E'ban and brown Calceoth
The Road So Far!
It all began at Jessaf Hold, in the protectorate of Madellon Weyr, for Enban – a young man of 16 Turns, dreaming of becoming a dragonrider.
Enban was born to unusual privilege – a grandson of Winstone, Lord of mighty Jessaf Hold. Enban 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, Enban 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 Enban 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, Enban left to begin his candidacy at Madellon Weyr.
As a candidate, Enban 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 Enban! Backed up by his crony Kestor, Rielat became the thorn in Enban's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.
The dragons' hum woke Soburn and Enban 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 Enban 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
Immediately on leaving the candidate barracks, Enban was flagged down by M'shen – a green rider with only one arm. But whatever he wanted, Enban never discovered, after making a mean-spirited joke about M'shen's missing hand that – not unreasonably – made the green rider take against him.
A Masterful order
In the dining hall, Enban 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, Enban 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. Enban 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 Enban a certain confidence in his own prospects!
Madellon's kitchens – the heart of the Weyr, and domain of Headwoman Crauva – provided Enban with the opportunity to show off his work ethic before the Hatching. A round of chores duly pleased Crauva, albeit cut short, literally, by the slip of a knife that sent Enban to the infirmary with a slice to be stitched up.
A shining example
Coming upon Santinoth – Madellon's biggest bronze – being bathed in the lake, Enban was quick to offer assistance to his rider, T'rello. It couldn't hurt to have some close-up experience with a bronze, could it?
Conscious of Soburn's bashfulness, Enban 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 Enban that he wasn't interested in Soburn – or any other men, for that matter. But Enban'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!
When it came to the Hatching, Enban had an excruciatingly long wait before the very large dark grey egg Hatched to reveal the deep turned-earth brown dragonet who would choose him, naming himself Calceoth.
A friend in me
And Enban 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?
Sadly, there was at least one fly in the numbweed. Rielat Impressed an impressively proportioned indigo-blue hatchling, making them Enban and Calceoth's new classmates. (On the bright side, at least Kestor didn't Impress!)
After the Hatching
"Calceoth" by Emily Holland
The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Enban 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 Calceoth's first meal. That was Enban's first opportunity to speak to Soburn, too, and they introduced each other, with considerable delight, to their respective dragonets, Calceoth and Aeranth. Soburn also told Enban that his new name was to be – perhaps unsurprisingly – S'burn.
It wasn't long before Calceoth's personality started to become evident. The substantial dark-brown dragonet – chunkier than any other hatchling – had a stolid, non-nonsense character to match, speaking his mind without hesitation or tact.
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 Enban made along the way – a young Holdbred candidate, Nichen, whom Enban had encountered in a hopelessly dishevelled state directly before the Hatching – hailed Enban at the barracks – crediting him with his successful Impression of a moon-blue dragonet, Yooth!
Meeting the Weyrleader
As Enban 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. Enban was proud to introduce Calceoth to the Weyrleader. And after a brief conference with Calceoth, Enban gave the Weyrleader his own new name: E'ban, rider of brown Calceoth!
Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Calceoth's and Aeranth's newborn itchiness, E'ban 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
E'ban and S'burn soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk E'ban 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, E'ban's grandfather, was grudgingly satisfied with Calceoth's colour, if clearly disappointed that his grandson hadn't managed to Impress a bronze – a criticism that the Weyrleaders were quick to cut short in their toast to E'ban and Calceoth.
The rest of the evening passed in a blur for E'ban, 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, E'ban 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 E'ban'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 E'ban some advice about paying attention to his new classmates and surroundings, lest he fall foul of the Weyrlingmaster's penchant for snap quizzes, advised him to report to Master Isnan before returning to the barracks to get his injuries checked again, and made some observations on Calceoth.
A close encounter
On his way back to the barracks (by way of the infirmary, as ordered by Tarshe), E'ban 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 E'ban 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, E'ban decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger.
Returning at last to Calceoth – billeted between S'burn's Aeranth and a mucky-looking brown dragonet – E'ban 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 brown beside him – E'ban 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?
E'ban and Calceoth'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
Calceoth and I complement each other!
SNAKES AND SNAILS
I haven't been very nice!
PLEASE STATE THE NATURE OF THE MEDICAL EMERGENCY
I returned to the infirmary!
EBONY AND IVORY
Calceoth and I agreed on something very important!
Calceoth and I agreed on something quite important!