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Tilea and green Chynath

The Road So Far!

It all began at Jessaf Hold, in the protectorate of Madellon Weyr, for Tilea – a young woman of 16 Turns, dreaming of becoming a green rider.

Tilea was born to unusual privilege – a granddaughter of Winstone, Lord of mighty Jessaf Hold. Tilea 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, Tilea 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 Tilea becoming a candidate – while conceding that he could spare a younger grandchild. And with Winstone's admonition that she should remember her place as his granddaughter and not make a scene ringing in her ears, Tilea left to begin her candidacy at Madellon Weyr.

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

Hatching Day

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

Respecting her elders

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

Southern comfort

Tilea met G'kalte – a brown rider and Wingsecond, not to mention Weyrwoman Valonna's weyrmate – in the Bowl, and was quickly recruited by him to help with a diplomatic matter. G'kalte had been tasked with delivering two gifts from Valonna to her Southern counterpart Weyrwoman Karika – but he'd been summoned away to collect his own grandmother, Lady Coffleby, for the Hatching.

He asked Tilea to figure out which of the seven Southern dragons visiting Madellon were the correct pair to hand over Karika's gifts. And while G'kalte's brown, Archidath, offered Tilea some intelligence on the Southern seven, his advice was somewhat garbled! Nonetheless, Tilea unravelled Archidath's confusing suggestions and got the right packages to the right dragons – without being growled at!

A Masterful order

In the dining hall, Tilea met her 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 Tilea to follow, and the drinks order went rather wrong!

A rising problem

Tilea 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 Tilea 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 – she still ultimately failed to reconcile the star-crossed green riding lovers!

Eggs and baskets

A visit to the Archives led to a meeting with Tarshe, Madellon's Weyrwoman Second. When Tilea expressed an interested in looking up some Weyr records, Tarshe offered her the loan of a glowbasket – on the proviso that she return it afterwards. Which – mindful of not offending such an important personage of the Weyr – Tilea did!

At the lake, T'gala – the only female blue rider on Pern – asked for Tilea's help in bathing her big Southern blue, Heppeth. Tilea, reluctant to get wet, refused – earning T'gala's dislike, and a blot on her reputation!

Friend request

Seeking knowledge of Erilde's parentage, Tilea visited the Weyr's Archives and sought advice from Weyrwoman Tarshe, the Weyrwoman Second. While Tarshe could find no evidence that Erilde's father had been a dragonrider, she suggested Tilea might construct a story about a long-dead rider. Tilea delved into Madellon's records and unearthed a brown rider, B'get, deceased some Turns ago, but of the right age to have fathered her friend. Bringing this plausible white lie to Erilde may have been a tad devious – but it had the desired effect on her belief that she could, in fact, possess the ability to Impress a dragon!

A Weyrleader's mercy

Early in the day, Tilea found out about a secret way into the Hatching Ground via storeroom that might allow her 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, she crawled into a confusing maze of passages. By chance, she found a way onto the Hatching Ground – onto a very high ledge! Calling down for help was the only option, and a welcome – if embarrassing – lift down from Muzzanth himself returned Tilea safely to ground level.

Realising that honesty was the best policy, Tilea apologised to the Weyrleader for intruding – and was surprised to find T'gat remarkably sanguine about it, reminiscing about his own youthful journey through the passages. And a polite request granted Tilea the Weyrleader's permission to approach the clutch. She touched one of the eggs, marvelling at its palpable vitality.

The Hatching

When it came to the Hatching, Tilea had to wait a little while before the elongated spotted egg Hatched to reveal the pale mint-green dragonet who would choose her, naming herself Chynath.

A friend in me

And Tilea wasn't the only lucky one. To her delight, Erilde also Impressed, becoming the rider of an inquisitive teal-green hatchling, Shaldeth.

Whatever happened to Auciet?

Auciet didn't turn up for the pre-Hatching muster, and – Tilea's own suspicions notwithstanding – L'stev guessed that she had probably got herself lost trying to sneak into the Hatching Ground through the dangerous ventilation tunnels. Fortunately – Tilea supposed – Weyrlingmaster A'len located the missing candidate, but too late for Auciet, who having been found unconscious, was promptly invalided out of standing!

After the Hatching

"Chynath" by Chris S. Baily

The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Tilea on her Impression, but it was Garlan, delighted that her risky choice of Winstone's granddaughter had Impressed, who stepped in to help with the immediate matter of Chynath's first meal. That was Tilea's first opportunity to speak to Erilde, too, and they introduced each other, with considerable delight, to their respective dragonets, Chynath and Shaldeth.

It wasn't long before Chynath's personality started to become evident. The pale green dragonet had absolutely no hesitation about making her voice – her very loud and strident voice – heard, indicating what a forceful and demanding character she would become.

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 sister

Another friend Tilea made along the way – a young Weyrbred candidate, Brithie, whom Tilea had encountered in a sudden crisis of confidence directly before the Hatching – hailed Tilea at the barracks – crediting her with her successful Impression of a tiny bottle-green dragonet, Epatanth!

Meeting the Weyrleader

As Tilea and Erilde 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. Tilea was proud to introduce Chynath to the Weyrleader – and to give him her full new name: Tilea, rider of green Chynath!

Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Chynath's and Shaldeth's newborn itchiness, Tilea and Erilde 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

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

Lord Winstone, Tilea's grandfather, was faint with his praise for his granddaughter's Impression of Chynath – suggesting that she should have waited for a chance at a queen. The Weyrleaders were swift to insist that Impressing any dragon was a great achievement!

The rest of the evening passed in a blur for Tilea, 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, Tilea 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 Tilea'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 Tilea 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 Chynath.

A close encounter

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

Returning at last to Chynath – billeted between Erilde's Shaldeth and a pale green dragonet – Tilea 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 – Tilea 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?

Tilea and Chynath's story will continue in Dragonchoice: Weyrling, coming soon!

Tilea'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

Chynath and I complement each other!

Achievement Unlocked:
EBONY AND IVORY

Chynath and I agreed on something very important!

Achievement Unlocked:
BUM NOTE

Chynath and I disagreed on something quite important!