Faelle and green Evinth
The Road So Far!
It all began at Madellon Weyr for Faelle – a young girl of 13 Turns, dreaming of becoming a green rider.
Faelle was born the daughter of Nelya, a Headwoman's Second at Madellon Weyr. While she didn't have to be Searched, she was 'given the nod' as a likely dragonrider by the Weyr's most senior retired Search pair – S'rius and his elderly blue Padseth. As a first-time candidate with no dragonrider blood, Faelle looked forward to the Hatching with both excitement and trepidation – fearing she might not have what it takes to Impress, but hoping beyond hope that she would!
As a candidate, Faelle 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 Faelle! Backed up by her crony Berrin, Thippia became the thorn in Faelle's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.
The dragons' hum woke Jopha and Faelle 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 Faelle left, Jopha – whose Impression robe was sadly overlarge for her petite frame – recruited Faelle'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, Faelle 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 Faelle to find it. Despite Faelle's best efforts, though, she didn't manage to complete and return the jewellery set before the Hatching.
Respecting her elders
In the Weyr's kitchen gardens, Faelle encountered R'hren, a former Weyrleader of Madellon, now peacefully retired to potter among his beloved plants. R'hren asked Faelle to help him track down the ingredients for a warming salve to help his elderly bronze, Staamath, with his arthritic forepaws. Faelle 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, Faelle 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, Faelle 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. Faelle 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 Faelle a certain confidence in her own prospects!
A rising problem
Faelle 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. Faelle'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 Faelle 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 Faelle to find for his warming salve.
Overkeen to get her hands on the last bubbly pie in the dining hall, Faelle took it – forcibly – from a small child. Not the nicest thing to do – but mmm, pie...
At the lake, T'rello – the rider of the biggest bronze at Madellon, Santinoth – asked for Faelle's help in bathing his gargantuan dragon. Faelle, reluctant to get wet, refused – earning T'rello's disdain, and a blot on her reputation!
Wherry bad behaviour
Faelle's assorted instances of bad behaviour finally caught up with her. L'stev collared her in the Bowl and gave her an ultimatum – buck up her ideas, or sit the Hatching out. Faelle chose the former, and the Weyrlingmaster sent her to do penance in the wherry hatchery – though Faelle remained on probation, with one more slip promising to rule her out of standing!
When it came to the Hatching, Faelle didn't have to wait too long for her date with destiny. The elongated spotted egg Hatched out a pale mint-green dragonet who told Faelle her name was Evinth.
A friend bereft
But to Faelle's dismay, Jopha wasn't as fortunate. No dragonet showed an interest in her, and she was left among the candidates remaining unmatched at the end of the Hatching.
Whatever happened to Thippia?
Thippia's victimisation of Faelle had serious consequences – for Thippia. Not everyone would have tattled on her the way Faelle did, but her complaints about the other girl, together with L'stev's already thin opinion of Thippia, had the desired effect. Directly before the Hatching, L'stev ejected Thippia from the candidate pool!
After the Hatching
"Evinth" by Chris S. Baily
The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Faelle on her Impression, but it was old S'rius, delighted to have found yet another weyrling, who stepped in to help with the immediate matter of Evinth's first meal. That was the first moment Faelle had truly grasped that Jopha wasn't going to be a weyrling alongside her – a truth that hit hard. In Jopha's absence, Arina, who'd Impressed a cloudy-green dragonet, Chanth – was a welcome friendly face.
It wasn't long before Evinth'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.
Meeting the Weyrleader
As Faelle and Arina 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. Faelle was proud to introduce Evinth to the Weyrleader – and to give him her full new name: Faelle, rider of green Evinth!
Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Evinth's and Chanth's newborn itchiness, Faelle and Arina 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
Faelle and Arina soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk Faelle had helped during the day greeted her with warm congratulations as she hunted through the throng – but, at last, she found her family.
Faelle's mother, Nelya, was thrilled by her daughter's Impression – though perhaps not quite as ecstatic as Faelle's younger siblings, Ashi and Halante. As the first dragonrider in the family, Faelle was keenly aware of what it meant to her brother and sister. And when the Weyrleaders came to drink a toast to Faelle and Evinth, Valonna was particularly delighted for Nelya – one of her most trusted Headwoman Seconds.
The rest of the evening passed in a blur for Faelle, 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, Faelle 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 Faelle'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 Faelle 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 Evinth.
A close encounter
On her way back to the barracks , Faelle 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 Faelle 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, Faelle decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger.
Returning at last to Evinth – billeted between Arina's Chanth and a very large green dragonet – Faelle 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 – Faelle 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?
Faelle and Evinth'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
Evinth and I complement each other!
SNAKES AND SNAILS
I haven't been very nice!
EBONY AND IVORY
Evinth and I agreed on something very important!
Evinth and I disagreed on something quite important!