K'lee and blue Altinith
The Road So Far!
It all began at the Healer Hall at Blue Shale Hold, in the protectorate of Madellon Weyr, for Kylee – a young girl of 13 Turns, dreaming of becoming a blue rider.
Kylee was born the daughter of two Master Healers at the Southern Healerhall, Blue Shale Hold. She was treating minor injuries even before she was formally apprenticed to the Craft. But frustration with the drudgery of the long apprenticeship made Kylee an undistinguished crafter, lacking the focus or passion demanded by the Healerhall. And then, in early 102, brown rider P'lian came to the Healer Hall complaining of frostbitten fingers. Kylee was assigned to treat the minor condition. But P'lian's Sparth – despite his colour, a budding Search-sensitive dragon – insisted that Kylee was a likely sort for candidacy. And a sevenday later, Kylee arrived at Madellon Weyr, joining the candidate pool for senior queen Shimpath's first clutch by her new mate Muzzanth.
As a candidate, Kylee 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 Kylee! Backed up by her crony Berrin, Thippia became the thorn in Kylee's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.
The dragons' hum woke Jopha and Kylee 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 Kylee left, Jopha – whose Impression robe was sadly overlarge for her petite frame – recruited Kylee'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, Kylee 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 Kylee to find it. The quest took Kylee 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 infirmary, Kylee encountered Kisha – a blind old green rider giving the Weyr's Healers a difficult time about taking her medicine. Kisha challenged Kylee to answer three riddles before she would consent to behave. And Kylee rose to that challenge – answering all three correctly, and winning Kisha's grudging respect!
Kylee 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 Kylee 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 Kylee some intelligence on the Southern seven, his advice was somewhat garbled! Nonetheless, Kylee 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, Kylee 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, Kylee 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. Kylee even shared the largesse with Zielaph, who then introduced her to Fr'ton – who, having Impressed a bronze in spite of his less than boundless promise, gave Kylee a certain confidence in her own prospects!
Madellon's kitchens – the heart of the Weyr, and domain of Headwoman Crauva – provided Kylee with the opportunity to show off her work ethic before the Hatching. A round of chores duly pleased Crauva.
Eggs and baskets
A visit to the Archives led to a meeting with Tarshe, Madellon's Weyrwoman Second. When Kylee 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 – Kylee did!
A blue lady
Coming across T'gala, Pern's only female blue rider, bathing her Heppeth in the lake, Kylee 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 Kylee didn't want to pass up.
Knowing of Jopha's chequered history with Shookana, mistress of the Weyr's mending room, Kylee approached the task of having her robe adjusted with considerable caution. Realising that falsehood would be the wrong approach, Kylee went to Shookana with the truth – and a gift of popcorn. And while Kylee doubted if Shookana and Jopha will ever be friends, the restoration of her Hatching robe to a suitable length did a great deal for her self-confidence!
Mindful of the Weyrlingmaster's orders to be smart for the Hatching, Kylee visited Madellon's resident barber – green rider Z'fell – for a trim. Very conscious of her dignity, Kylee ensured she came away with a cut she actually liked.
A slithery customer
Early in the day, Kylee 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, Kylee strayed into tunnel snake territory! A huge, aggressive, and potently venomous female tunnel-snake guarded the exit to the Hatching ground. Kylee 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, Kylee crept closer to the clutch – close enough to touch an egg – before beating a hasty retreat from the Hatching Ground! And something about the grey-swirled silvery cream egg made her feel strangely certain that she would Impress later that day.
When it came to the Hatching, Kylee had to wait for every other dragonet to Hatch and choose a rider before the grey-swirled silvery cream egg Hatched to reveal the very pale moon-blue hatchling who would choose her, naming himself Altinith.
A friend in me
And Kylee wasn't the only lucky one. To her delight, Jopha also Impressed, becoming the rider of a big emerald-green hatchling, Deimoth.
Whatever happened to Thippia?
Thippia's victimisation of Kylee had serious consequences – for Thippia. Not everyone would have tattled on her the way Kylee did, but her complaints about the other girl, together with L'stev's already thin opinion of Thippia, had the desired effect. Directly before the Hatching, L'stev ejected Thippia from the candidate pool!
After the Hatching
"Altinith" by Chris S. Baily
The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Kylee on her Impression, but it was P'lian, ecstatic that Sparth's very first Search had yielded an Impression, who stepped in to help with the immediate matter of Altinith's first meal. That was Kylee's first opportunity to speak to Jopha, too, and they introduced each other, with considerable delight, to their respective dragonets, Altinith and Deimoth.
It wasn't long before Altinith's personality started to become evident. The moon-blue dragonet, while seemingly reluctant to even leave his egg, showed glimmers of a curiously perceptive and knowing mind beneath his apparent laziness.
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 Kylee made along the way – a young Weyrbred candidate, Brithie, whom Kylee had encountered in a sudden crisis of confidence directly before the Hatching – hailed Kylee at the barracks – crediting her with her successful Impression of a tiny bottle-green dragonet, Epatanth!
Meeting the Weyrleader
As Kylee and Jopha wiped the worst of the blood and sand from their tired new dragonets, the Weyrleader, T'gat, came to inspect both girls' dragonets – and in particular to remark upon Kylee's unusual Impression of a blue. T'gat further enquired if Kylee would like to elide her name, as T'gala had done, or not. Kylee took up the opportunity to rename herself, and after a brief conference with Altinith, Kylee gave the Weyrleader her new name – K'lee, rider of blue Altinith!
Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Altinith's and Deimoth's newborn itchiness, K'lee and Jopha 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
K'lee and Jopha soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk K'lee had helped during the day greeted her with warm congratulations as she hunted through the throng – but, at last, she found her family.
K'lee's father, a loud man in normal times, was positively bellowing with pleasure at K'lee's Impression – albeit with a certain disappointment that his daughter wouldn't be continuing in the Healercraft. And he embarrassed both his daughter, and his long-suffering wife, still further when the Weyrleaders came to drink a toast to K'lee and Altinith – remarking, very loudly, on the parentage of Valonna's soon-to-arrive first baby!
The rest of the evening passed in a blur for K'lee, 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, K'lee 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 K'lee's background with her – including much of what she had got up to on the morning of the Hatching – for good and ill. She offered K'lee 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 Altinith.
A close encounter
On her way back to the barracks , K'lee 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 K'lee 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, K'lee decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger.
Returning at last to Altinith – billeted between Jopha's Deimoth and a pale green dragonet – K'lee 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 blue beside her – K'lee 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 Kylee's Impression here. K'lee and Altinith's story will continue in Dragonchoice: Weyrling, coming soon!
Find out more about Kylee's Impression here. K'lee and Altinith'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.
Altinith and I match perfectly!
THE PATH LESS TRAVELLED
I pre-Impressed Altinith by touching his egg before the Hatching!
SUGAR AND SPICE
I've been a very nice person (so far)!
EBONY AND IVORY
Altinith and I agreed on something very important!
Altinith and I agreed on something quite important!
Altinith and Chanth took against each other!