Rele and green Lamiath
The Road So Far!
It all began at Jessaf Hold, in the protectorate of Madellon Weyr, for Releikka – a young girl of 13 Turns, dreaming of becoming a green rider.
Releikka was born to unusual privilege – a granddaughter of Winstone, Lord of mighty Jessaf Hold. Releikka 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, Releikka 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 Releikka becoming a candidate – while conceding that he could spare a younger grandchild. And with Winstone's admonition that she should remember her place as his granddaughter and not make a scene ringing in her ears, Releikka left to begin her candidacy at Madellon Weyr.
As a candidate, Releikka was assigned a bunkmate – Jopha, a mischievous young Weyrbred girl prone to getting herself into trouble, 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 – Thippia, a foul-mouthed girl from the Seacraft – who took a firm disliking to Releikka! Backed up by her crony Berrin, Thippia became the thorn in Releikka's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.
The dragons' hum woke Jopha and Releikka on 102.03.17. Following a brief run-in with Thippia, 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 Releikka left, Jopha – whose Impression robe was sadly overlarge for her petite frame – recruited Releikka's help in getting it adjusted by her nemesis Shookana in the mending room.
The one-armed green rider and the thieving queen
Immediately on leaving the candidate barracks, Releikka 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 Releikka to find it. Despite Releikka's best efforts, though, she didn't manage to complete and return the jewellery set before the Hatching.
Respecting her elders
In the Weyr's kitchen gardens, Releikka encountered R'hren, a former Weyrleader of Madellon, now peacefully retired to potter among his beloved plants. R'hren asked Releikka to help him track down the ingredients for a warming salve to help his elderly bronze, Staamath, with his arthritic forepaws. Releikka 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, Releikka offered it to old S'rius, who was equally appreciative of the gift. And while Kisha, the blind old green rider Releikka encountered in the infirmary, would have nothing to do with one of R'hren's concoctions, she too grew to approve of Releikka – especially after she solved all three of her fiendish riddles!
Releikka 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 Releikka 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 Releikka some intelligence on the Southern seven, his advice was somewhat garbled! Nonetheless, Releikka unravelled Archidath's confusing suggestions and got the right packages to the right dragons – without being growled at!
A rising problem
Releikka 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. Releikka'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 Releikka did annoy Soleigh, who wasn't impressed with her for prolonging Maris' binge by bringing her more wine!
Madellon's kitchen was the source of the hotfruit R'hren had sent Releikka to find for his warming salve. Headwoman Crauva handed one over immediately she asked for it, pleased to be helping such an august figure as the old Weyrleader.
Eggs and baskets
A visit to the Archives led to a meeting with Tarshe, Madellon's Weyrwoman Second. When Releikka expressed an interested in looking up some Weyr records, Tarshe offered her the loan of a glowbasket – on the proviso that she return it afterwards. Which – mindful of not offending such an important personage of the Weyr – Releikka did!
Weyrbrat by name...
A run-in with a Weyrbrat – Terzon, whom Thippia had paid to cause Releikka trouble – resulted in an unfortunate public incident. All too aware of being shaken down, Releikka gave the kid a shove – in front of a number of witnesses – doing nothing for her reputation!
A shining example
Coming upon Santinoth – Madellon's biggest bronze – being bathed in the lake, Releikka was quick to offer assistance to his rider, T'rello. Perhaps Releikka was never going to Impress a bronze – but it couldn't hurt to have some hands-on experience!
With friends like these...
But approaching Shookana, mistress of the mending room and Jopha's arch-enemy, with a less than honest approach resulted in disaster. When Releikka tried to conceal the true owner of the offending robe, Shookana caught her in the lie – and tore Jopha's robe beyond mending. Forced to admit to the Weyrlingmaster that she had no robe, Jopha found herself on the end of L'stev's bad temper – and with many black marks already against her name, barred from candidacy!
A slithery customer
Early in the day, Releikka found out about a secret way into the Hatching Ground via storeroom that might allow her 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, she crawled into a confusing maze of passages.
By a stroke of ill luck, Releikka strayed into tunnel snake territory! A huge, aggressive, and potently venomous female tunnel-snake guarded the exit to the Hatching ground. Releikka was lucky to avoid being bitten. But ultimately she evaded the snake, dodging past it and slipping out onto the Hatching Sands.
Having survived her encounter with the snake, Releikka crept closer to the clutch – close enough to touch an egg – before beating a hasty retreat from the Hatching Ground!
When it came to the Hatching, Releikka didn't have to wait too long for her date with destiny. The blotchy pale turquoise egg Hatched out a bright olive-green dragonet who told Releikka her name was Lamiath.
Whatever happened to Thippia?
Thippia didn't turn up for the pre-Hatching muster, and – Releikka's own suspicions notwithstanding – L'stev guessed that she had probably got herself lost trying to sneak into the Hatching Ground through the dangerous ventilation tunnels. Fortunately – Releikka supposed – Weyrlingmaster A'len located the missing candidate, but too late for Thippia, who having been found unconscious, was promptly invalided out of standing!
After the Hatching
"Lamiath" by Emily Holland
The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Releikka 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 Lamiath's first meal. That was the first moment Releikka had truly grasped that Jopha wasn't going to be a weyrling alongside her – a truth that hit hard. In Jopha's absence, Arina, who'd Impressed a cloudy-green dragonet, Chanth – was a welcome friendly face.
It wasn't long before Lamiath's personality started to become evident. The rather slender olive-green dragonet demonstrated an immediate haughty pride in herself – and in her rider.
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 Releikka 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. Releikka was proud to introduce Lamiath to the Weyrleader – and to give him her full new name: Rele, rider of green Lamiath!
Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Lamiath's and Chanth's newborn itchiness, Rele 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
Rele and Arina soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk Rele 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, Rele's grandfather, was faint with his praise for his granddaughter's Impression of Lamiath – 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 Rele, 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, Rele 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 Rele'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 Rele 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 Lamiath.
A close encounter
On her way back to the barracks , Rele 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 Rele 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, Rele decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger – though she did give L'stev her new name.
Returning at last to Lamiath – billeted between Arina's Chanth and a pretty blue-green dragonet – Rele 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 – Rele 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 Rele's new name?
Rele and Lamiath'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 (don't) love the smell of elision in the morning!
I changed my name by choice!
THE YIN TO YOUR YANG
Lamiath and I complement each other!
SUGAR AND SPICE
I've been a very nice person (so far)!
EBONY AND IVORY
Lamiath and I agreed on something very important!
Lamiath and I agreed on something quite important!