D'than and blue Dorizath
The Road So Far!
It all began at Jessaf Hold, in the protectorate of Madellon Weyr, for Dorthan – a young boy of 13 Turns, dreaming of becoming a dragonrider.
Dorthan was born the son of a modest cotholder at Jessaf Hold, working alongside his widowed father to work their allotted land, and help bring up his young twin siblings, Albon and Gettie. And in early 102, when a green rider, N'jol, and his Kistrith came to Jessaf in search of candidates for Madellon Weyr's hardening clutch, Dorthan didn't even present himself as a hopeful. Yet it was Dorthan that Kistrith singled out among all those young people. He almost didn't accept Search – anxious not to abandon his father. But he insisted, revealing that his late wife, Dorthan's mother, had always dreamed of being a dragonrider – and gifting Dorthan with her blue feather pendant as a lucky charm.
As a candidate, Dorthan 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 Dorthan! Backed up by his crony Varell, Gydeton became the thorn in Dorthan's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.
The dragons' hum woke Martom and Dorthan 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 Dorthan 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, Dorthan 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 Dorthan to find it. Despite Dorthan'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, Dorthan encountered R'hren, a former Weyrleader of Madellon, now peacefully retired to potter among his beloved plants. R'hren asked Dorthan to help him track down the ingredients for a warming salve to help his elderly bronze, Staamath, with his arthritic forepaws. Dorthan duly located the components of R'hren's salve, winning the old bronze rider's approval in the process.
Dorthan 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 Dorthan 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 Dorthan some intelligence on the Southern seven, his advice was somewhat garbled! Nonetheless, Dorthan 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, Dorthan 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!
Luckily for him, Dorthan solved the puzzle of Fr'ton's confusing notes adeptly, delivering the correct drinks to the correct Masters, and earning a handsome tip in the process.
A rising problem
Dorthan 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. Dorthan's intervention successfully got rid of G'tron, whose Imdoth was very sweet indeed on Bristath, from the mating flight – not to mention G'pellas, another blue rider, needed in the Harper ensemble – and reconciled the two green riders. Even if Dorthan did annoy Soleigh, who wasn't impressed with him for prolonging Maris' binge by bringing her more wine!
Madellon's kitchens – the heart of the Weyr, and domain of Headwoman Crauva – provided Dorthan 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 Dorthan to find for his warming salve.
Overkeen to get his hands on the last bubbly pie in the dining hall, Dorthan took it – forcibly – from a small child. Not the nicest thing to do – but mmm, pie...
Eggs and baskets
A visit to the Archives led to a meeting with Tarshe, Madellon's Weyrwoman Second. When Dorthan 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 – Dorthan did!
Weyrbrat by name...
A run-in with a Weyrbrat – Terzon, whom Gydeton had paid to cause Dorthan trouble – resulted in an unfortunate public incident. All too aware of being shaken down, Dorthan 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, Dorthan offered his assistance – which T'gala gladly accepted.
With friends like these...
But seeking wine for Martom's consumption proved difficult – and illicit. Saxton, the Weyr Vintner, refused to sell alcohol to Dorthan – an underage candidate. An alternative presented itself in the form of Grimes, offering wine to anyone with the marks to pay for it. Dorthan duly purchased a murky looking vintage, and gave it to Martom. But Grimes' dubious wine would prove more bane than boon. Martom became quite intoxicated – and when L'stev discovered his condition, he immedately washed Dorthan's friend and bunkmate out of candidacy!
A slithery customer
Early in the day, Dorthan 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, Dorthan strayed into tunnel snake territory! A huge, aggressive, and potently venomous female tunnel-snake guarded the exit to the Hatching ground. Dorthan was lucky to avoid being bitten. But ultimately he evaded the snake, dodging past it and slipping out onto the Hatching Sands.
Having survived his encounter with the snake, Dorthan crept closer to the clutch – close enough to touch an egg – before beating a hasty retreat from the Hatching Ground!
When it came to the Hatching, Dorthan had to wait a little while before the pearl-green egg Hatched to reveal the deep midnight-blue dragonet who would choose him, naming himself Dorizath.
Whatever happened to Gydeton?
For Gydeton, getting on Dorthan's bad side proved to be an exceptionally poor choice. Dorthan dosed Gydeton's clean underfurs with hotfruit before the Hatching, and for once, the admonition to always put on clean underpants turned out to have very negative consequences. It took a little while for the hotfruit to take effect, but by the time the candidates reached the Hatching Sands, Gydeton was in considerable distress. Unable to bear the burning sensation in his nether regions, he fled the Hatching Sands – squandering his chance at Impression!
After the Hatching
"Dorizath" by Chris S. Baily
The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Dorthan on his Impression, but it was N'jol, delighted that his most humble candidate had Impressed, who stepped in to help with the immediate matter of Dorizath's first meal. That was the first moment Dorthan had truly grasped that Martom wasn't going to be a weyrling alongside him – a truth that hit hard. In Martom's absence, Chiliam – the highborn lad from Kellad, who'd Impressed a dusty-brown dragonet, Destrath, and who now styled himself Ch'liam – was a welcome friendly face.
It wasn't long before Dorizath's personality started to become evident. The big midnight-blue dragonet showed an immediate desire to show off and preen – not surprising given his handsome colour and conformation!
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 Dorthan and Ch'liam 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. Dorthan was proud to introduce Dorizath to the Weyrleader. And after a brief conference with Dorizath, Dorthan gave the Weyrleader his own new name: D'than, rider of blue Dorizath!
Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Dorizath's and Destrath's newborn itchiness, D'than and Ch'liam 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
D'than and Ch'liam soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk D'than had helped during the day greeted him with warm congratulations as he hunted through the throng – but, at last, he found his family.
D'than's father almost couldn't believe his son's good fortune, completely thrilled to be the father of a dragonrider. And he was even more starstruck when the Weyrleaders came to drink a toast to D'than and Dorizath.
The rest of the evening passed in a blur for D'than, 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, D'than 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 D'than'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 D'than 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 Dorizath.
A close encounter
On his way back to the barracks , D'than 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 D'than 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, D'than decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger.
Returning at last to Dorizath – billeted between Ch'liam's Destrath and a slender green dragonet – D'than 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 blue beside him – D'than 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?
D'than and Dorizath's story will continue in Dragonchoice: Weyrling, coming soon!
CARRY ON WAYWARD SON
I travelled The Road So Far!
OUR ROB, OR ROSS
I received a mysterious box!
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.
THE YIN TO YOUR YANG
Dorizath and I complement each other!
SUGAR AND SPICE
I've been a very nice person (so far)!
EBONY AND IVORY
Dorizath and I agreed on something very important!
Dorizath and I agreed on something quite important!