Sh'nran and green Entalth
The Road So Far!
It all began at Jessaf Hold, in the protectorate of Madellon Weyr, for Shinree – a young boy of 13 Turns, dreaming of becoming a green rider.
Shinree was born to unusual privilege – a grandson of Winstone, Lord of mighty Jessaf Hold. Shinree 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, Shinree 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 Shinree 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, Shinree left to begin his candidacy at Madellon Weyr.
As a candidate, Shinree was assigned a bunkmate – Martom, a confident young Weyrbred lad, 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 – Gydeton, the blustering, entitled son of Lord Meturvian of Kellad – who took a firm disliking to Shinree! Backed up by his crony Varell, Gydeton became the thorn in Shinree's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.
The dragons' hum woke Martom and Shinree on 102.03.17. Following a brief run-in with Gydeton, 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 Shinree left, Martom – keen to prove himself by Impressing on his first attempt – asked him for help procuring some additional confidence in the form of some alcohol.
The one-armed green rider and the thieving queen
Immediately on leaving the candidate barracks, Shinree 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 Shinree to find it. The quest took Shinree all over Madellon, from kitchens to lake to infirmary – but in the end he succeeded in reuniting the Weyrwoman's jewellery set, to general acclaim.
Respecting his elders
In the Weyr's kitchen gardens, Shinree encountered R'hren, a former Weyrleader of Madellon, now peacefully retired to potter among his beloved plants. R'hren asked Shinree to help him track down the ingredients for a warming salve to help his elderly bronze, Staamath, with his arthritic forepaws. Shinree duly located the components of R'hren's salve, winning the old bronze rider's approval in the process.
Gifted a small pot of the salve, Shinree offered it to old S'rius, who was equally appreciative of the gift. And while Kisha, the blind old green rider Shinree encountered in the infirmary, would have nothing to do with one of R'hren's concoctions, she too grew to approve of Shinree – especially after he solved all three of her fiendish riddles!
Shinree 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 Shinree 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 Shinree some intelligence on the Southern seven, his advice was somewhat garbled! Nonetheless, Shinree unravelled Archidath's confusing suggestions and got the right packages to the right dragons – without being growled at!
A Masterful order
In the dining hall, Shinree met his fellow candidate Zielaph, who'd been tasked by his somewhat dim uncle, bronze rider Fr'ton, with delivering a complicated drinks order to a group of Master Crafters. Zielaph had information about their names, beverages, crafts, and fire-lizards – but not in any sensible order!
Luckily for him, Shinree solved the puzzle of Fr'ton's confusing notes adeptly, delivering the correct drinks to the correct Masters, and earning a handsome tip in the process. Shinree even shared the largesse with Zielaph, who then introduced him to Fr'ton – who, having Impressed a bronze in spite of his less than boundless promise, gave Shinree a certain confidence in his own prospects!
A rising problem
Shinree 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. Shinree'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. Even if Shinree did annoy Soleigh, who wasn't impressed with him for prolonging Maris' binge by bringing her more wine!
Madellon's kitchens – the heart of the Weyr, and domain of Headwoman Crauva – provided Shinree 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 Shinree to find for his warming salve.
A blue lady
Coming across T'gala, Pern's only female blue rider, bathing her Heppeth in the lake, Shinree offered his assistance – which T'gala gladly accepted.
Given Shinree's age, finding some wine for Martom proved difficult – the Weyr Vintner, Master Saxton, refused to sell it to an underage candidate. His only other alternative was an illicit purchase from the shady figure of Grimes. And L'stev's warning about getting drunk before the Hatching held weight. The Vintner's offering of alcohol-free grape juice gave Shinree an idea – and offering it to Martom, none the wiser for the substitution, still had the desired effect of boosting his confidence before the Hatching – without any unwanted side-effects!
Mindful of the Weyrlingmaster's orders to be smart for the Hatching, Shinree visited Madellon's resident barber – green rider Z'fell – for a trim. Very conscious of his dignity, Shinree ensured he came away with a cut he actually liked.
A Weyrleader's mercy
Early in the day, Shinree 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 chance, he found a way onto the Hatching Ground – onto a very high ledge! Calling down for help was the only option, and a welcome – if embarrassing – lift down from Muzzanth himself returned Shinree safely to ground level.
Realising that honesty was the best policy, Shinree apologised to the Weyrleader for intruding – and was surprised to find T'gat remarkably sanguine about it, reminiscing about his own youthful journey through the passages. And a polite request granted Shinree the Weyrleader's permission to approach the clutch. He touched one of the eggs, marvelling at its palpable vitality.
When it came to the Hatching, Shinree had to wait a little while before the grey-splashed beige egg Hatched to reveal the dark teal-green dragonet who would choose him, naming herself Entalth.
A friend in me
And Shinree wasn't the only lucky one. To his delight, Martom also Impressed, becoming the rider of a bright golden-bronze hatchling, Kauth.
Whatever happened to Gydeton?
It turned out that making an enemy of Shinree was a very poor choice on Gydeton's part. For the low, low price of just three marks, Shinree had Grimes, the shady fellow loitering near the Gather stalls, spread a series of nasty rumours about Gydeton. By the time the Weyrlingmaster mustered the candidate cohort immediately before the Hatching, the damage to Gydeton's reputation was done – and he was ejected from the candidate pool without ever setting foot on the Sands!
After the Hatching
"Entalth" by Chris S. Baily
The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Shinree 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 Entalth's first meal. That was Shinree's first opportunity to speak to Martom, too, and they introduced each other, with considerable delight, to their respective dragonets, Entalth and Kauth. Martom also told Shinree that his new name was to be – perhaps unsurprisingly – M'tom.
It wasn't long before Entalth's personality started to become evident. The teal-green dragonet, inquisitive about everything from the instant of her hatching, also proved to be an especially sweet-natured and kind character.
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 Shinree made along the way – a young Holdbred candidate, Nichen, whom Shinree had encountered in a hopelessly dishevelled state directly before the Hatching – hailed Shinree at the barracks – crediting him with his successful Impression of a moon-blue dragonet, Yooth!
Meeting the Weyrleader
As Shinree and M'tom 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. Shinree was proud to introduce Entalth to the Weyrleader. And after a brief conference with Entalth, Shinree gave the Weyrleader his own new name: Sh'nran, rider of green Entalth!
Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Entalth's and Kauth's newborn itchiness, Sh'nran and M'tom 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
Sh'nran and M'tom soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk Sh'nran 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, Sh'nran's grandfather, was in a state of high dudgeon about his grandson's Impression of a green. A tense scene ensued, with the Weyrleaders obliged to step in to defend Sh'nran from his grandfather's fury – but the damage was already done.
The rest of the evening passed in a blur for Sh'nran, 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, Sh'nran 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 Sh'nran's background with him – including much of what he had got up to on the morning of the Hatching – for good and ill. She cleared up an anomaly with his new name, too. She offered Sh'nran 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 Entalth.
A close encounter
On his way back to the barracks , Sh'nran 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 Sh'nran 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, Sh'nran decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger – though he did give L'stev his new name.
Returning at last to Entalth – billeted between M'tom's Kauth and a slender green dragonet – Sh'nran 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 – Sh'nran 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 Sh'nran's new name?
Find out more about Shinree's Impression here. Sh'nran and Entalth's story will continue in Dragonchoice: Weyrling, coming soon!
Find out more about Shinree's Impression here. Sh'nran and Entalth'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!
THE YIN TO YOUR YANG
Entalth and I complement each other!
SUGAR AND SPICE
I've been a very nice person (so far)!
EBONY AND IVORY
Entalth and I agreed on something very important!
Entalth and I agreed on something quite important!