B'lob and brown Jonvilth
The Road So Far!
It all began at Jessaf Hold, in the protectorate of Madellon Weyr, for Borolob – a young man of 16 Turns, dreaming of becoming a dragonrider.
Borolob 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, Borolob didn't even present himself as a hopeful. Yet it was Borolob 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, Borolob's mother, had always dreamed of being a dragonrider – and gifting Borolob with her blue feather pendant as a lucky charm.
As a candidate, Borolob was assigned a bunkmate – Soburn, an anxious Weyrbred youth with one failed Hatching already haunting him, 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 – Rielat, a self-important apprentice Weaver – who took a firm disliking to Borolob! Backed up by his crony Kestor, Rielat became the thorn in Borolob's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.
The dragons' hum woke Soburn and Borolob on 102.03.17. Following a brief run-in with Rielat, 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 Borolob left, Soburn asked him to find out if H'nar, the young Wingleader of the Betweenless Wing, might currently be seeing someone – or not.
The one-armed green rider
Immediately on leaving the candidate barracks, Borolob was flagged down by M'shen – a green rider with only one arm. But whatever he wanted, Borolob never discovered, after making a mean-spirited joke about M'shen's missing hand that – not unreasonably – made the green rider take against him.
Respecting his elders
In the Weyr's kitchen gardens, Borolob encountered R'hren, a former Weyrleader of Madellon, now peacefully retired to potter among his beloved plants. R'hren asked Borolob to help him track down the ingredients for a warming salve to help his elderly bronze, Staamath, with his arthritic forepaws. Borolob 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, Borolob offered it to old S'rius, who was equally appreciative of the gift. And while Kisha, the blind old green rider Borolob encountered in the infirmary, would have nothing to do with one of R'hren's concoctions, she too grew to approve of Borolob – especially after he solved all three of her fiendish riddles!
Borolob 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 Borolob 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 Borolob some intelligence on the Southern seven, his advice was somewhat garbled! Nonetheless, Borolob 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, Borolob 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, Borolob 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
Borolob 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. Borolob'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 Borolob did annoy Soleigh, who wasn't impressed with him for prolonging Maris' binge by bringing her more wine!
Borolob perhaps overestimated his own competence when it came to a disastrous spell on the Harper dais in the dining hall. Accompanying Weyr Singer Carleah – badly – on the tambourine, he was lucky not to be booed off the stage!
Madellon's kitchens – the heart of the Weyr, and domain of Headwoman Crauva – provided Borolob with the opportunity to show off his work ethic before the Hatching. A round of chores duly pleased Crauva, albeit cut short, literally, by the slip of a knife that sent Borolob to the infirmary with a slice to be stitched up. And the kitchen was also the source of the hotfruit R'hren had sent Borolob 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 Borolob 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. But with one thing and another, Borolob didn't bring it back – earning the Weyrwoman Second's ire!
A shining example
Coming upon Santinoth – Madellon's biggest bronze – being bathed in the lake, Borolob was quick to offer assistance to his rider, T'rello. It couldn't hurt to have some close-up experience with a bronze, could it?
Conscious of Soburn's bashfulness, Borolob approached the object of his affections – H'nar, Wingleader of the Betweenless Wing – with some circumspection. Still, when questioned, H'nar insisted he had to know who was making enquiries of him. And when he learned the identity of his admirer, he told Borolob that he wasn't interested in Soburn – or any other men, for that matter. But Borolob's agile pivot in questioning revealed that a close friend of H'nar's – blue rider M'rany – might be a viable alternative. Thus encouraged, Soburn began to think more positively of life as a dragonrider – even if H'nar would end up being his Wingleader!
Mindful of the Weyrlingmaster's orders to be smart for the Hatching, Borolob visited Madellon's resident barber, Z'fell, for a trim. But he fell foul of the green rider's perverse sense of humour, and came away with a curious cut – short on top, long at the back – that prompted quite a number of odd looks and laughs at his expense!
A breath of foul air
Early in the day, Borolob 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. The route he chose turned out to be thick with choking toxic fumes from Madellon's volcanic foundation, and Borolob soon found himself struggling for breath.
Undeterred, Borolob pushed through the discomfort, and emerged shortly onto the Hatching Sands. But he wasn't quiet enough. Shimpath, dozing only very lightly, awoke, and she and Muzzanth chased Borolob from the Sands!
When it came to the Hatching, Borolob had an excruciatingly long wait before the grey-mottled tan egg Hatched to reveal the cool dusty-brown dragonet who would choose him, naming himself Jonvilth.
A friend in me
And Borolob wasn't the only lucky one. To his delight, Soburn also Impressed, becoming the rider of a slender olive-green hatchling, Aeranth.
Whatever happened to Rielat?
It turned out that making an enemy of Borolob was a very poor choice on Rielat's part. For the low, low price of just three marks, Borolob had Grimes, the shady fellow loitering near the Gather stalls, spread a series of nasty rumours about Rielat. By the time the Weyrlingmaster mustered the candidate cohort immediately before the Hatching, the damage to Rielat's reputation was done – and he was ejected from the candidate pool without ever setting foot on the Sands!
After the Hatching
"Jonvilth" by Chris S. Baily
The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Borolob 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 Jonvilth's first meal. That was Borolob's first opportunity to speak to Soburn, too, and they introduced each other, with considerable delight, to their respective dragonets, Jonvilth and Aeranth. Soburn also told Borolob that his new name was to be – perhaps unsurprisingly – S'burn.
It wasn't long before Jonvilth's personality started to become evident. The dusty-brown dragonet, while neither the largest nor the most handsome of his colour, proved to make up for both with his calm and helpful character immediately endearing him to all around.
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 Borolob made along the way – a young Holdbred candidate, Nichen, whom Borolob had encountered in a hopelessly dishevelled state directly before the Hatching – hailed Borolob at the barracks – crediting him with his successful Impression of a moon-blue dragonet, Yooth!
Meeting the Weyrleader
As Borolob and S'burn 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. Borolob was proud to introduce Jonvilth to the Weyrleader. And after a brief conference with Jonvilth, Borolob gave the Weyrleader his own new name: B'lob, rider of brown Jonvilth!
Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Jonvilth's and Aeranth's newborn itchiness, B'lob and S'burn 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
B'lob and S'burn soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk B'lob had helped during the day greeted him with warm congratulations as he hunted through the throng – but, at last, he found his family.
B'lob'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 B'lob and Jonvilth.
The rest of the evening passed in a blur for B'lob, 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, B'lob 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 B'lob'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 B'lob some advice about paying attention to his new classmates and surroundings, lest he fall foul of the Weyrlingmaster's penchant for snap quizzes, advised him to report to Master Isnan before returning to the barracks to get his injuries checked again, and made some observations on Jonvilth.
A close encounter
On his way back to the barracks (by way of the infirmary, as ordered by Tarshe), B'lob 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 B'lob 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, B'lob decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger.
Returning at last to Jonvilth – billeted between S'burn's Aeranth and a bright bronze dragonet – B'lob 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 brown beside him – B'lob 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 Borolob's Impression here. B'lob and Jonvilth's story will continue in Dragonchoice: Weyrling, coming soon!
Find out more about Borolob's Impression here. B'lob and Jonvilth'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
Jonvilth and I complement each other!
SUGAR AND SPICE
I've been a very nice person (so far)!
PLEASE STATE THE NATURE OF THE MEDICAL EMERGENCY
I returned to the infirmary!
EBONY AND IVORY
Jonvilth and I agreed on something very important!
Jonvilth and I agreed on something quite important!