Jekke and green Alomiath
The Road So Far!
It all began at Jessaf Hold, in the protectorate of Madellon Weyr, for Jekke – a young girl of 14 Turns, dreaming of becoming a green rider.
Jekke was born the daughter of a modest cotholder at Jessaf Hold, working alongside her widowed father to work their allotted land, and help bring up her 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, Jekke didn't even present herself as a hopeful. Yet it was Jekke that Kistrith singled out among all those young people. She almost didn't accept Search – anxious not to abandon her father. But he insisted, revealing that his late wife, Jekke's mother, had always dreamed of being a dragonrider – and gifting Jekke with her blue feather pendant as a lucky charm.
As a candidate, Jekke was assigned a bunkmate – Jopha, a mischievous young Weyrbred girl prone to getting herself into trouble, 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 – Thippia, a foul-mouthed girl from the Seacraft – who took a firm disliking to Jekke! Backed up by her crony Berrin, Thippia became the thorn in Jekke's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.
The dragons' hum woke Jopha and Jekke on 102.03.17. Following a brief run-in with Thippia, 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 Jekke left, Jopha – whose Impression robe was sadly overlarge for her petite frame – recruited Jekke's help in getting it adjusted by her nemesis Shookana in the mending room.
The one-armed green rider and the thieving queen
Immediately on leaving the candidate barracks, Jekke 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 Jekke to find it. The quest took Jekke all over Madellon, from kitchens to lake to infirmary – but in the end she succeeded in reuniting the Weyrwoman's jewellery set, to general acclaim.
Respecting her elders
In the Weyr's kitchen gardens, Jekke encountered R'hren, a former Weyrleader of Madellon, now peacefully retired to potter among his beloved plants. R'hren asked Jekke to help him track down the ingredients for a warming salve to help his elderly bronze, Staamath, with his arthritic forepaws. Jekke duly located the components of R'hren's salve, winning the old bronze rider's approval in the process.
Gifted a small pot of the salve, Jekke offered it to old S'rius, who was equally appreciative of the gift. And while Kisha, the blind old green rider Jekke encountered in the infirmary, would have nothing to do with one of R'hren's concoctions, she too grew to approve of Jekke – especially after she solved all three of her fiendish riddles!
Jekke 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 Jekke 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 Jekke some intelligence on the Southern seven, his advice was somewhat garbled! Nonetheless, Jekke 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, Jekke 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!
Luckily for him, Jekke 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
Jekke 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. Jekke'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.
Madellon's kitchens – the heart of the Weyr, and domain of Headwoman Crauva – provided Jekke with the opportunity to show off her work ethic before the Hatching. A round of chores duly pleased Crauva, and earned her a selection of goodies warm from the oven.. And the kitchen was also the source of the hotfruit R'hren had sent Jekke to find for his warming salve.
Jekke certainly indulged her sweet tooth before the Hatching – laying claim to not one, not two, but three different types of bubbly pie .
Eggs and baskets
A visit to the Archives led to a meeting with Tarshe, Madellon's Weyrwoman Second. When Jekke 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 – Jekke did!
Weyrbrat by name...
A run-in with a Weyrbrat – Terzon, whom Thippia had paid to cause Jekke trouble – resulted in an unfortunate public incident. All too aware of being shaken down, Jekke gave the kid a shove – in front of a number of witnesses – doing nothing for her reputation!
A shining example
Coming upon Santinoth – Madellon's biggest bronze – being bathed in the lake, Jekke was quick to offer assistance to his rider, T'rello. Perhaps Jekke was never going to Impress a bronze – but it couldn't hurt to have some hands-on experience!
Knowing of Jopha's chequered history with Shookana, mistress of the Weyr's mending room, Jekke approached the task of having her robe adjusted with considerable caution. Realising that falsehood would be the wrong approach, Jekke went to Shookana with the truth – and a gift of popcorn. And while Jekke doubted if Shookana and Jopha will ever be friends, the restoration of her Hatching robe to a suitable length did a great deal for her self-confidence!
Mindful of the Weyrlingmaster's orders to be smart for the Hatching, Jekke visited Madellon's resident barber – green rider Z'fell – for a trim. Very conscious of her dignity, Jekke ensured she came away with a cut she actually liked.
When it came to the Hatching, Jekke had to wait a little while before the pearlescently pink egg Hatched to reveal the deep bottle-green dragonet who would choose her, naming herself Alomiath.
A friend in me
And Jekke wasn't the only lucky one. To her delight, Jopha also Impressed, becoming the rider of a big emerald-green hatchling, Deimoth.
Whatever happened to Thippia?
Thippia didn't turn up for the pre-Hatching muster, and – Jekke'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 – Jekke supposed – Weyrlingmaster A'len located the missing candidate, but too late for Thippia, who having been found unconscious, was promptly invalided out of standing!
After the Hatching
"Alomiath" by Chris S. Baily
The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Jekke on her Impression, but it was N'jol, delighted that his most humble candidate had Impressed, who stepped in to help with the immediate matter of Alomiath's first meal. That was Jekke's first opportunity to speak to Jopha, too, and they introduced each other, with considerable delight, to their respective dragonets, Alomiath and Deimoth.
It wasn't long before Alomiath'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 Jekke and Jopha 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. Jekke was proud to introduce Alomiath to the Weyrleader – and to give him her full new name: Jekke, rider of green Alomiath!
Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Alomiath's and Deimoth's newborn itchiness, Jekke and Jopha 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
Jekke and Jopha soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk Jekke had helped during the day greeted her with warm congratulations as she hunted through the throng – but, at last, she found her family.
Jekke's father almost couldn't believe his daughter'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 Jekke and Alomiath.
The rest of the evening passed in a blur for Jekke, 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, Jekke 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 Jekke'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 Jekke 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 Alomiath.
A close encounter
On her way back to the barracks , Jekke 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 Jekke 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, Jekke decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger.
Returning at last to Alomiath – billeted between Jopha's Deimoth and a pale green dragonet – Jekke 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 – Jekke 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?
Jekke and Alomiath'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.
I make quite a strange match with Alomiath!
SUGAR AND SPICE
I've been a very nice person (so far)!
EBONY AND IVORY
Alomiath and I agreed on something very important!
Alomiath and I disagreed on something quite important!