K'ton and blue Lachnath
The Road So Far!
It all began at Jessaf Hold, in the protectorate of Madellon Weyr, for Klinton – a young man of 16 Turns, dreaming of becoming a blue rider.
Klinton was born to unusual privilege – a grandson of Winstone, Lord of mighty Jessaf Hold. Klinton 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, Klinton 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 Klinton becoming a candidate – while conceding that he could spare a younger grandchild. And with Winstone's admonition that he Impress a bronze – or a brown at the very least – ringing in his ears, Klinton left to begin his candidacy at Madellon Weyr.
As a candidate, Klinton 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 Klinton! Backed up by his crony Kestor, Rielat became the thorn in Klinton's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.
The dragons' hum woke Soburn and Klinton 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 Klinton 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 and the thieving queen
Immediately on leaving the candidate barracks, Klinton 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 Klinton to find it. Despite Klinton's best efforts, though, he didn't manage to complete and return the jewellery set before the Hatching.
Disrespecting his elders
In the Weyr's kitchen gardens, Klinton encountered R'hren, a former Weyrleader of Madellon, now peacefully retired to potter among his beloved plants. But they got off to a poor start – Klinton had unwittingly taken a redfruit without permission – and furthermore lied about it when challenged by the old bronze rider. The scrumping alone might not have turned R'hren against Klinton – but the literal red-handed lie did!
Eggs and baskets
A visit to the Archives led to a meeting with Tarshe, Madellon's Weyrwoman Second. When Klinton 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 – Klinton did!
A blue lady
Coming across T'gala, Pern's only female blue rider, bathing her Heppeth in the lake, Klinton offered his assistance – which T'gala gladly accepted.
Conscious of Soburn's bashfulness, Klinton 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 Klinton that he wasn't interested in Soburn – or any other men, for that matter. But Klinton'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!
When it came to the Hatching, Klinton had an excruciatingly long wait before the grey-swirled silvery cream egg Hatched to reveal the very pale moon-blue dragonet who would choose him, naming himself Lachnath.
A friend in me
And Klinton 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?
Sadly, there was at least one fly in the numbweed. Rielat Impressed an impressively proportioned indigo-blue hatchling, making them Klinton and Lachnath's new classmates. (On the bright side, at least Kestor didn't Impress!)
After the Hatching
"Lachnath" by Chris S. Baily
The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Klinton on his Impression, but it was Garlan, delighted that her risky choice of Winstone's grandson had Impressed, who stepped in to help with the immediate matter of Lachnath's first meal. That was Klinton's first opportunity to speak to Soburn, too, and they introduced each other, with considerable delight, to their respective dragonets, Lachnath and Aeranth. Soburn also told Klinton that his new name was to be – perhaps unsurprisingly – S'burn.
It wasn't long before Lachnath's personality started to become evident. The moon-blue dragonet, while seemingly reluctant to even leave his egg, showed glimmers of a curiously perceptive and knowing mind beneath his apparent laziness.
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 Klinton 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. Klinton was proud to introduce Lachnath to the Weyrleader. And after a brief conference with Lachnath, Klinton gave the Weyrleader his own new name: K'ton, rider of blue Lachnath!
Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Lachnath's and Aeranth's newborn itchiness, K'ton 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
K'ton and S'burn soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk K'ton had helped during the day greeted him with warm congratulations as he hunted through the throng – but, at last, he found his family.
Lord Winstone, K'ton's grandfather, was highly displeased that his grandson had only managed to Impress a blue – against his strict warning that nothing less than a brown would suffice. The Weyrleaders were quick to step in on K'ton's behalf, but the damage to his relationship with his grandfather was done.
The rest of the evening passed in a blur for K'ton, 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'ton 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'ton'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'ton 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 Lachnath.
A close encounter
On his way back to the barracks , K'ton 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'ton 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'ton decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger.
Returning at last to Lachnath – billeted between S'burn's Aeranth and a mucky-looking brown dragonet – K'ton 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 blue beside him – K'ton 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'ton and Lachnath'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
Lachnath and I complement each other!
SNAKES AND SNAILS
I haven't been very nice!
EBONY AND IVORY
Lachnath and I agreed on something very important!
Lachnath and I disagreed on something quite important!