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Ka'din and green Marmuth

The Road So Far!

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

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

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

Hatching Day

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

A Masterful order

In the dining hall, Kannidin 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 Kannidin to follow, and the drinks order went rather wrong!

A rising problem

Kannidin 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 Kannidin 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!

A Harper born

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

Kitchen diplomacy

Madellon's kitchens – the heart of the Weyr, and domain of Headwoman Crauva – provided Kannidin 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 Kannidin 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 Kannidin 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 – Kannidin did!

A shining example

Coming upon Santinoth – Madellon's biggest bronze – being bathed in the lake, Kannidin 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

Given Kannidin'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 Kannidin 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!

Hair today

Mindful of the Weyrlingmaster's orders to be smart for the Hatching, Kannidin visited Madellon's resident barber, Z'fell, for a trim. But he fell foul of the green rider's perverse sense of humour, and came away with a curious cut – short on top, long at the back – that prompted quite a number of odd looks and laughs at his expense!

The Hatching

When it came to the Hatching, Kannidin didn't have to wait at all for his date with destiny. The grey-splashed beige egg that Hatched first produced a dark teal-green hatchling who spared no time in choosing Kannidin, naming herself Marmuth.

A friend in me

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

After the Hatching

"Marmuth" by Chris S. Baily

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

It wasn't long before Marmuth's personality started to become evident. The teal-green dragonet, inquisitive about everything from the instant of her hatching, also proved to be an especially sweet-natured and kind character.

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

Meeting the Weyrleader

As Kannidin 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. Kannidin was proud to introduce Marmuth to the Weyrleader. And after a brief conference with Marmuth, Kannidin gave the Weyrleader his own new name: Ka'din, rider of green Marmuth!

Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Marmuth's and Kauth's newborn itchiness, Ka'din 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

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

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

The rest of the evening passed in a blur for Ka'din, 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, Ka'din 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 Ka'din'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 Ka'din 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 Marmuth.

A close encounter

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

Returning at last to Marmuth – billeted between M'tom's Kauth and a slender green dragonet – Ka'din 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 – Ka'din 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?

Ka'din and Marmuth's story will continue in Dragonchoice: Weyrling, coming soon!

Ka'din'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:
BIRDS OF A FEATHER

Marmuth and I make a very strong match!

Achievement Unlocked:
EBONY AND IVORY

Marmuth and I agreed on something very important!

Achievement Unlocked:
IN TUNE

Marmuth and I agreed on something quite important!