Terra and green Ebrolath
The Road So Far!
It all began at Madellon Weyr for Terra – a young woman of 16 Turns, dreaming of becoming a blue rider.
Terra 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, Terra wrestled with the fear that she wouldn't live up to her rider parents' expectations a second time.
As a candidate, Terra 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 Terra! Backed up by her crony Cedranne, Auciet became the thorn in Terra's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.
The dragons' hum woke Erilde and Terra 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 Terra 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, Terra 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 Terra to find it. Despite Terra's best efforts, though, she didn't manage to complete and return the jewellery set before the Hatching.
Disrespecting her elders
In the Weyr's kitchen gardens, Terra 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 – Terra 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 Terra – but the literal red-handed lie did!
A rising problem
Terra 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. Terra'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.
Weyrbrat by name...
A run-in with a Weyrbrat – Terzon, whom Auciet had paid to cause Terra trouble – resulted in an unfortunate public incident. All too aware of being shaken down, Terra 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, Terra 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 Terra didn't want to pass up.
When it came to the Hatching, Terra had to wait a little while before the spotted green and cream egg Hatched to reveal the vivid sea-green dragonet who would choose her, naming herself Ebrolath.
A friend bereft
But to Terra'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 Terra and Ebrolath's new classmates. (On the bright side, at least Cedranne didn't Impress!)
After the Hatching
"Ebrolath" by Emily Holland
The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Terra 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 Ebrolath's first meal. That was the first moment Terra 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 Ebrolath's personality started to become evident. The sea-green dragonet – ambiguously coloured at first glance, but unequivocally female when asked – proved to have a particularly playful and fun-loving outlook on life.
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 Terra made along the way – a young Weyrbred candidate, Brithie, whom Terra had encountered in a sudden crisis of confidence directly before the Hatching – hailed Terra at the barracks – crediting her with her successful Impression of a tiny bottle-green dragonet, Epatanth!
Meeting the Weyrleader
As Terra 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. Terra was proud to introduce Ebrolath to the Weyrleader – and to give him her full new name: Terra, rider of green Ebrolath!
Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Ebrolath's and Chanth's newborn itchiness, Terra 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
Terra and Arina soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk Terra 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 Terra and Ebrolath, 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 Terra, 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, Terra 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 Terra's background with her – including much of what she had got up to on the morning of the Hatching – for good and ill. She cleared up an anomaly with her new name, too. She offered Terra 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 Ebrolath.
A close encounter
On her way back to the barracks , Terra 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 Terra 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, Terra decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger – though she did give L'stev her new name.
Returning at last to Ebrolath – billeted between Arina's Chanth and a very large green dragonet – Terra 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 – Terra was struck with a deep sense of foreboding. Who was the mysterious dragonrider in the hooded cloak? What was the significance of the strange wooden box? And how had the stranger known Terra's new name?
Terra and Ebrolath'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!
I changed my name by choice!
COMPUTER SAYS NO
I changed my name from something unacceptable!
THE YIN TO YOUR YANG
Ebrolath and I complement each other!
SNAKES AND SNAILS
I haven't been very nice!
EBONY AND IVORY
Ebrolath and I agreed on something very important!
Ebrolath and I agreed on something quite important!
Ebrolath and Naisseth made friends!