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T'garyen and brown Kolonoth

The Road So Far!

It all began at Madellon Weyr for Tigaryen – a young boy of 14 Turns, dreaming of becoming a dragonrider.

Tigaryen 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. As a first-time candidate with no dragonrider blood, Tigaryen looked forward to the Hatching with both excitement and trepidation – fearing he might not have what it takes to Impress, but hoping beyond hope that he would!

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

Hatching Day

The dragons' hum woke Martom and Tigaryen 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 Tigaryen 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

Immediately on leaving the candidate barracks, Tigaryen was flagged down by M'shen – a green rider with only one arm. But whatever he wanted, Tigaryen never discovered, being disinclined to be helpful with so many other errands to run.

Respecting his elders

In the Weyr's kitchen gardens, Tigaryen encountered R'hren, a former Weyrleader of Madellon, now peacefully retired to potter among his beloved plants. R'hren asked Tigaryen to help him track down the ingredients for a warming salve to help his elderly bronze, Staamath, with his arthritic forepaws. Tigaryen duly located the components of R'hren's salve, winning the old bronze rider's approval in the process.

A rising problem

Tigaryen 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. And while Tigaryen did manage to get G'tron excluded from the flight – not to mention another blue rider, G'pellas, who was needed in the Harper ensemble – he still ultimately failed to reconcile the star-crossed green riding lovers!

Hot stuff

Madellon's kitchen was the source of the hotfruit R'hren had sent Tigaryen 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.

Eggs and baskets

A visit to the Archives led to a meeting with Tarshe, Madellon's Weyrwoman Second. When Tigaryen 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. But with one thing and another, Tigaryen didn't bring it back – earning the Weyrwoman Second's ire!

Weyrbrat by name...

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

A blue lady

Coming across T'gala, Pern's only female blue rider, bathing her Heppeth in the lake, Tigaryen offered his assistance – which T'gala gladly accepted.

Friend request

Given Tigaryen'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 Tigaryen 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!

A slithery customer

Early in the day, Tigaryen 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.

By a stroke of ill luck, Tigaryen strayed into tunnel snake territory! A huge, aggressive, and potently venomous female tunnel-snake guarded the exit to the Hatching ground. Tigaryen was bitten – badly – and immediately felt the effects of the snake's paralysing venom. But ultimately he evaded the snake, dodging past it and slipping out onto the Hatching Sands.

But the snake's venom had done its work, and Tigaryen collapsed trying to reach the eggs, waking up in the infirmary.

The Hatching

But when it came to the Hatching, Tigaryen had a less than ordinary experience. While trying to sneak into the Hatching Ground for a surreptitious look at the eggs, he disturbed an immense, highly venomous tunnel-snake. He survived the encounter, but not without a cost – he was bitten. Seeking immediate aid from the Weyr Healer, Isnan, saved his life – but got him invalided out of the Hatching and confined to the infirmary. But an earlier conversation with S'rius, gave Tigaryen the notion that he might still be able to Impress – if he could just reach the Sands in time. He staggered from his sickbed, across the Weyr, and onto the Sands – just in time to Impress the very last dragonet, a brown who named himself Kolonoth.

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

After the Hatching

"Kolonoth" by Emily Holland

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

It wasn't long before Kolonoth's personality started to become evident. The little russet-brown dragonet proved unusually quiet, speaking only seldom, and showing a strong preference for his own company – and his rider's.

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 Tigaryen 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. Tigaryen was proud to introduce Kolonoth to the Weyrleader. And after a brief conference with Kolonoth, Tigaryen gave the Weyrleader his own new name: T'garyen, rider of brown Kolonoth!

Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Kolonoth's and Kauth's newborn itchiness, T'garyen 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

T'garyen and M'tom soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk T'garyen had helped during the day greeted him with warm congratulations as he hunted through the throng – but, at last, he found his family.

T'garyen's mother, Nelya, was thrilled by her son's Impression – though perhaps not quite as ecstatic as T'garyen's younger siblings, Ashi and Halante. As the first dragonrider in the family, T'garyen was keenly aware of what it meant to his brother and sister. And when the Weyrleaders came to drink a toast to T'garyen and Kolonoth, Valonna was particularly delighted for Nelya – one of her most trusted Headwoman Seconds.

The rest of the evening passed in a blur for T'garyen, 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, T'garyen 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 T'garyen'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 T'garyen 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 Kolonoth.

A close encounter

On his way back to the barracks (by way of the infirmary, as ordered by Tarshe), T'garyen 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 T'garyen 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, T'garyen decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger.

Returning at last to Kolonoth – billeted between M'tom's Kauth and a slender green dragonet – T'garyen 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 – T'garyen 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?

T'garyen and Kolonoth's story will continue in Dragonchoice: Weyrling, coming soon!

T'garyen'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

Kolonoth and I complement each other!

Achievement Unlocked:
PLEASE STATE THE NATURE OF THE MEDICAL EMERGENCY

I returned to the infirmary!

Achievement Unlocked:
EBONY AND IVORY

Kolonoth and I agreed on something very important!

Achievement Unlocked:
BUM NOTE

Kolonoth and I disagreed on something quite important!