Candidate Niren's story begins...
As the son of the Headwoman's second, you, Niren, are of the Weyr, but not quite of dragons - though you've spent your life dreaming of being a dragonrider. Growing up in the lower caverns of Madellon Weyr has never cured you of your reverence for dragons, and you're determined to be the first rider in your family - paving the way for your younger sister, Ashi, and brother, little Halante. Halante already hero-worships you - and you know he'll be devastated if you don't Impress!
Three Turns ago you stood as a candidate for Shimpath's last clutch - and were left standing. The terrible events of Madellon's last Hatching day made your disappointment at the time pale by comparison. Now there's another clutch, and excited as you are, the awful thought that you might not Impress this time, either, hangs over you like the leading edge of Threadfall.
But S'rius - Madellon's most senior Search rider - waved you over to help with his wise old blue, Padseth, the morning after Shimpath clutched.
"Padseth still believes in you, Niren," he told you, in his croaky, quavering voice, as Padseth peered benignly down at you. "He might be too frail to fly Search now, but there's nothing wrong with his instincts. You only have to believe in yourself!"
At breakfast last sevenday, Postie - the Assistant Weyrlingmaster's blue fire-lizard - dropped a coveted Notice of Candidacy scroll on your head. And with your formal invitation to Stand for Impression clutched tightly in your hands, you began to let yourself believe that S'rius could be right!
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