D'vira and blue Aizoath
The Road So Far!
It all began at Jessaf Hold, in the protectorate of Madellon Weyr, for Davira – a young woman of 18 Turns, dreaming of becoming a blue rider.
Davira 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, Davira didn't even present herself as a hopeful. Yet it was Davira 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, Davira's mother, had always dreamed of being a dragonrider – and gifting Davira with her blue feather pendant as a lucky charm.
As a candidate, Davira 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 Davira! Backed up by her crony Cedranne, Auciet became the thorn in Davira's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.
The dragons' hum woke Erilde and Davira 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 Davira 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, Davira 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 Davira to find it. The quest took Davira 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, Davira encountered R'hren, a former Weyrleader of Madellon, now peacefully retired to potter among his beloved plants. R'hren asked Davira to help him track down the ingredients for a warming salve to help his elderly bronze, Staamath, with his arthritic forepaws. Davira 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, Davira offered it to old S'rius, who was equally appreciative of the gift. And while Kisha, the blind old green rider Davira encountered in the infirmary, would have nothing to do with one of R'hren's concoctions, she too grew to approve of Davira – especially after she solved all three of her fiendish riddles!
Davira 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 Davira 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 Davira some intelligence on the Southern seven, his advice was somewhat garbled! Nonetheless, Davira 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, Davira 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, Davira 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. Davira even shared the largesse with Zielaph, who then introduced her to Fr'ton – who, having Impressed a bronze in spite of his less than boundless promise, gave Davira a certain confidence in her own prospects!
A rising problem
Davira 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. Davira'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 Davira did annoy Soleigh, who wasn't impressed with her for prolonging Maris' binge by bringing her more wine!
Madellon's kitchens – the heart of the Weyr, and domain of Headwoman Crauva – provided Davira with the opportunity to show off her 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 Davira 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 Davira 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 – Davira did!
A blue lady
Coming across T'gala, Pern's only female blue rider, bathing her Heppeth in the lake, Davira offered her assistance – which T'gala gladly accepted. Getting some first-hand advice about what it took for T'gala to Impress a blue dragon was an opportunity Davira didn't want to pass up.
Seeking knowledge of Erilde's parentage, Davira 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 Davira might construct a story about a long-dead rider. Davira 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!
Mindful of the Weyrlingmaster's orders to be smart for the Hatching, Davira visited Madellon's resident barber – green rider Z'fell – for a trim. Very conscious of her dignity, Davira ensured she came away with a cut she actually liked.
A slithery customer
Early in the day, Davira 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 a stroke of ill luck, Davira strayed into tunnel snake territory! A huge, aggressive, and potently venomous female tunnel-snake guarded the exit to the Hatching ground. Davira was lucky to avoid being bitten. But ultimately she evaded the snake, dodging past it and slipping out onto the Hatching Sands.
Having survived her encounter with the snake, Davira 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, Davira had to wait for every other dragonet to Hatch and choose a rider before the pearl-green egg Hatched to reveal the deep midnight-blue hatchling who would choose her, naming himself Aizoath.
A friend in me
And Davira 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 – Davira'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 – Davira 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
"Aizoath" by Chris S. Baily
The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Davira 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 Aizoath's first meal. That was Davira's first opportunity to speak to Erilde, too, and they introduced each other, with considerable delight, to their respective dragonets, Aizoath and Shaldeth.
It wasn't long before Aizoath'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.
Another friend Davira made along the way – a young Weyrbred candidate, Brithie, whom Davira had encountered in a sudden crisis of confidence directly before the Hatching – hailed Davira at the barracks – crediting her with her successful Impression of a tiny bottle-green dragonet, Epatanth!
Meeting the Weyrleader
As Davira 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 in particular to remark upon Davira's unusual Impression of a blue. T'gat further enquired if Davira would like to elide her name, as T'gala had done, or not. Davira took up the opportunity to rename herself, and after a brief conference with Aizoath, Davira gave the Weyrleader her new name – D'vira, rider of blue Aizoath!
Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Aizoath's and Shaldeth's newborn itchiness, D'vira 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
D'vira and Erilde soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk D'vira had helped during the day greeted her with warm congratulations as she hunted through the throng – but, at last, she found her family.
D'vira'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 D'vira and Aizoath.
The rest of the evening passed in a blur for D'vira, 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'vira 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 D'vira'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 D'vira 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 Aizoath.
A close encounter
On her way back to the barracks , D'vira 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'vira 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, D'vira decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger.
Returning at last to Aizoath – billeted between Erilde's Shaldeth and a pale green dragonet – D'vira 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 blue beside her – D'vira 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?
Find out more about Davira's Impression here. D'vira and Aizoath's story will continue in Dragonchoice: Weyrling, coming soon!
Find out more about Davira's Impression here. D'vira and Aizoath'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 Aizoath!
SUGAR AND SPICE
I've been a very nice person (so far)!
EBONY AND IVORY
Aizoath and I agreed on something very important!
Aizoath and I disagreed on something quite important!