Ymir and blue Cannath
The Road So Far!
It all began at Jessaf Hold, in the protectorate of Madellon Weyr, for Ymir – a young woman of 17 Turns, dreaming of becoming a blue rider.
Ymir was born to unusual privilege – a granddaughter of Winstone, Lord of mighty Jessaf Hold. Ymir didn't scramble for the attention of the young Search rider, Garlan, who came to Jessaf in early 102 seeking candidates for Madellon Weyr's latest clutch. But as a scion of the Hold, Ymir was among the party welcoming the green rider to Jessaf – and, in due course, became the focus of her dragon Hushith's attention. Lord Winstone wasn't enthusiastic about Ymir becoming a candidate – displeased that such a opportunity would ruin his plans for Ymir's betrothal to a nephew of Lord Orfen's. But he grudgingly accepted that, as Ymir had her majority, she had the right to accept Search. And with Winstone's admonition that she should remember her place as his granddaughter and not make a scene ringing in her ears, Ymir left to begin her candidacy at Madellon Weyr.
As a candidate, Ymir 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 Ymir! Backed up by her crony Cedranne, Auciet became the thorn in Ymir's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.
The dragons' hum woke Erilde and Ymir 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 Ymir 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, Ymir 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 Ymir to find it. Despite Ymir'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, Ymir encountered R'hren, a former Weyrleader of Madellon, now peacefully retired to potter among his beloved plants. R'hren asked Ymir to help him track down the ingredients for a warming salve to help his elderly bronze, Staamath, with his arthritic forepaws. Ymir duly located the components of R'hren's salve, winning the old bronze rider's approval in the process.
Ymir 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 Ymir 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 Ymir some intelligence on the Southern seven, his advice was somewhat garbled! Nonetheless, Ymir 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, Ymir 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, Ymir 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. Ymir 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 Ymir a certain confidence in her own prospects!
A rising problem
Ymir 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. Ymir'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 Ymir 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 Ymir to find for his warming salve.
A blue lady
Coming across T'gala, Pern's only female blue rider, bathing her Heppeth in the lake, Ymir 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 Ymir didn't want to pass up.
Seeking knowledge of Erilde's parentage, Ymir 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 Ymir might construct a story about a long-dead rider. Ymir 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!
When it came to the Hatching, Ymir had an excruciatingly long wait before the pearl-green egg Hatched to reveal the deep midnight-blue dragonet who would choose her, naming himself Cannath.
But Cannath was nearly beaten to Ymir by another dragonet – an inquisitive teal-green hatchling who seemed torn between Ymir and Erilde. Sensing that she wasn't the best match for her, Ymir stepped aside to give Erilde precedence – resulting in her Impression of the little green, Shaldeth.
Whatever happened to Auciet?
Sadly, there was at least one fly in the numbweed. Auciet Impressed an unusually aggressive grass-green hatchling, making them Ymir and Cannath's new classmates. (On the bright side, at least Cedranne didn't Impress!)
After the Hatching
"Cannath" by Chris S. Baily
The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Ymir on her Impression, but it was Garlan, delighted that her risky choice of Winstone's granddaughter had Impressed, who stepped in to help with the immediate matter of Cannath's first meal. That was Ymir's first opportunity to speak to Erilde, too, and they introduced each other, with considerable delight, to their respective dragonets, Cannath and Shaldeth.
It wasn't long before Cannath'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 Ymir made along the way – a young Weyrbred candidate, Brithie, whom Ymir had encountered in a sudden crisis of confidence directly before the Hatching – hailed Ymir at the barracks – crediting her with her successful Impression of a tiny bottle-green dragonet, Epatanth!
Meeting the Weyrleader
As Ymir 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 Ymir's unusual Impression of a blue. T'gat further enquired if Ymir would like to elide her name, as T'gala had done, or not. Ymir elected not to elide her name – content to remain Ymir, rider of blue Cannath!
Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Cannath's and Shaldeth's newborn itchiness, Ymir 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
Ymir and Erilde soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk Ymir had helped during the day greeted her with warm congratulations as she hunted through the throng – but, at last, she found her family.
Lord Winstone, Ymir's grandfather, was outraged by his granddaughter's highly irregular Impression of a blue dragon – calling her aberrant. The Weyrleaders were quick to take Ymir's part, but the damage to her relationship with her grandfather was done.
The rest of the evening passed in a blur for Ymir, 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, Ymir 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 Ymir'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 Ymir 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 Cannath.
A close encounter
On her way back to the barracks , Ymir 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 Ymir 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, Ymir decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger.
Returning at last to Cannath – billeted between Erilde's Shaldeth and a pale green dragonet – Ymir 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 – Ymir 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?
Ymir and Cannath'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 Cannath!
SUGAR AND SPICE
I've been a very nice person (so far)!
EBONY AND IVORY
Cannath and I agreed on something very important!
Cannath and I disagreed on something quite important!