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Trini and green Gunnerth

The Road So Far!

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

Trini was born the daughter of two Harpers at the Southern Harperhall, Kellad Hold. Surrounded by music, she was apprenticed to the Craft when she came of age. But she never excelled in any discipline, and it seemed as if an unremarkable career as a mid-level journeyman likely lay ahead for her. 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. Trini caught the attention of J'kel's blue Hozrath. And a sevenday later, Trini arrived at Madellon Weyr, joining the candidate pool for senior queen Shimpath's first clutch by her new mate Muzzanth.

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

Hatching Day

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

Respecting her elders

In the infirmary, Trini encountered Kisha – a blind old green rider giving the Weyr's Healers a difficult time about taking her medicine. Kisha challenged Trini to answer three riddles before she would consent to behave. And Trini rose to that challenge – answering all three correctly, and winning Kisha's grudging respect!

A Harper born

Trini's Harper training came in handy when Carleah, the Weyr Singer, asked her to play a set with her ensemble in the dining hall. They played to a rapturous reception that gave Trini's confidence – and her mark purse – quite a boost!

The Hatching

When it came to the Hatching, Trini had an excruciatingly long wait before the pearlescently pink egg Hatched to reveal the deep bottle-green dragonet who would choose her, naming herself Gunnerth.

A friend bereft

But to Trini'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 Trini had serious consequences – for Auciet. Not everyone would have tattled on her the way Trini 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

"Gunnerth" by Chris S. Baily

The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Trini on her 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 Gunnerth's first meal. That was the first moment Trini 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 Gunnerth'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 Trini 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. Trini was proud to introduce Gunnerth to the Weyrleader – and to give him her full new name: Trini, rider of green Gunnerth!

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

Trini and Arina soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk Trini had helped during the day greeted her with warm congratulations as she hunted through the throng – but, at last, she found her family.

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

The rest of the evening passed in a blur for Trini, 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, Trini 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 Trini'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 Trini 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 Gunnerth.

A close encounter

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

Returning at last to Gunnerth – billeted between Arina's Chanth and a pretty blue-green dragonet – Trini 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 – Trini 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?

Trini and Gunnerth's story will continue in Dragonchoice: Weyrling, coming soon!

Trini'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

Gunnerth and I complement each other!

Achievement Unlocked:
EBONY AND IVORY

Gunnerth and I agreed on something very important!

Achievement Unlocked:
IN TUNE

Gunnerth and I agreed on something quite important!