Gienah's father pointed out the candidate barracks to her on his way
back to work for the rest of the morning, and she promised to see him at
dinner later on. There wasn't any one else around, she guessed they must
all be at class or chores, so she found herself an empty bed after a bit
of searching. With two clutches on the sands, it looked like the
barracks was filling up.
After folding away her clothes and storing few belongings, she decided
to head out to explore and try and at least find her way to the
classrooms and the dining cavern. Dragonsfall seemed to be much more of
a warren of caves and tunnels than Dolphin Cove, and it was old, more
than a thousand Turns from what she'd been told. She couldn't imagine
the work that must have gone into hollowing it out and cutting the rock
After wandering for a while without success, then trying to retrace her
steps, she had to admit she was hopelessly lost. Which way were the
stairs? Shells, she hoped she didn't miss lunch. Gienah stopped and
tried to think. Had she been past this turning before? Then, to her
relief, she saw a boy about her age coming from the opposite direction.
"Hi! Sorry to bother you." Her smile was slightly embarrassed. "Do you
know how to get to the dining cavern from here?"
**Well, hello,** Kaibren thought as he was approached by the brunette.
His eyes flicked to her shoulders - another Candidate!
"Sure, I can show you the way," he said, flicking his head to throw his
hair back out of his eyes. "I'm Kaibren. You new to Dragonsfall?" he asked.
"Is it really obvious?" She laughed. Getting lost on the way to the
dining cavern was a bit of a giveaway. "Yes, I'm brand new. I just
arrived from Dolphin Cove. My da got a job here."
"Oh, what's he do?" Kaibren asked as he took her through a passageway.
"He's a herder. Used to work out in the holds, then I got Searched, and
he's been looking for a place in the Weyrs ever since. When I heard he'd
got the job here, I asked to transfer straight away. And I heard there's
two clutches on the Sands, or likely to be, so I'm hoping this time I'll
be lucky. How about you?" she asked. "Have you been here long?"
"I've been here about four Turns, or something like that. We lived at
Dolphin Cove before but then my mom," he jerked his head upward as if
she were literally flying above them at that moment, "became the
"Your mother's the Weyrwoman - so is it her queen's clutch that's on the
Sands?" Gienah asked. "That'd be good, if you Impressed from one of her
"Well, technically it's Aglayath's clutch on the Sands, but my mother's
dragon, Chioneth, is supposed to have one on there soon. There's been
lots of talk about what to do since golds don't usually share the
hatching sands here at Dragonsfall." Kaibren said a little importantly,
since he had access to the information he overheard his mother discussing.
"Oh, really?" Gienah had never thought of how that might cause
difficulties, but she remembered how protective the Dolphin Cove queens
had been of their eggs. "Will that be a problem, their being on the
"I don't know," Kaibren admitted. "When I was younger, I really didn't
pay attention much when my mom had eggs on the Sands." Aside from the
times she'd taken him with her and he'd sat among the eggs, dreaming of
a day when he might Impress one. "So this is the first time I've really
seen it happen. I just like the odds that having two clutches on the
Sands gives us to Impress."
"Me too. I've stood a few times, and no luck so far. This other boy from
the cothold I was Searched from, he Impressed on his first Hatching, not
even a sevenday after we got to the Weyr. I hope it'll be my turn this
time." She followed him into a stairwell. "So, what is there to do
around here that's fun? At Dolphin Cove we always used to go to the
beach and have picnics and play games."
"There's the Summer and Winter Lake," he said, ticking them off of his
fingers. "The cliffs are good for climbing, and then people take picnics
by the river that lets the waterfall out. We get a lot of snow, of
course, so you can freshen up on your snowball fighting skills."
"That does sound fun." She grinned. "I'd never seen snow before flying
in here. I almost thought it was a tall tale that dragonriders told to
tease the Candidates."
"After you Impress and can fly wherever you want, you should visit the
Amber Hills area sometime. They get tons of snow."
"More than here? That must be a sight." That was, if she was lucky
enough to Impress. Though she'd never spoken about it, she wondered in
certain moments if the Search dragon might have made a mistake. The
Weyrwoman's son surely wouldn't have to worry about that. Still, if
nothing else, the Search had given her this time at the Weyr.
They reached the bottom of a flight of stairs, and Gienah breathed in.
"Mmm, I think I can smell baking bread. We must be close to the dining
Kaibren could smell it too. "Maybe we can stop in and grab something
fresh," he said, leading the way.
Last updated on the March 9th 2021