J'an and blue Galistath
The Road So Far!
It all began at Jessaf Hold, in the protectorate of Madellon Weyr, for Jiran – a young man of 18 Turns, dreaming of becoming a blue rider.
Jiran was born to unusual privilege – a grandson of Winstone, Lord of mighty Jessaf Hold. Jiran 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, Jiran 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 Jiran becoming a candidate – displeased that such a opportunity would ruin his plans for Jiran's betrothal to a niece of Lord Orfen's. But he grudgingly accepted that, as Jiran had his majority, he had the right to accept Search. And with Winstone's admonition that he Impress a bronze – or a brown at the very least – ringing in his ears, Jiran left to begin his candidacy at Madellon Weyr.
As a candidate, Jiran 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 Jiran! Backed up by his crony Kestor, Rielat became the thorn in Jiran's side throughout the sevendays of candidacy.
The dragons' hum woke Soburn and Jiran 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 Jiran 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, Jiran 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 Jiran to find it. Despite Jiran's best efforts, though, he didn't manage to complete and return the jewellery set before the Hatching.
Respecting his elders
In the infirmary, Jiran encountered Kisha – a blind old green rider giving the Weyr's Healers a difficult time about taking her medicine. Kisha challenged Jiran to answer three riddles before she would consent to behave. And Jiran rose to that challenge – answering all three correctly, and winning Kisha's grudging respect!
A Masterful order
In the dining hall, Jiran 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, Jiran 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. Jiran 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 Jiran a certain confidence in his own prospects!
A rising problem
Jiran 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. Jiran'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.
Eggs and baskets
A visit to the Archives led to a meeting with Tarshe, Madellon's Weyrwoman Second. When Jiran 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. But with one thing and another, Jiran didn't bring it back – earning the Weyrwoman Second's ire!
A blue lady
Coming across T'gala, Pern's only female blue rider, bathing her Heppeth in the lake, Jiran offered his assistance – which T'gala gladly accepted.
Conscious of Soburn's bashfulness, Jiran 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 Jiran that he wasn't interested in Soburn – or any other men, for that matter. But Jiran'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!
A breath of foul air
Early in the day, Jiran 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 Jiran soon found himself struggling for breath.
Undeterred, Jiran 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 Jiran from the Sands!
When it came to the Hatching, Jiran had an excruciatingly long wait before the grey-swirled silvery cream egg Hatched to reveal the very pale moon-blue dragonet who would choose him, naming himself Galistath.
A friend in me
And Jiran 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 Jiran was a very poor choice on Rielat's part. For the low, low price of just three marks, Jiran 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
"Galistath" by Chris S. Baily
The Weyrlingmaster was the first to congratulate Jiran 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 Galistath's first meal. That was Jiran's first opportunity to speak to Soburn, too, and they introduced each other, with considerable delight, to their respective dragonets, Galistath and Aeranth. Soburn also told Jiran that his new name was to be – perhaps unsurprisingly – S'burn.
It wasn't long before Galistath'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.
Meeting the Weyrleader
As Jiran 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. Jiran was proud to introduce Galistath to the Weyrleader. And after a brief conference with Galistath, Jiran gave the Weyrleader his own new name: J'an, rider of blue Galistath!
Following their audience with the Weyrleader, and the application of oily rags to relieve Galistath's and Aeranth's newborn itchiness, J'an 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
J'an and S'burn soon went their separate ways to find family and friends. Many of the riders and Weyrfolk J'an 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, J'an's grandfather, was highly displeased that his grandson had only managed to Impress a blue – against his strict warning that nothing less than a brown would suffice. The Weyrleaders were quick to step in on J'an's behalf, but the damage to his relationship with his grandfather was done.
The rest of the evening passed in a blur for J'an, 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, J'an 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 J'an'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 J'an 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 Galistath.
A close encounter
On his way back to the barracks (by way of the infirmary, as ordered by Tarshe), J'an 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 J'an 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, J'an decided, on balance, not to tell the Weyrlingmaster about the stranger.
Returning at last to Galistath – billeted between S'burn's Aeranth and a mucky-looking brown dragonet – J'an 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 – J'an 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?
J'an and Galistath'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
Galistath and I complement each other!
PLEASE STATE THE NATURE OF THE MEDICAL EMERGENCY
I returned to the infirmary!
EBONY AND IVORY
Galistath and I agreed on something very important!
Galistath and I agreed on something quite important!