F'ick and green Chucoath
The Road So Far!
It all began at the Harperhall at Kellad Hold, in the protectorate of Madellon Weyr, for Frenrick – a young man of 16 Turns, dreaming of becoming a dragonrider.
Frenrick was born the son of two Harpers at the Southern Harperhall, Kellad Hold. Surrounded by music, he was apprenticed to the Craft when he came of age. But he never excelled in any discipline, and it seemed as if an unremarkable career as a mid-level journeyman likely lay ahead for him. And then, in early 102, J'kel – a dragonrider of Madellon Weyr – came to Kellad Hold in search of candidates for the new clutch hardening on the Sands of Madellon Weyr. Frenrick caught the attention of J'kel's blue Hozrath. And a sevenday later, Frenrick arrived at Madellon Weyr, joining the candidate pool for senior queen Shimpath's first clutch by her new mate Muzzanth.
As a candidate, Frenrick 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 Frenrick! Backed up by his crony Kestor, Rielat became the thorn in Frenrick's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.
The dragons' hum woke Soburn and Frenrick 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 Frenrick 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, Frenrick 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 Frenrick to find it. Despite Frenrick'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, Frenrick encountered R'hren, a former Weyrleader of Madellon, now peacefully retired to potter among his beloved plants. R'hren asked Frenrick to help him track down the ingredients for a warming salve to help his elderly bronze, Staamath, with his arthritic forepaws. Frenrick duly located the components of R'hren's salve, winning the old bronze rider's approval in the process.
Frenrick met G'kalte – a brown rider and Wingsecond, not to mention Weyrwoman Valonna's weyrmate – in the Bowl, and was quickly recruited by him to help with a diplomatic matter. G'kalte had been tasked with delivering two gifts from Valonna to her Southern counterpart Weyrwoman Karika – but he'd been summoned away to collect his own grandmother, Lady Coffleby, for the Hatching.
He asked Frenrick to figure out which of the seven Southern dragons visiting Madellon were the correct pair to hand over Karika's gifts. And while G'kalte's brown, Archidath, offered Frenrick some intelligence on the Southern seven, his advice was somewhat garbled! Nonetheless, Frenrick unravelled Archidath's confusing suggestions and got the right packages to the right dragons – without being growled at!
A rising problem
Frenrick 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. And while Frenrick did manage to get G'tron excluded from the flight – not to mention another blue rider, G'pellas, who was needed in the Harper ensemble – he still ultimately failed to reconcile the star-crossed green riding lovers!
A Harper born
Frenrick's Harper training came in handy when Carleah, the Weyr Singer, asked him to play a set with her ensemble in the dining hall. They played to a rapturous reception that gave Frenrick's confidence – and his mark purse – quite a boost!
Madellon's kitchens – the heart of the Weyr, and domain of Headwoman Crauva – provided Frenrick 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 Frenrick to find for his warming salve.
Overkeen to get his hands on the last bubbly pie in the dining hall, Frenrick took it – forcibly – from a small child. Not the nicest thing to do – but mmm, pie...
Eggs and baskets
A visit to the Archives led to a meeting with Tarshe, Madellon's Weyrwoman Second. When Frenrick 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 – Frenrick did!
Weyrbrat by name...
A run-in with a Weyrbrat – Terzon, whom Rielat had paid to cause Frenrick trouble – resulted in an unfortunate public incident. All too aware of being shaken down, Frenrick 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, Frenrick offered his assistance – which T'gala gladly accepted.
With friends like these...
But handling Soburn's long-distance crush required a delicacy that Frenrick sadly didn't possess. Revealing too much to H'nar – and then failing to treat Soburn's bruised feelings with any sort of care – destroyed Frenrick pining friend's confidence. Having already failed to Impress once, and now crushed by the rejection of a rider who would certainly be his Wingleader should he ever Impress, Soburn decided to rule himself out of candidacy entirely.
A slithery customer
Early in the day, Frenrick found out about a secret way into the Hatching Ground via storeroom that might allow him a sneaky peek at the eggs before the Hatching. Successfully entering the combination to the lock on the storeroom door, and suitably equipped with a glowbasket, he crawled into a confusing maze of passages.
By a stroke of ill luck, Frenrick strayed into tunnel snake territory! A huge, aggressive, and potently venomous female tunnel-snake guarded the exit to the Hatching ground. Frenrick was lucky to avoid being bitten. But ultimately he evaded the snake, dodging past it and slipping out onto the Hatching Sands.
Having survived his encounter with the snake, Frenrick crept closer to the clutch – close enough to notice something very peculiar – an extra, twenty-first egg! Intrigued, he sneaked close enough to examine the strange, yellow, somewhat waxy-looking egg, before beating a hasty retreat from the Hatching Ground.
When it came to the Hatching, Frenrick had an excruciatingly long wait before the white-swirled grey-beige egg Hatched to reveal the dark emerald-green dragonet who would choose him, naming herself Chucoath.
Whatever happened to Rielat?
For Rielat, getting on Frenrick's bad side proved to be an exceptionally poor choice. Frenrick dosed Rielat'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, Rielat was in considerable distress. Unable to bear the burning sensation in his nether regions, he fled the Hatching Sands – squandering his chance at Impression!
After the Hatching
"Chucoath" by Chris S. Baily
The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Frenrick on his Impression, but it was J'kel, thrilled that Hozrath had finally found a successful candidate after so long without, who stepped in to help with the immediate matter of Chucoath's first meal. That was the first moment Frenrick had truly grasped that Soburn wasn't going to be a weyrling alongside him – a truth that hit hard. In Soburn'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 Chucoath's personality started to become evident. The emerald-green dragonet – the largest of her colour – immediately showed her devious and irreverent character, looking for mischief before she'd even left the Sands.
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 Frenrick 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. Frenrick was proud to introduce Chucoath to the Weyrleader. And after a brief conference with Chucoath, Frenrick gave the Weyrleader his own new name: F'ick, rider of green Chucoath!
Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Chucoath's and Destrath's newborn itchiness, F'ick 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
F'ick and Ch'liam soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk F'ick had helped during the day greeted him with warm congratulations as he hunted through the throng – but, at last, he found his family.
F'ick's Harper parents were absolutely delighted to find themselves the mother and father of a green rider and happier still to learn that F'ick had already brought his musical skills to the Weyr. And they were even more delighted to drink to F'ick and Chucoath when the Weyrleaders arrived to toast them!
The rest of the evening passed in a blur for F'ick, 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, F'ick 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 F'ick'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 F'ick 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 Chucoath.
A close encounter
On his way back to the barracks , F'ick 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 F'ick 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, F'ick decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger.
Returning at last to Chucoath – billeted between Ch'liam's Destrath and a bright bronze dragonet – F'ick 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 green beside him – F'ick 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?
Find out more about Frenrick's Impression here. F'ick and Chucoath's story will continue in Dragonchoice: Weyrling, coming soon!
Find out more about Frenrick's Impression here. F'ick and Chucoath'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
Chucoath and I make a very strong match!
...what did I just see?
SUGAR AND SPICE
I've been a very nice person (so far)!
EBONY AND IVORY
Chucoath and I agreed on something very important!
Chucoath and I agreed on something quite important!