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    Mawgrim
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Recognized characters/events/plots from Dragonriders of Pern belong to Ann McCaffrey

Canon typical violence

Gone Away, Gone Ahead - 45. Epilogue - A Hatching at Benden Weyr

D'gar attends his first Hatching as Weyrlingmaster

D’gar sat at his desk - the heavy, ancient desk in the Weyrlingmaster’s quarters - and wondered if his predecessors had found the job this difficult. He knew exactly what he wanted to do; design a training program with a good balance of theory and practice, building on existing skills and knowledge at each stage. However, getting the ideas out of his mind and onto hide wasn’t proving to be so easy. He sighed again and tried to decipher the former Weyrlingmaster’s notes. For a Harper, C’gan had terrible writing. Although, maybe he was being unfair. He’d been told the man had been fairly old when he died. Maybe he’d simply been short-sighted? Certainly, his earlier records seemed to be in better shape.

A tentative knock on the clapper fixed to the wall just outside the curtain made him sit up. ‘Yes? Come in.’ No-one appeared. ‘Come in!’ he yelled, irritated at being disturbed the midst of his thought processes.

A skinny arm appeared around the edge of the curtain, followed by an equally skinny frame. The lad hesitated to come any closer. Well, that wasn’t entirely surprising. He was still cautious around D’gar. It wasn’t really surprising, considering how he’d shouted at them in the infirmary, just after T’rai had rescued the pair. ‘Well, what is it?’ he asked, trying to control the annoyance in his voice. From the corner of his eye, he caught the still unfamiliar colours of his shoulder knot; Benden red instead of Fort brown. ‘Come here if you’ve something to say.’

Reluctantly, the lad did so. D’gar had to remind himself that despite having been at Benden for a couple of months, this wasn’t a confident weyrbrat, but a boy who’d grown up in an uncaring Hold. He was probably expecting a cuff at best for daring to disturb someone of higher rank than himself. He saw the lad pull himself straighter, taking a deep breath as if summoning courage to speak and tried to make his expression more friendly. ‘I don’t bite, you know.’

‘Well, sir, I wanted to ask you something.’ The sentence came out all in a rush.

D’gar nodded his head. ‘Go on.’

‘Those candidate lists that’ve been posted. My name’s up there, but Kadin’s isn’t.’

D’gar checked his own copy, chalked up on the slate to the left of his desk. ‘You’re Jevikel, right?’

The lad nodded.

‘It’s down to age. You can’t stand at a Hatching unless you’re fifteen. You’re just past that, but your friend is almost half a Turn younger.’ He knew the two lads were inseparable. Their love for each other was what had led them to be turned out of their intolerant Hold, almost to perish in Threadfall. Stupid Holdbred prejudice.

Jevikel bit his lip. ‘I know that, but I don’t want to stand without him. If we’re going to get dragons, I’d like us to Impress together.’

D’gar knew the facts; even if they did both stand at the same time, they might not both Impress. It was down to the dragons, after all. ‘It’s only a few more months,’ he said. ‘Kadin will be old enough by the next time Ramoth clutches. The rule’s there for a good reason, you know.’ Even to himself, he sounded brusque, inflexible. His tone reminded him of N’teren, the Weyrlingmaster at Fort when he'd been in the barracks.

Jevikel looked at him, then at the floor. ‘In that case, can you take my name off the list too. I don’t want to have the chance if he’s not allowed.’

‘Can’t do that. Sorry. We’re short of candidates as it is. Do you know what happens if a hatchling can’t find his or her rider when the egg cracks?’ He should do. They’d covered that in the lecture he’d given to all the prospective candidates.

‘They die,’ Jevikel said, very quietly.

‘Exactly. And I don’t want any dragons dying on my watch.’ His choice of words sent a shiver of remembrance down his spine. He’d heard exactly the same phrase a long time ago; four hundred and eight Turns, to be precise. Back then, he’d been the one confronting the Weyrlingmaster. “If Serebrin can’t stand, I don’t want to,” he’d said. His lover had been seriously ill, confined to the infirmary and N’teren had given him that answer. D’gar felt a lump in his throat. He’d stood; there had been no choice in the matter. But he’d deliberately closed off his mind and tried not to think welcoming thoughts as the dragons hatched. He’d walked away, dragonless, afraid that he might just have given up his only chance to be a dragonrider.

Jevikel just stood there, looking miserable, while D’gar made a few quick calculations in his head. None of the candidates would be allowed to join a Wing before they were sixteen. And their dragons certainly wouldn’t be ready until they’d reached at least a Turn and a half. Most would have reached their full growth at that age, but they’d need to fill out and muscle up before they’d be ready to graduate to the Wings. By that time, Kadin would have reached sixteen anyway. Shells! This was Benden, where hidebound tradition had been discarded many a time in favour of practicality. ‘You do realise that even if you both stand, there’s no guarantee you’ll both Impress from this clutch.’

He nodded. ‘Or at all.’

They’d not been Searched, but made their own way to the Weyr. Yet two of the Search dragons had considered they both met the minimum requirements. ‘Good. At least you’ve been listening to some of what I’ve been telling you all.’ He leaned back, letting the chair rock onto its rear legs. A bad habit, he knew, but the grooves in the floor showed many a Weyrlingmaster before him had done the same. ‘I’d rather have willing candidates on the Sands than reluctant ones…’ He watched carefully as the lad’s face fell. He wanted to Impress, all right, just not without his friend. ‘So, just this time, given the circumstances in which you both came to the Weyr, I’m going to bend the rules and let you both stand.’

The downcast expression gave way to one of joy. ‘Really?’

‘So don’t disappoint me,’ he added gruffly, channeling N’teren again. ‘Either of you.’

‘No, sir.’

‘I’ll see you both later in the lecture cavern. Now, off you go. I’ve work to do.’

Jevikel almost ran back out, eager to give his good news to Kadin.

D’gar smiled. He’d done the right thing. Let’s just hope both of them do Impress, he thought to himself, before picking up the pen once more.

***

T’garrin had been running a book on the likely outcome of the Hatching. Of Ramoth’s thirty-one eggs - no gold this time - it was expected that around fifteen would be green, eight to ten blue, maybe five or so browns and the remainder bronze.

D’gar wasn’t sure. Both Ramoth and Prideth’s previous clutches had been bronze-heavy. That might mean the same would happen again. Conversely, it could swing the opposite way. There’d been no bronzes at all in his own clutch and only two browns, Herebeth being one of them. T’garrin was also taking bets on which colours the various candidates would Impress. D’gar considered it inappropriate that he should wager any marks on the outcome; he had, after all, some inside knowledge on the personalities of the lads.

H’rek, however, had no such qualms and kept pressing him for hints. ‘So, who do you think is bronze material? I reckon that tall redhead from Ruatha’s a certainty. And the little blond one - Wybrald, isn’t it - is thought to be a good bet for a blue. Bavi’s foster lads for greens?’

He smiled in an inscrutable fashion. ‘I’ve my own thoughts on the matter. And as you know, I’ve been to a few Hatchings. Enough to realise that predictions are often totally inaccurate.’

‘It wouldn’t do any harm to give me a clue. If I win any marks, the next Gather’s on me.’

‘Nope. Sorry. My lips are sealed. You do know that if you start putting marks on anyone, folk will be paying attention to your picks and it will totally change the odds. So you can just take a guess, same as everyone else.’

He did and interestingly enough, his choices were soon the hot favourites, most of the Weyr assuming he’d got them from D’gar, despite his denials.

They’d been to visit the eggs twice, as was Benden custom. The sands were scorching underfoot. D’gar could tell from the increase in temperature and the way Ramoth hissed at them it wouldn’t be long now. It hadn’t been the done thing at Fort to let candidates so close to the eggs, but that was another of F’lar’s innovations, along with inviting relatives to attend the Hatching. D’gar thought it was a sensible idea. If the candidates became familiar with the layout of the Hatching Ground, Ramoth’s intimidating personality and the overpowering heat beforehand, they’d be far less scared on the big day. Considering the majority weren’t Weyrbred, that had to be a good thing; most injuries occurred when lads froze up in terror and didn’t get out of the way in time. H’rek had told him that he’d felt much less nervous through having become acquainted with Prideth and her eggs before stepping out onto the Sands barefoot and clad only in a white robe.

‘Why do we have to wear these stupid things?’ Hortaimin, one of the older boys, asked. He was the third son of a minor Holder and a little bit arrogant. ‘It looks like a dress.’

‘Tradition,’ D’gar said. ‘Hatchlings find it easier to spot you if you’re dressed in white.’ He grinned. ‘It shows up the blood pretty well, too and the healers can get it off easily to tend any wounds.’

He could see from a few of the faces that had hit home. Some of the Weyrbred boys had been in the audience at Nemorth’s last Hatching - the Bloody Hatching as it had become known - and had doubtless scared the others with accounts of it. ‘But remember, so long as you keep your eyes open and don’t panic it’s a lot less likely anyone will be hurt. Try not to cluster together, either. If you stay in loose groups, there’s space for a hatchling to get past if they can’t find the person they’re looking for right away. Don’t try to stop a dragon just because it’s the colour you’d like to Impress. It doesn’t work that way. Your dragon knows who you are. He - or she - just has to find you.’ He’d made a point, during several lectures, to state the positive characteristics of all the dragon colours. Despite that, most of the candidates seemed to want bronze because it was ‘best’.

‘When’s it going to happen?’ another boy asked.

‘When it’s time, Shebil. All we can do is wait and just hope it’s not in the middle of lunch.’ He knew there had been a lot of preparation in the kitchens so that a Hatching Feast could be put together in a couple of hours. Regular meals had been simple and easy for the past few days.

Perrigan piped up next. ’When will they bring our families?’

‘I’m told that the Weyrwoman will be sending riders out to collect your relatives.’ He glanced toward Jevikel and Kadin. He’d already asked them if they wanted riders to notify their families where they were. ‘No point,’ Kadin had said resignedly. ‘They wouldn’t come.’

‘They don’t even care if we’re alive,’ Jevikel had said. ‘In fact, they probably hope we’re not.’

All morning, there’d been an undercurrent of excitement and he’d been hard-pressed to keep the lads attention. It was just before lunch - typical - when Herebeth said, Ramoth tells me it is close now. She asks for the candidates to be ready.

‘Looks as if we’re going to be missing lunch after all,’ he told them, seeing the expressions around the lecture cavern; eager, scared, excited or a mix of all three. ‘Go and get yourselves cleaned up and dressed. It’s not a bad idea to have a piss before you get out there. You’ll be hopping around anyway from the heat but you don’t want to be greeting your dragons with a bursting bladder.’

That got a laugh, as expected. The room emptied in seconds. D’gar looked around and took a deep breath. This was it. His first Hatching as Weyrlingmaster at Benden. He hoped that it all went smoothly. There would be a lot of eyes on him today, some wanting it to turn out a shambles to prove themselves right.

It is time, Herebeth said simply and then that eerie sound began; the low hum of dragon voices as they prepared to welcome the newest additions to Benden Weyr.

As he left the cavern, the blue riders he’d assigned to the task were landing, waiting to ferry the boys to the Hatching Ground. He stood to one side as the first few emerged, straightening their robes and tying the sashes that held them together. A few winced as their bare feet came into contact with the odd sharp stone. ‘Good luck,’ he called, as they climbed up onto the dragons. Dust swirled as the wings beat to take off.

‘Good luck. Don’t forget what I’ve told you.’ Another couple climbed up behind the riders.

‘Remember, welcoming thoughts. Good luck, everyone.’

Jevikel and Kadin walked out together, lightly holding hands. They’d filled out a little in the months since they arrived at the Weyr, but both were still noticeably scrawnier than their fellows. The short Hatching robes revealed scars from their former lives, whether accidental or deliberate D’gar didn’t know. If they wanted to volunteer the information, he’d listen, but at this stage, he wasn’t going to push either of them.

‘Good luck,’ he called as they took turns to scramble up the foreleg of turquoise-blue Valmath. All of his charges safely away, he called Herebeth down for the short flight to the Hatching Grounds, dropping off outside to make sure there was plenty of freshly butchered herdbeast at the ready. He stood inside the tunnel mouth leading to the side entrance, waiting to greet the new riders as they made their way out. High above, up on the dragon tiers, he spotted Herebeth next to Jekkoth and Zurinth, with Rioth on his right. The low humming increased the air of expectancy as Ramoth stood protectively over her clutch, glaring at the boys who now stood awkwardly on the hot sand. At least the discomfort of their burning feet would distract them from feeling so nervous, D’gar thought. He remembered standing on the Sands at Fort with all the uncertainty swirling around his mind, wondering if any dragon would pick him after he’d deliberately ignored them the first time around. In his mind’s eye, clear as if it was yesterday, he saw Serebrin, determination on his face as he joined a group of lads around an egg they’d presumed held a blue. He’d been predicted to get a blue, just as Detgar, as he’d been called then, was slated for green.

‘There you are.’ H’rek had found him. ‘I was looking for you in the stands.’

‘No, I’m here so I can congratulate them on the way out.’ He remembered that H’rek had Impressed in Southern, where things were done differently. They’d not even had an assigned Weyrlingmaster, just a number of experienced riders who’d covered various aspects of the training. ‘This is how it’s supposed to be done.’ He refrained from adding ‘in a proper Weyr’ as he didn’t want to sound disparaging. In any case, Southern was fast becoming a ‘proper Weyr’ these days. One of T’bor’s Wingseconds had been given the job of Weyrlingmaster there and their own Hatching had taken place just a sevenday past, with all twenty-nine eggs successfully hatched.

‘They’re rocking,’ H’rek said, his eyes wide as he pointed toward a couple of eggs. One, with brownish patterns that looked a little like the coastline of Nerat, was thought to hold a bronze and was thus proving popular to the candidates. ‘Why is it taking so long?’

‘It’s always like this. It can take a few hours for them all to crack. It just feels much faster when you’re standing out there.’

H’rek linked his arm through D’gar’s. ‘They’re getting louder,’ he said, gazing around the huge cavern at the massed ranks of multi-hued dragons, all humming.

Lessa stood next to Ramoth, her dainty hand on the huge, golden head as they waited. A few more eggs had begun to move, seemingly in response to the welcoming chorus. Human voices rose, too; the weyrfolk urging the rocking eggs to crack and the slightly more awed Holders and Crafters who were eager to see if their sons would manage to Impress a dragon. T’garrin was busy too, taking a few last minute wagers. He’d only stop when the first shell cracked.

D’gar shifted slightly. Even with boots on, the sand underfoot was warm enough to be uncomfortable. There’d be some burned feet to treat later on, less so from the weyrbrats who often ran around barefoot in summer. Mind you, there were only eight of those; lads who’d been considered too young for Ramoth’s first clutch, when they’d deliberately chosen older teens because of the desperate need for sufficient mature dragons to fight Thread. He guessed that the last time these Hatching Grounds had been filled, the atmosphere had been far more tense. Then, the future of Pern had been at stake, with only one Weyr left to defend the planet.

His musings were disrupted by H’rek’s fingers digging into his arm. ‘Look!’ He pointed toward the far side, close to the wall, where an egg covered in orange and blue blotches had begun to crack. In response, several of the boys, all doing the Hatching Ground high-step, drew closer.

‘Not too close, you idiots,’ D’gar muttered under his breath. ‘Remember what I told you.’

‘They’ll be fine,’ H’rek assured him. ‘Don’t be such a worry-wherry.’

‘You sound like my mother.’ D’gar cracked a smile.

‘You sound like all of their mothers at once,’ H’rek quipped back.

The crack lengthened vertically until movement could be seen through the gap in the shell. Impossible to tell yet what colour the dragon inside might be, although the nearest boys leaned closer and it looked as if many of the audience were doing the same.

The dragons’ humming swelled in volume until finally, the egg split neatly in two and the hatchling spread his wings for the first time, scattering sand. He was dark brown, almost the same shade as Herebeth. There was an audible sigh from the audience. They’d been hoping for a bronze, as it was supposedly lucky. D’gar knew better. Of all the Hatchings he’d attended, only twice had a bronze been the first to emerge and those clutches had suffered the same number of losses as any other. For himself, he was grateful to see any colour, so long as it had the correct number of limbs and wings.

The tiny dragon stepped forward from the ruins of his egg, kicking the pieces aside. Then, ignoring all the boys who’d been gathered around, set off unerringly across the sand, creeling loudly as he sought his life-partner. D’gar saw Perrigan - a local lad, from Benden Hold - turn around, his face suddenly suffused with joy as he heard the voice inside his head that would become inextricably linked with him from this moment on. He rushed to meet his dragon, throwing his arms around the brown’s neck. ‘His name is Regarth,’ he shouted. Cheers and claps came from the audience and a middle-aged couple hugged each other as they watched their son become a dragonrider.

D’gar remembered the moment Herebeth had first spoken to him, all those Turns ago and smiled softly. He brushed a tear from his eye and noticed quite a few riders doing the same, H’rek included.

‘It’s wonderful,’ he said. ‘I remember Rioth finding me. She knocked me over.’

‘Sshh. There’s another one about to crack.’

Sure enough, a second egg was starting to give way under the assault of the hungry hatchling inside. It was smaller than some of the others, which had led many to think it might hold a green or blue, although that wasn’t necessarily the case. When they hatched, there wasn’t a lot of difference in size between dragons. The larger colours just ate more and grew faster.

A piece of shell flew away as a taloned foot kicked out relentlessly. The foot was wet with egg fluids, but obviously shiny. This one was definitely a bronze. D’gar missed seeing the next few moments as Regarth and his new rider - he’d need to note down the name later once Perrigan decided how he wanted to contract it - came towards them.

‘Well done. First Impression of the day.’

The lad beamed, his arm still loosely around his dragon. ‘We’re starving,’ he said.

‘Table’s out there, to your left. Remember, feed him slowly, or he might choke on it.’ He gave Perrigan a pat on the back and watched the pair exit carefully.

‘Look!’ H’rek pulled him back around.

The bronze hatchling had walked unerringly up to Jevikel, who seemed surprised and awed by the choice. ‘But you can’t pick me,’ D’gar heard him say. ‘I’m no-one special.’

The little dragon nudged him so hard he fell over and evidently gave him a good lecture. Then, as he scrambled to his feet, his face changed from uncertainty to a fierce kind of pride. ‘His name’s Chigath,’ he called. ‘Chigath!’

H’rek clapped his hands loudly. ‘Well done,’ he shouted, as the pair began to make their way out.

‘Hey, that’s my job,’ D’gar reminded him. ‘Congratulations,’ he said, as they came closer. Chigath was a rich bronze with a coppery sheen to his hide that would show up even more once the egg-residue and sand was cleaned off. ‘Go and get him some food. Remember, one piece at a time, no matter what he tells you. And make sure he chews it well.’

The next few minutes were hectic as several more eggs began to rock more violently and three cracked more or less at the same time. Two blues and a green emerged to make their unsteady way toward the feeding station.

‘Five down, twenty-six to go,’ D’gar muttered, taking advantage of the lull to make notes on his slate of the hatching order and the dragons names so far.

‘Two more about to split,’ H’rek said. One on either side of the Hatching Ground were starting to show signs of cracking. It was funny to watch the candidates indecision over which egg to run to. D’gar knew that although it didn’t really matter whether you were close to a particular egg or not, a lot of the running around at this point was just a way to keep your feet relatively cool.

Another green hatched from the one on the left-hand side. His heart lurched as he saw she was a very similar shade to Zemianth. One of the Weyrbred lads - Kernam - Impressed her, calling out, ‘Siamath. She’s Siamath,’ as a soppy smile overwhelmed him.

‘It’s a brown,’ H’rek said, pointing to the other one. ‘Carmalth, I think he said.’

They carried on in the same way for the next couple of pairings, H’rek listening for the names while he scribbled, congratulating those who passed by and reminding them not to let their dragons eat too fast once they got outside. There would be a couple of older riders waiting to remind them yet again as their dragons’ feelings of hunger overwhelmed the new riders. D’gar still worried a little. He’d seen a few hatchlings almost choke themselves, although usually a few coughs, or in the worst cases, someone having to fish out the piece of meat from the dragon’s gullet did the trick.

‘Kadin’s got a green,’ H’rek said. ‘I’m so glad.’

‘Did you get her name?’

‘He was too quiet. You’ll have to ask him yourself on the way past.’

D’gar sighed. Although he was pleased that both the boys had Impressed and that there was every chance their dragons might mate at some point in the future, he knew that Kadin’s green was almost certain to rise long before Chigath became mature enough to be interested. He foresaw a bit of support being needed there. But today was the Hatching and all that was a long way ahead. ‘Well done, lad,’ he said. ‘What was her name again?’

‘Wenlirth,’ he replied. ‘Isn’t she the most beautiful dragon you’ve ever seen?’ His grin looked wide enough to split his face.

D’gar had never seen him look so happy before and suspected that no-one but Jevikel ever had. ‘She’s gorgeous. A fine colour. Now, don’t forget to make her eat slowly and chew each piece of meat thoroughly. I’ll see you all later, in the barracks.’

It seemed a long time before all of the eggs were finally empty, the disappointed candidates filing out. He had a word of encouragement for them too. ‘Don’t be too downhearted. There’ll be another chance soon enough. All this means is that your dragon hasn’t hatched yet.’

Blue riders dropped down, carefully gathering up the broken shards into baskets for disposal. Lessa strolled over. ‘A good Hatching, don’t you think? No-one hurt, again. This way works, doesn’t it?’

‘Indeed.’

‘Did you get the totals? Six bronzes, wasn’t it?’

He checked his list. ‘That’s right, Weyrwoman.’

Her eyes shone. ‘Well done, D’gar. I’ll see you at the feast.’

He gave a small, formal bow, mostly for the benefit of the remaining audience. Lessa wasn’t one to stand on ceremony. She climbed up into the stands to greet some folk she obviously knew.

‘That was so exciting,’ H’rek said. ‘And moving, too. What happens now?’

‘I’ll check they’ve all survived their first meal, get the lads new names matched up to their dragons. And after that, we’ll get some food. Maybe even a cup of wine or two to celebrate.’

‘Good idea,’ H’rek linked arms with him again. ‘A perfect end to a perfect day.’

D’gar suppressed a chuckle. ‘The end for you, you mean. For me, this is just the beginning.’

 

THE END

Thank you for following this story and for all the comments and suggestions that have kept me going even when it felt like hard work!

If you aren't already aware of my other Dragonriders of Pern stories I have linked to them below:

Fort Weyr - Eighth Pass - D'gar's story before the Weyrs came forward, in sequence. Hatchings, Weyrlings, Threadfall

A Hatching in Southern - How H'rek Impressed Rioth

First Flight - Rioth's first mating flight

The Return to Benden - H'rek returns to Benden Weyr to fight Thread

Once again, thank you for reading. Please leave a recommendation or a review if you enjoyed it.

'Threadfall' is still to be completed and I hope to post some more Dragonriders of Pern fan fiction later this year, along with some other original fiction.

Copyright © 2020 Mawgrim; All Rights Reserved.
Recognized characters/events/plots from Dragonriders of Pern belong to Ann McCaffrey

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Loved the story, sorry to see it end!

 

Edited by N K
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Always happy with an epilogue, I do like to have a tidy ending.  LOL...  

I am glad that D'gar made and exception and let both of them stand; and really glad that both of the holder boys were able to impress a dragon.  

It was interesting seeing it from this point of view.  Gave a different feeling, and I enjoyed it trememdously.

I do hope you continue this sage, I will be watching out for anything new from you.

Excellent work.

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13 minutes ago, centexhairysub said:

It was interesting seeing it from this point of view.  Gave a different feeling, and I enjoyed it trememdously.

Yes, I’d already written a couple of Hatching scenes from the points of view of the lads waiting to see if they'd Impress and this was another point of view, showing D'gar's concern for his prospective weyrlings.

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Never having been a fan of this genre, I can't help but confess how much I fell in love with this and the other related tales so graciously offered by Mawgrim. I think the following is but one of many samples I could have picked from, to illustrate how enjoyable reading this and the other related stories were.

The dragons’ humming swelled in volume until finally, the egg split neatly in two and the hatchling spread his wings for the first time, scattering sand. He was dark brown, almost the same shade as Herebeth. There was an audible sigh from the audience. They’d been hoping for a bronze, as it was supposedly lucky. D’gar knew better. Of all the Hatchings he’d attended, only twice had a bronze been the first to emerge and those clutches had suffered the same number of losses as any other. For himself, he was grateful to see any colour, so long as it had the correct number of limbs and wings.

The tiny dragon stepped forward from the ruins of his egg, kicking the pieces aside. Then, ignoring all the boys who’d been gathered around, set off unerringly across the sand, creeling loudly as he sought his life-partner. D’gar saw Perrigan - a local lad, from Benden Hold - turn around, his face suddenly suffused with joy as he heard the voice inside his head that would become inextricably linked with him from this moment on. He rushed to meet his dragon, throwing his arms around the brown’s neck. ‘His name is Regarth,’ he shouted. Cheers and claps came from the audience and a middle-aged couple hugged each other as they watched their son become a dragonrider.

D’gar remembered the moment Herebeth had first spoken to him, all those Turns ago and smiled softly. He brushed a tear from his eye and noticed quite a few riders doing the same, H’rek included.

‘It’s wonderful,’ he said. ‘I remember Rioth finding me. She knocked me over.’

Mawgrim has left me hoping, actually, begging for more!! That is the hallmark of a wordsmith at his craft!!!

Thank you!!! 

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33 minutes ago, drsawzall said:

Mawgrim has left me hoping, actually, begging for more!! That is the hallmark of a wordsmith at his craft!!!

Thank you!!! 

Thank you, both for the kind words and the review. And for suggesting that F'drun should perish in a volcano!

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What a beautifully moving and wonderfully positive note on which to finish this story :) 

I hope you have more 'Pern dragon tales' planned so we can continue this amazing journey of dragons, boys and men :) 

Thank you for sharing your work and dreams with us.

Michael

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3 minutes ago, MJC said:

I hope you have more 'Pern dragon tales' planned so we can continue this amazing journey of dragons, boys and men :) 

I have a few planned. It's getting round to writing them all that takes the time, though! 

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Mawgrim, I think Anne and Todd would be proud of your contribution to the series.  It was an excellent story told by a masterful storyteller.

Your description of the Hatching was beautiful.  As always happens to me, I read it with tears in my eyes, wistfully wishing it could be me on the sands of the Hatching Grounds.  Hatchlings are such sweet, happy occasions to me, especially once F’Lar instituted the practice of bringing the families and important people of Pern in to witness the joyous event.
 

You need to bring in Robinton and the Masterhealer!  They play such great roles in the stories.  You can’t go further without at least the Masterharper!

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2 hours ago, Clancy59 said:

You need to bring in Robinton and the Masterhealer!  They play such great roles in the stories.  You can’t go further without at least the Masterharper!

Now that D'gar isn’t just a wing rider and has a position of importance at Benden, I’m sure he'll be involved with any meetings (or social occasions) attended by various Craftmasters, Lord Holders and the like.

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Having read all the Dragon Riders of Pern books, I am impressed at the similarity of writing.  Although I am not always a fan of fantasy, when it is well witten, the story is entertaining and the characters are believable, I find it quite enjoyable.  I have read all your stories here and really enjoyed them as well.  Keep up the good work.  Hugs!

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57 minutes ago, alexlittel said:

Having read all the Dragon Riders of Pern books, I am impressed at the similarity of writing.  Although I am not always a fan of fantasy, when it is well witten, the story is entertaining and the characters are believable, I find it quite enjoyable.  I have read all your stories here and really enjoyed them as well.  Keep up the good work.  Hugs!

Thank you and glad you have enjoyed the story. I’m working on a few different writing projects at the moment and should be posting some original fiction soon (in addition to continuing with the Pern stories)

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