him with warm congratulations as he hunted through the throng – but, at last, he found his family.
M'vrey's mother, Nelya, was thrilled by her son's Impression – though perhaps not quite as ecstatic as M'vrey's younger siblings, Ashi and Halante. As the first dragonrider in the family, M'vrey was keenly aware of what it meant to his brother and sister. And when the Weyrleaders came to drink a toast to M'vrey and Faberiath, Valonna was particularly delighted for Nelya – one of her most trusted Headwoman Seconds.
The rest of the evening passed in a blur for M'vrey, 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, M'vrey 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 M'vrey'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 M'vrey 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 Faberiath.
A close encounter
On his way back to the barracks (by way of the infirmary, as ordered by Tarshe), M'vrey 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 M'vrey 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, M'vrey decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger.
Returning at last to Faberiath – billeted between Ch'liam's Destrath and a bright bronze dragonet – M'vrey 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 – M'vrey 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 Maravrey's Impression here. M'vrey and Faberiath's story will continue in Dragonchoice: Weyrling, coming soon!
Find out more about Maravrey's Impression here. M'vrey and Faberiath'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.
THE YIN TO YOUR YANG
Faberiath and I complement each other!
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
Faberiath and I agreed on something very important!
Faberiath and I disagreed on something quite important!