P'zar and blue Asperth
The Road So Far!
It all began at the Harperhall at Kellad Hold, in the protectorate of Madellon Weyr, for Pelezar – a young man of 17 Turns, dreaming of becoming a blue rider.
Pelezar was born the son of two Harpers at the Southern Harperhall, Kellad Hold. Surrounded by music, he was apprenticed to the Craft when he came of age. But he never excelled in any discipline, and it seemed as if an unremarkable career as a mid-level journeyman likely lay ahead for him. And then, in early 102, J'kel – a dragonrider of Madellon Weyr – came to Kellad Hold in search of candidates for the new clutch hardening on the Sands of Madellon Weyr. Pelezar caught the attention of J'kel's blue Hozrath. And a sevenday later, Pelezar arrived at Madellon Weyr, joining the candidate pool for senior queen Shimpath's first clutch by her new mate Muzzanth.
As a candidate, Pelezar 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 Pelezar! Backed up by his crony Kestor, Rielat became the thorn in Pelezar's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.
The dragons' hum woke Soburn and Pelezar 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 Pelezar 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, Pelezar 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 Pelezar to find it. The quest took Pelezar 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, Pelezar encountered R'hren, a former Weyrleader of Madellon, now peacefully retired to potter among his beloved plants. R'hren asked Pelezar to help him track down the ingredients for a warming salve to help his elderly bronze, Staamath, with his arthritic forepaws. Pelezar 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, Pelezar offered it to old S'rius, who was equally appreciative of the gift. And while Kisha, the blind old green rider Pelezar encountered in the infirmary, would have nothing to do with one of R'hren's concoctions, she too grew to approve of Pelezar – especially after he solved all three of her fiendish riddles!
Pelezar 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 Pelezar 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 Pelezar some intelligence on the Southern seven, his advice was somewhat garbled! Nonetheless, Pelezar 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, Pelezar 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!
Sadly, though, Fr'ton's garbled instructions proved too convoluted for even Pelezar to follow, and the drinks order went rather wrong!
A rising problem
Pelezar 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. Pelezar'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 Pelezar did annoy Soleigh, who wasn't impressed with him for prolonging Maris' binge by bringing her more wine!
A Harper born
Pelezar's Harper training came in handy when Carleah, the Weyr Singer, asked him to play a set with her ensemble in the dining hall. They played to a rapturous reception that gave Pelezar's confidence – and his mark purse – quite a boost!
Madellon's kitchens – the heart of the Weyr, and domain of Headwoman Crauva – provided Pelezar 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 Pelezar 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 Pelezar 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 – Pelezar did!
A blue lady
Coming across T'gala, Pern's only female blue rider, bathing her Heppeth in the lake, Pelezar offered his assistance – which T'gala gladly accepted.
Conscious of Soburn's bashfulness, Pelezar 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 Pelezar that he wasn't interested in Soburn – or any other men, for that matter. But Pelezar'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!
Mindful of the Weyrlingmaster's orders to be smart for the Hatching, Pelezar visited Madellon's resident barber – green rider Z'fell – for a trim. Very conscious of his dignity, Pelezar ensured he came away with a cut he actually liked.
When it came to the Hatching, Pelezar had an excruciatingly long wait before the gleaming blue egg Hatched to reveal the bright indigo-blue dragonet who would choose him, naming himself Asperth.
A friend in me
And Pelezar 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's victimisation of Pelezar had serious consequences – for Rielat. Not everyone would have tattled on him the way Pelezar did, but his complaints about the other boy, together with L'stev's already thin opinion of Rielat, had the desired effect. Directly before the Hatching, L'stev ejected Rielat from the candidate pool!
After the Hatching
"Asperth" by Emily Holland
The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Pelezar on his Impression, but it was J'kel, thrilled that Hozrath had finally found a successful candidate after so long without, who stepped in to help with the immediate matter of Asperth's first meal. That was Pelezar's first opportunity to speak to Soburn, too, and they introduced each other, with considerable delight, to their respective dragonets, Asperth and Aeranth. Soburn also told Pelezar that his new name was to be – perhaps unsurprisingly – S'burn.
It wasn't long before Asperth's personality started to become evident. The big indigo-blue dragonet, the largest of his colour, showed his alert and serious nature from the beginning, demonstrating a high degree of focus for a blue.
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 Pelezar 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. Pelezar was proud to introduce Asperth to the Weyrleader. And after a brief conference with Asperth, Pelezar gave the Weyrleader his own new name: P'zar, rider of blue Asperth!
Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Asperth's and Aeranth's newborn itchiness, P'zar 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
P'zar and S'burn soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk P'zar had helped during the day greeted him with warm congratulations as he hunted through the throng – but, at last, he found his family.
P'zar's Harper parents were absolutely delighted to find themselves the mother and father of a blue rider and happier still to learn that P'zar had already brought his musical skills to the Weyr. And they were even more delighted to drink to P'zar and Asperth when the Weyrleaders arrived to toast them!
The rest of the evening passed in a blur for P'zar, 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, P'zar 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 P'zar's background with him – including much of what he had got up to on the morning of the Hatching – for good and ill. She cleared up an anomaly with his new name, too. She offered P'zar 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 Asperth.
A close encounter
On his way back to the barracks , P'zar 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 P'zar 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, P'zar decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger – though he did give L'stev his new name.
Returning at last to Asperth – billeted between S'burn's Aeranth and a bright bronze dragonet – P'zar 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 blue beside him – P'zar was struck with a deep sense of foreboding. Who was the mysterious dragonrider in the hooded cloak? What was the significance of the strange wooden box? And how had the stranger known P'zar's new name?
Find out more about Pelezar's Impression here. P'zar and Asperth's story will continue in Dragonchoice: Weyrling, coming soon!
Find out more about Pelezar's Impression here. P'zar and Asperth'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!
ONE STEVE LIMIT
I avoided duplicating a Dragonchoice character's name!
THE YIN TO YOUR YANG
Asperth and I complement each other!
SUGAR AND SPICE
I've been a very nice person (so far)!
EBONY AND IVORY
Asperth and I agreed on something very important!
Asperth and I agreed on something quite important!