C'torren and blue Kayanth
The Road So Far!
It all began at the Harperhall at Kellad Hold, in the protectorate of Madellon Weyr, for Cintorren – a young man of 17 Turns, dreaming of becoming a blue rider.
Cintorren 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. Cintorren caught the attention of J'kel's blue Hozrath. And a sevenday later, Cintorren arrived at Madellon Weyr, joining the candidate pool for senior queen Shimpath's first clutch by her new mate Muzzanth.
As a candidate, Cintorren 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 Cintorren! Backed up by his crony Kestor, Rielat became the thorn in Cintorren's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.
The dragons' hum woke Soburn and Cintorren 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 Cintorren 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, Cintorren 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 Cintorren to find it. Despite Cintorren'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, Cintorren encountered R'hren, a former Weyrleader of Madellon, now peacefully retired to potter among his beloved plants. R'hren asked Cintorren to help him track down the ingredients for a warming salve to help his elderly bronze, Staamath, with his arthritic forepaws. Cintorren 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, Cintorren offered it to old S'rius, who was equally appreciative of the gift. And while Kisha, the blind old green rider Cintorren encountered in the infirmary, would have nothing to do with one of R'hren's concoctions, she too grew to approve of Cintorren – especially after he solved all three of her fiendish riddles!
Cintorren 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 Cintorren 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 Cintorren some intelligence on the Southern seven, his advice was somewhat garbled! Nonetheless, Cintorren 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, Cintorren 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, Cintorren 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
Cintorren 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. Cintorren'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 Cintorren did annoy Soleigh, who wasn't impressed with him for prolonging Maris' binge by bringing her more wine!
A Harper born
Cintorren'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 Cintorren's confidence – and his mark purse – quite a boost!
Madellon's kitchens – the heart of the Weyr, and domain of Headwoman Crauva – provided Cintorren 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 Cintorren 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 Cintorren 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 – Cintorren did!
Weyrbrat by name...
A run-in with a Weyrbrat – Terzon, whom Rielat had paid to cause Cintorren trouble – resulted in an unfortunate public incident. All too aware of being shaken down, Cintorren 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, Cintorren offered his assistance – which T'gala gladly accepted.
Conscious of Soburn's bashfulness, Cintorren approached the object of his affections – H'nar, Wingleader of the Betweenless Wing – with some circumspection. Still, when questioned, H'nar insisted he had to know who was making enquiries of him. And when he learned the identity of his admirer, he told Cintorren that he wasn't interested in Soburn – or any other men, for that matter. But Cintorren's agile pivot in questioning revealed that a close friend of H'nar's – blue rider M'rany – might be a viable alternative. Thus encouraged, Soburn began to think more positively of life as a dragonrider – even if H'nar would end up being his Wingleader!
Mindful of the Weyrlingmaster's orders to be smart for the Hatching, Cintorren visited Madellon's resident barber, Z'fell, for a trim. But he fell foul of the green rider's perverse sense of humour, and came away with a curious cut – short on top, long at the back – that prompted quite a number of odd looks and laughs at his expense!
A breath of foul air
Early in the day, Cintorren 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. The route he chose turned out to be thick with choking toxic fumes from Madellon's volcanic foundation, and Cintorren soon found himself struggling for breath.
Undeterred, Cintorren pushed through the discomfort, and emerged shortly onto the Hatching Sands. But he wasn't quiet enough. Shimpath, dozing only very lightly, awoke, and she and Muzzanth chased Cintorren from the Sands!
When it came to the Hatching, Cintorren didn't have to wait at all for his date with destiny. The green-clouded blue egg that Hatched first produced a dark steel-blue hatchling who spared no time in choosing Cintorren, naming himself Kayanth.
A friend in me
And Cintorren wasn't the only lucky one. To his delight, Soburn also Impressed, becoming the rider of a slender olive-green hatchling, Aeranth.
Whatever happened to Rielat?
It turned out that making an enemy of Cintorren was a very poor choice on Rielat's part. For the low, low price of just three marks, Cintorren had Grimes, the shady fellow loitering near the Gather stalls, spread a series of nasty rumours about Rielat. By the time the Weyrlingmaster mustered the candidate cohort immediately before the Hatching, the damage to Rielat's reputation was done – and he was ejected from the candidate pool without ever setting foot on the Sands!
After the Hatching
"Kayanth" by Emily Holland
The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Cintorren 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 Kayanth's first meal. That was Cintorren's first opportunity to speak to Soburn, too, and they introduced each other, with considerable delight, to their respective dragonets, Kayanth and Aeranth. Soburn also told Cintorren that his new name was to be – perhaps unsurprisingly – S'burn.
It wasn't long before Kayanth's personality started to become evident. The dark blue dragonet, among the smallest of his colour, turned out to be of an endearingly shy and modest character, rather requiring of encouragement.
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 Cintorren made along the way – a young Holdbred candidate, Nichen, whom Cintorren had encountered in a hopelessly dishevelled state directly before the Hatching – hailed Cintorren at the barracks – crediting him with his successful Impression of a moon-blue dragonet, Yooth!
Meeting the Weyrleader
As Cintorren and S'burn 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. Cintorren was proud to introduce Kayanth to the Weyrleader. And after a brief conference with Kayanth, Cintorren gave the Weyrleader his own new name: C'torren, rider of blue Kayanth!
Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Kayanth's and Aeranth's newborn itchiness, C'torren and S'burn 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
C'torren and S'burn soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk C'torren had helped during the day greeted him with warm congratulations as he hunted through the throng – but, at last, he found his family.
C'torren's Harper parents were absolutely delighted to find themselves the mother and father of a blue rider and happier still to learn that C'torren had already brought his musical skills to the Weyr. And they were even more delighted to drink to C'torren and Kayanth when the Weyrleaders arrived to toast them!
The rest of the evening passed in a blur for C'torren, 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, C'torren 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 C'torren'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 C'torren 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 Kayanth.
A close encounter
On his way back to the barracks , C'torren 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 C'torren 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, C'torren decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger.
Returning at last to Kayanth – billeted between S'burn's Aeranth and a mucky-looking brown dragonet – C'torren 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 blue beside him – C'torren 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?
C'torren and Kayanth'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
Kayanth and I complement each other!
SUGAR AND SPICE
I've been a very nice person (so far)!
EBONY AND IVORY
Kayanth and I agreed on something very important!
Kayanth and I disagreed on something quite important!