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E'gene and bronze Tichuth

The Road So Far!

It all began at Jessaf Hold, in the protectorate of Madellon Weyr, for Eugene – a young man of 17 Turns, dreaming of becoming a bronze rider.

Eugene was born to unusual privilege – a grandson of Winstone, Lord of mighty Jessaf Hold. Eugene 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, Eugene 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 Eugene becoming a candidate – displeased that such a opportunity would ruin his plans for Eugene's betrothal to a niece of Lord Orfen's. But he grudgingly accepted that, as Eugene had his majority, he had the right to accept Search. And with Winstone's admonition that he Impress a bronze – or a brown at the very least – ringing in his ears, Eugene left to begin his candidacy at Madellon Weyr.

As a candidate, Eugene 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 Eugene! Backed up by his crony Kestor, Rielat became the thorn in Eugene's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.

Hatching Day

The dragons' hum woke Soburn and Eugene 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 Eugene 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, Eugene 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 Eugene to find it. Despite Eugene'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, Eugene encountered R'hren, a former Weyrleader of Madellon, now peacefully retired to potter among his beloved plants. R'hren asked Eugene to help him track down the ingredients for a warming salve to help his elderly bronze, Staamath, with his arthritic forepaws. Eugene duly located the components of R'hren's salve, winning the old bronze rider's approval in the process.

Hot stuff

Madellon's kitchen was the source of the hotfruit R'hren had sent Eugene to find for his warming salve. Headwoman Crauva handed one over immediately he asked for it, pleased to be helping such an august figure as the old Weyrleader.

A shining example

Coming upon Santinoth – Madellon's biggest bronze – being bathed in the lake, Eugene was quick to offer assistance to his rider, T'rello. It couldn't hurt to have some close-up experience with a bronze, could it?

Friend request

Conscious of Soburn's bashfulness, Eugene 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 Eugene that he wasn't interested in Soburn – or any other men, for that matter. But Eugene'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!

The Hatching

When it came to the Hatching, Eugene had an excruciatingly long wait before the large greeny-grey egg Hatched to reveal the pale greeny-bronze dragonet who would choose him, naming himself Tichuth.

A friend in me

And Eugene 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?

Sadly, there was at least one fly in the numbweed. Rielat Impressed an impressively proportioned indigo-blue hatchling, making them Eugene and Tichuth's new classmates. (On the bright side, at least Kestor didn't Impress!)

After the Hatching

"Tichuth" by Chris S. Baily

The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Eugene on his Impression, but it was Garlan, delighted that her risky choice of Winstone's grandson had Impressed, who stepped in to help with the immediate matter of Tichuth's first meal. That was Eugene's first opportunity to speak to Soburn, too, and they introduced each other, with considerable delight, to their respective dragonets, Tichuth and Aeranth. Soburn also told Eugene that his new name was to be – perhaps unsurprisingly – S'burn.

It wasn't long before Tichuth's personality started to become evident. The pale bronze dragonet – the largest of the clutch, and the image of his father Muzzanth – proved to be a particular intelligent and perceptive character even minutes out of the egg.

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

Meeting the Weyrleader

As Eugene 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. Eugene was proud to introduce Tichuth to the Weyrleader. And after a brief conference with Tichuth, Eugene gave the Weyrleader his own new name: E'gene, rider of bronze Tichuth!

Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Tichuth's and Aeranth's newborn itchiness, E'gene 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

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

Lord Winstone, E'gene's grandfather, was very pleased indeed to be able to boast to all and sundry that his grandson had Impressed a bronze, although he still managed to find fault with Tichuth for failing to be the largest dragonet in the clutch – a criticism that the Weyrleaders were quick to cut short in their toast to E'gene and his bronze.

The rest of the evening passed in a blur for E'gene, 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, E'gene 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 E'gene'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 E'gene 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 Tichuth.

A close encounter

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

Returning at last to Tichuth – billeted between S'burn's Aeranth and a mucky-looking brown dragonet – E'gene 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 bronze beside him – E'gene 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?

E'gene and Tichuth's story will continue in Dragonchoice: Weyrling, coming soon!

E'gene'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

Tichuth and I complement each other!

Achievement Unlocked:
EBONY AND IVORY

Tichuth and I agreed on something very important!

Achievement Unlocked:
IN TUNE

Tichuth and I agreed on something quite important!