Ar'tur and bronze Martynth
The Road So Far!
It all began at Jessaf Hold, in the protectorate of Madellon Weyr, for Arthur – a young boy of 15 Turns, dreaming of becoming a bronze rider.
Arthur 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, Arthur didn't even present himself as a hopeful. Yet it was Arthur 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, Arthur's mother, had always dreamed of being a dragonrider – and gifting Arthur with her blue feather pendant as a lucky charm.
As a candidate, Arthur 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 Arthur! Backed up by his crony Varell, Gydeton became the thorn in Arthur's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.
The dragons' hum woke Martom and Arthur 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 Arthur 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, Arthur 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 Arthur to find it. The quest took Arthur all over Madellon, from kitchens to lake to infirmary – but in the end he succeeded in reuniting the Weyrwoman's jewellery set, to general acclaim.
Respecting his elders
In the Weyr's kitchen gardens, Arthur encountered R'hren, a former Weyrleader of Madellon, now peacefully retired to potter among his beloved plants. R'hren asked Arthur to help him track down the ingredients for a warming salve to help his elderly bronze, Staamath, with his arthritic forepaws. Arthur 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, Arthur offered it to old S'rius, who was equally appreciative of the gift. And while Kisha, the blind old green rider Arthur encountered in the infirmary, would have nothing to do with one of R'hren's concoctions, she too grew to approve of Arthur – especially after he solved all three of her fiendish riddles!
Arthur 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 Arthur 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 Arthur some intelligence on the Southern seven, his advice was somewhat garbled! Nonetheless, Arthur 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, Arthur 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!
Sadly, though, Fr'ton's garbled instructions proved too convoluted for even Arthur to follow, and the drinks order went rather wrong!
A rising problem
Arthur 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. Arthur'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 Arthur 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 Arthur 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 Arthur to the infirmary with a slice to be stitched up. And the kitchen was also the source of the hotfruit R'hren had sent Arthur 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 Arthur 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 – Arthur did!
A shining example
Coming upon Santinoth – Madellon's biggest bronze – being bathed in the lake, Arthur 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?
Given Arthur's age, finding some wine for Martom proved difficult – the Weyr Vintner, Master Saxton, refused to sell it to an underage candidate. His only other alternative was an illicit purchase from the shady figure of Grimes. And L'stev's warning about getting drunk before the Hatching held weight. The Vintner's offering of alcohol-free grape juice gave Arthur an idea – and offering it to Martom, none the wiser for the substitution, still had the desired effect of boosting his confidence before the Hatching – without any unwanted side-effects!
Mindful of the Weyrlingmaster's orders to be smart for the Hatching, Arthur visited Madellon's resident barber – green rider Z'fell – for a trim. Very conscious of his dignity, Arthur ensured he came away with a cut he actually liked.
When it came to the Hatching, Arthur had to wait a little while before the large greeny-grey egg Hatched to reveal the pale greeny-bronze dragonet who would choose him, naming himself Martynth.
A friend in me
And Arthur wasn't the only lucky one. To his delight, Martom also Impressed, becoming the rider of a bright golden-bronze hatchling, Kauth.
Whatever happened to Gydeton?
Sadly, there was at least one fly in the numbweed. Gydeton Impressed the biggest dragonet of the clutch, a hefty dark-brown hatchling, making them Arthur and Martynth's new classmates. (On the bright side, at least Varell didn't Impress!)
After the Hatching
"Martynth" by Chris S. Baily
The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Arthur 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 Martynth's first meal. That was Arthur's first opportunity to speak to Martom, too, and they introduced each other, with considerable delight, to their respective dragonets, Martynth and Kauth. Martom also told Arthur that his new name was to be – perhaps unsurprisingly – M'tom.
It wasn't long before Martynth's personality started to become evident. The pale bronze dragonet – the largest of the clutch, and the image of his father Muzzanth – proved to be a particular intelligent and perceptive character even minutes out of the egg.
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 Arthur made along the way – a young Holdbred candidate, Nichen, whom Arthur had encountered in a hopelessly dishevelled state directly before the Hatching – hailed Arthur at the barracks – crediting him with his successful Impression of a moon-blue dragonet, Yooth!
Meeting the Weyrleader
As Arthur and M'tom 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. Arthur was proud to introduce Martynth to the Weyrleader. And after a brief conference with Martynth, Arthur gave the Weyrleader his own new name: Ar'tur, rider of bronze Martynth!
Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Martynth's and Kauth's newborn itchiness, Ar'tur and M'tom 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
Ar'tur and M'tom soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk Ar'tur had helped during the day greeted him with warm congratulations as he hunted through the throng – but, at last, he found his family.
Ar'tur'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 Ar'tur and Martynth.
The rest of the evening passed in a blur for Ar'tur, 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, Ar'tur 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 Ar'tur's background with him – including much of what he had got up to on the morning of the Hatching – for good and ill. She cleared up an anomaly with his new name, too. She offered Ar'tur 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 Martynth.
A close encounter
On his way back to the barracks (by way of the infirmary, as ordered by Tarshe), Ar'tur 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 Ar'tur 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, Ar'tur decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger – though he did give L'stev his new name.
Returning at last to Martynth – billeted between M'tom's Kauth and a slender green dragonet – Ar'tur 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 bronze beside him – Ar'tur was struck with a deep sense of foreboding. Who was the mysterious dragonrider in the hooded cloak? What was the significance of the strange wooden box? And how had the stranger known Ar'tur's new name?
Find out more about Arthur's Impression here. Ar'tur and Martynth's story will continue in Dragonchoice: Weyrling, coming soon!
Find out more about Arthur's Impression here. Ar'tur and Martynth'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!
I love the smell of elision in the morning!
THE YIN TO YOUR YANG
Martynth 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
Martynth and I agreed on something very important!
Martynth and I agreed on something quite important!