Rose and green Cheramith
The Road So Far!
It all began at Jessaf Hold, in the protectorate of Madellon Weyr, for Rosalie – a young woman of 17 Turns, dreaming of becoming a green rider.
Rosalie was born to unusual privilege – a granddaughter of Winstone, Lord of mighty Jessaf Hold. Rosalie 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, Rosalie 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 Rosalie becoming a candidate – displeased that such a opportunity would ruin his plans for Rosalie's betrothal to a nephew of Lord Orfen's. But he grudgingly accepted that, as Rosalie had her majority, she had the right to accept Search. And with Winstone's admonition that she should remember her place as his granddaughter and not make a scene ringing in her ears, Rosalie left to begin her candidacy at Madellon Weyr.
As a candidate, Rosalie 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 Rosalie! Backed up by her crony Cedranne, Auciet became the thorn in Rosalie's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.
The dragons' hum woke Erilde and Rosalie 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 Rosalie 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, Rosalie 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 Rosalie to find it. The quest took Rosalie all over Madellon, from kitchens to lake to infirmary – but in the end she succeeded in reuniting the Weyrwoman's jewellery set, to general acclaim.
Respecting her elders
In the Weyr's kitchen gardens, Rosalie encountered R'hren, a former Weyrleader of Madellon, now peacefully retired to potter among his beloved plants. R'hren asked Rosalie to help him track down the ingredients for a warming salve to help his elderly bronze, Staamath, with his arthritic forepaws. Rosalie 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, Rosalie offered it to old S'rius, who was equally appreciative of the gift. And while Kisha, the blind old green rider Rosalie encountered in the infirmary, would have nothing to do with one of R'hren's concoctions, she too grew to approve of Rosalie – especially after she solved all three of her fiendish riddles!
A Masterful order
In the dining hall, Rosalie met her 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, Rosalie 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.
A rising problem
Rosalie 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. Rosalie's intervention successfully got rid of G'tron, whose Imdoth was very sweet indeed on Bristath, from the mating flight and reconciled the two green riders.
Madellon's kitchens – the heart of the Weyr, and domain of Headwoman Crauva – provided Rosalie 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 Rosalie 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, Rosalie 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 Rosalie didn't want to pass up.
Mindful of the Weyrlingmaster's orders to be smart for the Hatching, Rosalie visited Madellon's resident barber – green rider Z'fell – for a trim. Very conscious of her dignity, Rosalie ensured she came away with a cut she actually liked.
When it came to the Hatching, Rosalie had to wait a little while before the rough-textured cloudy white egg Hatched to reveal the vivid grassy-green dragonet who would choose her, naming herself Cheramith.
A friend bereft
But to Rosalie'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?
Quite simply, none of the dragonets seemed to want Auciet – she was left standing. Although Rosalie did wonder if her own vivid grassy-green Cheramith might have glanced, however briefly, in Auciet's direction, and what might have been had she not chosen her...
After the Hatching
"Cheramith" by Emily Holland
The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Rosalie 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 Cheramith's first meal. That was the first moment Rosalie 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 Cheramith's personality started to become evident. The little grass-green dragonet, small for her colour, made up for her size with a fierce, aggressive personality – and very evident teeth!
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 Rosalie made along the way – a young Weyrbred candidate, Brithie, whom Rosalie had encountered in a sudden crisis of confidence directly before the Hatching – hailed Rosalie at the barracks – crediting her with her successful Impression of a tiny bottle-green dragonet, Epatanth!
Meeting the Weyrleader
As Rosalie 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. Rosalie was proud to introduce Cheramith to the Weyrleader – and to give him her full new name: Rose, rider of green Cheramith!
Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Cheramith's and Chanth's newborn itchiness, Rose 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
Rose and Arina soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk Rose 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, Rose's grandfather, was faint with his praise for his granddaughter's Impression of Cheramith – suggesting that she should have waited for a chance at a queen. The Weyrleaders were swift to insist that Impressing any dragon was a great achievement!
The rest of the evening passed in a blur for Rose, 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, Rose 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 Rose'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 Rose 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 Cheramith.
A close encounter
On her way back to the barracks , Rose 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 Rose 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, Rose decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger – though she did give L'stev her new name.
Returning at last to Cheramith – billeted between Arina's Chanth and a pretty blue-green dragonet – Rose 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 – Rose 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 Rose's new name?
Rose and Cheramith'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!
I make quite a strange match with Cheramith!
INSULT TO INJURY
I Impressed the dragon that my rival coveted!
SUGAR AND SPICE
I've been a very nice person (so far)!
EBONY AND IVORY
Cheramith and I agreed on something very important!
Cheramith and I disagreed on something quite important!