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D'ango and green Bryomath

The Road So Far!

It all began at the Harperhall at Kellad Hold, in the protectorate of Madellon Weyr, for Django – a young boy of 15 Turns, dreaming of becoming a green rider.

Django 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. Django caught the attention of J'kel's blue Hozrath. And a sevenday later, Django arrived at Madellon Weyr, joining the candidate pool for senior queen Shimpath's first clutch by her new mate Muzzanth.

As a candidate, Django 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 Django! Backed up by his crony Varell, Gydeton became the thorn in Django's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.

Hatching Day

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

A Harper born

Django'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 Django's confidence – and his mark purse – quite a boost!

Weyrbrat by name...

A run-in with a Weyrbrat – Terzon, whom Gydeton had paid to cause Django trouble – resulted in an unfortunate public incident. All too aware of being shaken down, Django gave the kid a shove – in front of a number of witnesses – doing nothing for his reputation!

Friend request

Given Django'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 Django 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, Django had to wait a little while before the pearlescently pink egg Hatched to reveal the deep bottle-green dragonet who would choose him, naming herself Bryomath.

A friend in me

And Django 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 Django and Bryomath's new classmates. (On the bright side, at least Varell didn't Impress!)

After the Hatching

"Bryomath" by Chris S. Baily

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

It wasn't long before Bryomath's personality started to become evident. The bottle-green dragonet – by some margin the smallest hatchling of the clutch – had a nervous and wary personality to match, startling at everything and everyone.

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 Django 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. Django was proud to introduce Bryomath to the Weyrleader. And after a brief conference with Bryomath, Django gave the Weyrleader his own new name: D'ango, rider of green Bryomath!

Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Bryomath's and Kauth's newborn itchiness, D'ango 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

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

D'ango's Harper parents were absolutely delighted to find themselves the mother and father of a green rider and happier still to learn that D'ango had already brought his musical skills to the Weyr. And they were even more delighted to drink to D'ango and Bryomath when the Weyrleaders arrived to toast them!

The rest of the evening passed in a blur for D'ango, 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, D'ango 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 D'ango'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 D'ango 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 Bryomath.

A close encounter

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

Returning at last to Bryomath – billeted between M'tom's Kauth and a slender green dragonet – D'ango 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 green beside him – D'ango 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?

D'ango and Bryomath's story will continue in Dragonchoice: Weyrling, coming soon!

D'ango'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

Bryomath and I complement each other!

Achievement Unlocked:
SNAKES AND SNAILS

I haven't been very nice!

Achievement Unlocked:
EBONY AND IVORY

Bryomath and I agreed on something very important!

Achievement Unlocked:
IN TUNE

Bryomath and I agreed on something quite important!