K'nalte and brown Chenalth
The Road So Far!
It all began at Madellon Weyr for Kanalte – a young boy of 13 Turns, dreaming of becoming a dragonrider.
Kanalte was born the son of Nelya, a Headwoman's Second at Madellon Weyr. While he didn't have to be Searched, he 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, Kanalte looked forward to the Hatching with both excitement and trepidation – fearing he might not have what it takes to Impress, but hoping beyond hope that he would!
As a candidate, Kanalte 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 Kanalte! Backed up by his crony Varell, Gydeton became the thorn in Kanalte's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.
The dragons' hum woke Martom and Kanalte 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 Kanalte 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, Kanalte 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 Kanalte to find it. Despite Kanalte's best efforts, though, he didn't manage to complete and return the jewellery set before the Hatching.
Respecting his elders
In the Weyr's kitchen gardens, Kanalte encountered R'hren, a former Weyrleader of Madellon, now peacefully retired to potter among his beloved plants. R'hren asked Kanalte to help him track down the ingredients for a warming salve to help his elderly bronze, Staamath, with his arthritic forepaws. Kanalte duly located the components of R'hren's salve, winning the old bronze rider's approval in the process.
Madellon's kitchens – the heart of the Weyr, and domain of Headwoman Crauva – provided Kanalte with the opportunity to show off his 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 Kanalte 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 Kanalte 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 – Kanalte did!
Weyrbrat by name...
A run-in with a Weyrbrat – Terzon, whom Gydeton had paid to cause Kanalte trouble – resulted in an unfortunate public incident. All too aware of being shaken down, Kanalte gave the kid a shove – in front of a number of witnesses – doing nothing for his reputation!
A blue lady
Coming across T'gala, Pern's only female blue rider, bathing her Heppeth in the lake, Kanalte offered his assistance – which T'gala gladly accepted.
Mindful of the Weyrlingmaster's orders to be smart for the Hatching, Kanalte 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!
When it came to the Hatching, Kanalte didn't have to wait at all for his date with destiny. The unassuming grey-green egg that Hatched first produced a deep russet-brown hatchling who spared no time in choosing Kanalte, naming himself Chenalth.
A friend bereft
But to Kanalte's dismay, Martom wasn't as fortunate. No dragonet showed an interest in him, and he was left among the candidates remaining unmatched at the end of the Hatching.
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 Kanalte and Chenalth's new classmates. (On the bright side, at least Varell didn't Impress!)
After the Hatching
"Chenalth" by Emily Holland
The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Kanalte on his Impression, but it was old S'rius, delighted to have found yet another weyrling, who stepped in to help with the immediate matter of Chenalth's first meal. That was the first moment Kanalte had truly grasped that Martom wasn't going to be a weyrling alongside him – a truth that hit hard. In Martom's absence, Chiliam – the highborn lad from Kellad, who'd Impressed a dusty-brown dragonet, Destrath, and who now styled himself Ch'liam – was a welcome friendly face.
It wasn't long before Chenalth's personality started to become evident. The little russet-brown dragonet proved unusually quiet, speaking only seldom, and showing a strong preference for his own company – and his rider's.
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 Kanalte made along the way – a young Holdbred candidate, Nichen, whom Kanalte had encountered in a hopelessly dishevelled state directly before the Hatching – hailed Kanalte at the barracks – crediting him with his successful Impression of a moon-blue dragonet, Yooth!
Meeting the Weyrleader
As Kanalte and Ch'liam 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. Kanalte was proud to introduce Chenalth to the Weyrleader. And after a brief conference with Chenalth, Kanalte gave the Weyrleader his own new name: K'nalte, rider of brown Chenalth!
Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Chenalth's and Destrath's newborn itchiness, K'nalte and Ch'liam 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
K'nalte and Ch'liam soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk K'nalte had helped during the day greeted him with warm congratulations as he hunted through the throng – but, at last, he found his family.
K'nalte's mother, Nelya, was thrilled by her son's Impression – though perhaps not quite as ecstatic as K'nalte's younger siblings, Ashi and Halante. As the first dragonrider in the family, K'nalte was keenly aware of what it meant to his brother and sister. And when the Weyrleaders came to drink a toast to K'nalte and Chenalth, Valonna was particularly delighted for Nelya – one of her most trusted Headwoman Seconds.
The rest of the evening passed in a blur for K'nalte, 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, K'nalte 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 K'nalte'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 K'nalte some advice about paying attention to his new classmates and surroundings, lest he fall foul of the Weyrlingmaster's penchant for snap quizzes, and made some observations on Chenalth.
A close encounter
On his way back to the barracks , K'nalte 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 K'nalte 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, K'nalte decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger.
Returning at last to Chenalth – billeted between Ch'liam's Destrath and a bright bronze dragonet – K'nalte 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 – K'nalte 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?
K'nalte and Chenalth'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.
BIRDS OF A FEATHER
Chenalth and I make a very strong match!
EBONY AND IVORY
Chenalth and I agreed on something very important!
Chenalth and I agreed on something quite important!