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The Dragons Choose

Writers: Estelle, Heather
Date Posted: 19th February 2023

Characters: Ashela, Zathris
Description: Ashela visits Zathris at Amber Hills Hold to discuss the events of the Hatching
Location: Amber Hills Hold
Date: month 9, day 8 of Turn 10




Aglayath circled low over Amber Hills Hold, following the line of the
river before turning to glide over the cots and make an elegant landing
before the main Hold building. She responded courteously to the
watchdragon's welcoming bugle, but left no doubt of her importance.

}:I am Aglayath of Dragonsfall. My rider is here to see your Lord.:{

“Lady Goldrider,” a well-dressed drudge met Ashela in the courtyard once
she had landed. “My Lord will be with you momentarily, I will show you
to some refreshments, if you will follow me.”

"Thank you." Ashela turned to her dragon and gently touched her palm to
the golden hide, speaking silently with her. Then she removed her riding
helmet, shook out her hair and followed the drudge into the Hold,
leaving Aglayath to curl up in a sunny patch and enjoy the admiring
glances of the holders.

The Weyrwoman's Second had only moments to wait in the parlor room
before the door opened and the Lord of Amber Hills entered. Zathris had
been out sparring with some of the men when the gold appeared over the
Hold. His cheeks were still reddened from the exertion, blue eyes
bright, and he still wore the black gambeson that such activities required.

"Lady Ashela," he said with a polite dip of his head. "What brings the
pleasure of your company to Amber Hills today?"

She turned to face him and her lips curved into a bright, wide smile.
**This visit might be even more interesting than I'd expected.**

"Lord Zathris, thank you for sparing some time for me. I'm here at the
Weyrwoman's request. We both agreed that after the recent surprising
event at the Hatching, it would be sensible to share what we know, and
answer any questions you may have." She paused. "I do hope I didn't
interrupt your practice? If you'd rather, I could return at a more
convenient hour."

The door opened again and a drudge carried in a tray.

"Wine or juice ma'am?" the drudge inquired politely, while pouring a
glass of wine for Zathris, who took it and seated himself opposite the

"Ah yes, the Hatching," Zathris said. "It was certainly eventful."

"Indeed." Ashela turned to the drudge. "Oh, I shouldn't really, but
since I'm visiting the home of the Vintner Hall... I'll take a small
glass of wine." While the wine was poured, she continued. "As you no
doubt recall, at that Hatching a young weyrbred woman, Kadira, Impressed
blue Ishath. No-one at the Weyr has heard of a male hatchling choosing a
female Candidate before, though our Harpers have been searching diligently."

She accepted the glass and sipped with an appreciative sigh. "One reason
for my visit was to find out if the Hold have any records of such a
pairing in the past. Documents perhaps, but also old songs or family
tales. Though Dragonsfall's archives are extensive, Hatchings are a
regular occurrence and perhaps not recorded in as much detail as they
would be by visitors from outside the Weyr."

“I don’t believe we have any such occurrences on record, but I will have
our harpers check.” Zathris sipped from his wine glass. “Does the Weyr
believe this to be a one time occurrence or are women on blue dragons
something we should come to expect?” He had holders that would not be
happy if this wasn’t a fluke.

"It's hard to say. The evidence of the Records - or lack of it - would
suggest that it is extremely rare, if not as impossible as we once
thought." Ashela paused, considering what his concerns might be. "I
wouldn't be surprised if the girl's upbringing was significant. There's
a certain...openness among those brought up in the Weyr as regards the
roles of men and women; I'm Holdbred myself, and it took some getting
used to. If that's the case, we may be less likely to see girls from the
Holds Impressing blue. But no-one can say for certain. The dragons choose."

"Holders mostly send their daughters when there is a gold egg on the
Sands. Being holdbred yourself then you already know how they feel when
their daughter impresses to a green, much less a blue. Amber Hills has
always been able to provide the Weyr with a steady group of Candidates
when needed but.... It may take some more persuasion moving forward."
Zathris himself did not have such strong objections to the roles of
women, but his holders were another story.

"I understand. We are, of course, grateful whenever a Holder family
allows a young person to come to the Weyr as a Candidate for the eggs."
She thought for a moment, then smiled. "Going by the Records, I believe
you could truthfully tell any parent who has doubts that their daughter
is far more likely to Impress gold than blue."

Zathris wasn't sure if that would allay fears or not, what with the
track record of Dragonsfall goldriders coming and going. Weyrwoman
Saibra was the most stable transplant they'd had for a while, and she
wasn't even from the area. "If nothing else, I believe when they see
this female bluerider eventually searing Thread from the skies above
their crops, they'll remember that it really isn't all that important
what gender sits on the dragon's neck."

"I hope that proves to be the case. Of course, I can assure you that
your fields and orchards will be as diligently protected as ever."
Ashela considered for a moment. How to ensure this meeting with the
handsome Lord Holder would be repeated? "If any of your holders are
concerned, I would be happy to return and speak with them, as often as
my duties permit. The Weyrwoman is keen to strengthen our ties with the
holds in Dragonsfall's territory." Saibra hadn't actually said that in
so many words, but it might be true.

"That would be very kind of you to spare the time," Zathris said with a
nod of his head. A drudge entered the room and spoke softly into the
Lord Holder's ear. "Alas, I have some matters to attend, but I thank you
again for your visit, Lady Ashela."

"Of course. I wouldn't dream of keeping you from your duties." Ashela
rose gracefully and offered a hand in farewell. "Until we meet again,
Lord Zathris."

Last updated on the February 19th 2023

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