Loren and green Salvadoth
The Road So Far!
It all began at Madellon Weyr for Loren – a young woman of 18 Turns, dreaming of becoming a dragonrider.
Loren was born the daughter of Wingleader R'yeno and green rider Evie of 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. Having been left standing at a Hatching once before, Loren wrestled with the fear that she wouldn't live up to her rider parents' expectations a second time.
As a candidate, Loren 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 Loren! Backed up by her crony Cedranne, Auciet became the thorn in Loren's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.
The dragons' hum woke Erilde and Loren 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 Loren 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, Loren 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 Loren to find it. Despite Loren's best efforts, though, she didn't manage to complete and return the jewellery set before the Hatching.
A rising problem
Loren 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. Loren's intervention successfully got rid of G'tron, whose Imdoth was very sweet indeed on Bristath, from the mating flight and reconciled the two green riders.
Madellon's kitchens – the heart of the Weyr, and domain of Headwoman Crauva – provided Loren with the opportunity to show off her work ethic before the Hatching. A round of chores duly pleased Crauva.
Eggs and baskets
A visit to the Archives led to a meeting with Tarshe, Madellon's Weyrwoman Second. When Loren expressed an interested in looking up some Weyr records, Tarshe offered her the loan of a glowbasket – on the proviso that she return it afterwards. Which – mindful of not offending such an important personage of the Weyr – Loren did!
A blue lady
Coming across T'gala, Pern's only female blue rider, bathing her Heppeth in the lake, Loren 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 Loren didn't want to pass up.
When it came to the Hatching, Loren 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 Loren her name was Salvadoth.
A friend bereft
But to Loren's dismay, Erilde 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 Auciet?
Sadly, there was at least one fly in the numbweed. Auciet Impressed an unusually aggressive grass-green hatchling, making them Loren and Salvadoth's new classmates. (On the bright side, at least Cedranne didn't Impress!)
After the Hatching
"Salvadoth" by Chris S. Baily
The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Loren 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 Salvadoth's first meal. That was the first moment Loren had truly grasped that Erilde wasn't going to be a weyrling alongside her – a truth that hit hard. In Erilde's absence, Arina, who'd Impressed a cloudy-green dragonet, Chanth – was a welcome friendly face.
It wasn't long before Salvadoth'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 Loren 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. Loren was proud to introduce Salvadoth to the Weyrleader – and to give him her full new name: Loren, rider of green Salvadoth!
Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Salvadoth's and Chanth's newborn itchiness, Loren 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
Loren and Arina soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk Loren had helped during the day greeted her with warm congratulations as she hunted through the throng – but, at last, she found her family.
R'yeno and Evie couldn't have been happier to greet their daughter as a green rider for the first time . And when the Weyrleaders came to drink a toast to Loren and Salvadoth, R'yeno was delighted to embarrass his daughter by insinuating that Gryth would be stiffer competition to Muzzanth in Shimpath's next flight.
The rest of the evening passed in a blur for Loren, 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, Loren 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 Loren'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 Loren 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 Salvadoth.
A close encounter
On her way back to the barracks , Loren 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 Loren 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, Loren decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger.
Returning at last to Salvadoth – billeted between Arina's Chanth and a very large green dragonet – Loren 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 – Loren 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?
Loren and Salvadoth'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
Salvadoth and I complement each other!
EBONY AND IVORY
Salvadoth and I agreed on something very important!
Salvadoth and I disagreed on something quite important!