B'eli and blue Poseith
The Road So Far!
It all began at Jessaf Hold, in the protectorate of Madellon Weyr, for Bleli – a young girl of 14 Turns, dreaming of becoming a blue rider.
Bleli was born to unusual privilege – a granddaughter of Winstone, Lord of mighty Jessaf Hold. Bleli 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, Bleli 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 Bleli becoming a candidate – while conceding that he could spare a younger grandchild. And with Winstone's admonition that she should remember her place as his granddaughter and not make a scene ringing in her ears, Bleli left to begin her candidacy at Madellon Weyr.
As a candidate, Bleli was assigned a bunkmate – Jopha, a mischievous young Weyrbred girl prone to getting herself into trouble, 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 – Thippia, a foul-mouthed girl from the Seacraft – who took a firm disliking to Bleli! Backed up by her crony Berrin, Thippia became the thorn in Bleli's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.
The dragons' hum woke Jopha and Bleli on 102.03.17. Following a brief run-in with Thippia, 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 Bleli left, Jopha – whose Impression robe was sadly overlarge for her petite frame – recruited Bleli's help in getting it adjusted by her nemesis Shookana in the mending room.
The one-armed green rider and the thieving queen
Immediately on leaving the candidate barracks, Bleli 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 Bleli to find it. Despite Bleli'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, Bleli encountered R'hren, a former Weyrleader of Madellon, now peacefully retired to potter among his beloved plants. R'hren asked Bleli to help him track down the ingredients for a warming salve to help his elderly bronze, Staamath, with his arthritic forepaws. Bleli 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 Bleli 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 Bleli 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 Bleli 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 – Bleli did!
Weyrbrat by name...
A run-in with a Weyrbrat – Terzon, whom Thippia had paid to cause Bleli trouble – resulted in an unfortunate public incident. All too aware of being shaken down, Bleli gave the kid a shove – in front of a number of witnesses – doing nothing for her reputation!
A blue lady
Coming across T'gala, Pern's only female blue rider, bathing her Heppeth in the lake, Bleli 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 Bleli didn't want to pass up.
Disaster almost struck during the Hatching when Bleli – following some dubious advice about attempting to force a dragonet to choose her – put her self in the path of a less than receptive green hatchling. The green, clearly objecting to being crowded, lashed out at Bleli – slicing her arm. Luckily for Bleli, the mauling wasn't a fatal one – though it could have been, as an irate L'stev told her when patching up the injury on the spot. Even more luckily, the incident didn't deter another dragonet – the blue who Hatched from the gleaming blue – from choosing Bleli and naming himself Poseith!
Whatever happened to Thippia?
For Thippia, getting on Bleli's bad side proved to be an exceptionally poor choice. Bleli dosed Thippia's clean underfurs with hotfruit before the Hatching, and for once, the admonition to always put on clean underpants turned out to have very negative consequences. It took a little while for the hotfruit to take effect, but by the time the candidates reached the Hatching Sands, Thippia was in considerable distress. Unable to bear the burning sensation in her nether regions, she fled the Hatching Sands – squandering her chance at Impression!
After the Hatching
"Poseith" by Emily Holland
The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Bleli 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 Poseith's first meal. That was the first moment Bleli had truly grasped that Jopha wasn't going to be a weyrling alongside her – a truth that hit hard. In Jopha's absence, Arina, who'd Impressed a cloudy-green dragonet, Chanth – was a welcome friendly face.
It wasn't long before Poseith's personality started to become evident. The big indigo-blue dragonet, the largest of his colour, showed his alert and serious nature from the beginning, demonstrating a high degree of focus for a blue.
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 Bleli made along the way – a young Weyrbred candidate, Brithie, whom Bleli had encountered in a sudden crisis of confidence directly before the Hatching – hailed Bleli at the barracks – crediting her with her successful Impression of a tiny bottle-green dragonet, Epatanth!
Meeting the Weyrleader
As Bleli 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 in particular to remark upon Bleli's unusual Impression of a blue. T'gat further enquired if Bleli would like to elide her name, as T'gala had done, or not. Bleli took up the opportunity to rename herself, and after a brief conference with Poseith, Bleli gave the Weyrleader her new name – B'eli, rider of blue Poseith!
Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Poseith's and Chanth's newborn itchiness, B'eli 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
B'eli and Arina soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk B'eli 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, B'eli's grandfather, was outraged by his granddaughter's highly irregular Impression of a blue dragon – calling her aberrant. The Weyrleaders were quick to take B'eli's part, but the damage to her relationship with her grandfather was done.
The rest of the evening passed in a blur for B'eli, 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, B'eli 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 B'eli'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 B'eli some advice about paying attention to her new classmates and surroundings, lest she fall foul of the Weyrlingmaster's penchant for snap quizzes, advised her to report to Master Isnan before returning to the barracks to get her injuries checked again, and made some observations on Poseith.
A close encounter
On her way back to the barracks (by way of the infirmary, as ordered by Tarshe), B'eli 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 B'eli 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, B'eli decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger.
Returning at last to Poseith – billeted between Arina's Chanth and a very large green dragonet – B'eli 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 – B'eli 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?
B'eli and Poseith'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
Poseith and I complement each other!
PLEASE STATE THE NATURE OF THE MEDICAL EMERGENCY
I returned to the infirmary!
EBONY AND IVORY
Poseith and I agreed on something very important!
Poseith and I agreed on something quite important!