Act 1: The Gather

Elshenric watched as the thief tried to steal without him knowing it. Elshenric felt that the thief personally offended him. He had had this stable for 4 years now and almost thought of it as his own. Yet the thief still tried to take what was rightfully his by hours of labour. Now that machines were getting sparse, hard labour was needed more and more to supply everyone with the essentials. He almost wanted to hit the thief on the head now, but then, their wouldn't be proof that he really was a thief, so Elshenric had to wait. Elshenric wasn't old, only 24 turns, but he was traditional. He believed in the values of hard work and honesty. Seeing someone defy these most valuable of laws made him angry. Elshenric had blond hair that reached till his shoulder blades. He had a strong chest from all the work at the forges. At that particular day he was wearing a long beige apron, clearly displaying his profession.
He watched as the thief got closer and handled his goods. Lifting them. Examining them as if he was going to buy them. Elshenric knew better. He had always been able to tell a person's real intentions, something he had learned from his mother. The only thing that kept him from chasing the thief off was the thought of seeing him imprisoned.

Wivenalt knew he was being foolish. But he had a reputation to uphold. If he didn't go through with this bet, he'd certainly put his leadership on the line. Wivenalt didn't really want to be here. His friends had dared him he wouldn't dare stealing. They knew darn well that he had had problems. He had been a kleptomaniac. They had found out and since he was only 14 at the time had let him go, but he had had to report daily to the town harper for 2 years. He had also promised his mother he wouldn't do it again. And he had kept that promise, until now. He was almost 17 but looked younger. He had a small body and short dark brown hair. He was known as 'The Skeleton' in his group because you could count every bone in his body.
He could feel the blacksmith's eyes on him. "Act casual" he thought, "maybe he'll look away and you can snitch something meaningless.". But the blacksmith didn't look away. He kept on staring. That would mean he'd have to make a run for it.
He grabbed the first thing that he touched and turned. He didn't look at it, but it felt small and insignificant in his hands. He hoped it wouldn't be worth chasing him for.

Elshenric saw a change coming over the boy. He hesitated. Elshenric almost saw the extra of catching a thief go up in smoke when the boy grabbed an expensive ring. It didn't look like it, because there weren't any gems set on it, but it had been handcrafted with a special technique.
Elshenric cursed and started chasing the boy through the gather-crowd.


Act 2: Search

Wivenalt looked back. The smith was following him. He opened his hand and looked at the ring in it. Just an ordinary metal ring...ugly too. Wivenalt knew the best way of getting rid of the blacksmith was zigzagging the crowd and finding a way out with enough rocks or cots to hide behind. If the smith valued this ring that much, he could make sure he got it back. All he needed had been accomplished. He had accepted the dare and done it.
He noticed a small opening between to gather stables. He thought it might just be big enough for him to pass through. He ducked and sneaked between the people, and between the stables. Yes, he would fit through it. He almost cheered as he got through and congratulated him on his safe return.
He returned by the back of the stables and located the right smith's stable. The smith had run after him and had only left one man in charge who wasn't all that bright. Wivenalt took out the ring and reached in. He was just about to put it back when he heard a loud breathing behind him. The Smith!
He turned...but there was no smith, just a big brown dragon, which could be worse, he didn't know.
"Might explaining to me what you were doing?" a voice from behind the dragon said.
"Me? Nothing."
"No, of course not, I see people reaching into stables every gather."
"I was just putting something back."
The dragon looked at him and seemed to say: "Don't mess with me, I'll know."
"The ring I took earlier."
"And why did you take that?"
"Well, my friends dared me, but I didn't want to, so I picked the least valuable thing I could find. But the smith still chased me, so I thought I could bring it back. He isn't too bright either. He left the stable with only one man in charge."
"I see."
The dragonrider thought for a sec, his eyes set on the horizon.
"Hmmm, I think we can make a deal."
"A deal?"
Maybe there was hope. Maybe he wouldn't be punished.
"See, Kraiteth seems to think you would be good for the hatching."
"Me? No, I've had problems."
"Dragons don't care about the past, only the present. But should you impress you better not ever steal agin."
"I wasn't planning to do it anyway....but impressing a dragon would be cool."
"ok, we have a deal."


Act 3: Weyr Business

The little thief had outrun him. It wasn't easy getting through the crowds when you were as big as Elshenric.
He tried looking under stables and asking people if they had seen a scrawny little fellow, but no-one had. Finally he returned to his stable and hoped Revinarod hadn't caused too much damage. When he got back to his stable he saw a tall man talking to Revinarod.
"Can I see your boss?"
"He's gone, don't know when he'll be back."
"I'll wait."
"ok." and Revinarod started staring at the goods again.
"You did a good job Revinarod." Elshenric said, "You can go now."
"Can I get food?"
"Sure, here's some money."
Elshenric watched as his stablesitter walked off. He turned to the tall man.
"You wanted to talk to me?"
"Yes, I'm R'es, rider of brown Kraiteth and I need to know if you can come to the Weyr and fix some tools."
"Why yes. I always like working in the Weyrs."

Elshenric liked the Weyr. It was very alive and looked friendly. No-one ever did anything wrong in the Weyr it seemed. Too bad he wasn't able to work in them often. His skills were needed most in the "real world" of farmers and miners. When he was at the Weyr, he always worked harder and better, the rewards were always good too.
This time he got a sack of coins, free meals and an invite to watch the hatching. Something he had never done before. See a hatching. He had heard about it, and the strength of emotions would be overpowering even if they were a mere fraction of what people described. He couldn't wait to experience it.


Act 4: The Hatching

Wivenalt got ready for the hatching. Today was the big day, the beginning of his new life. A feeling of joy and hope came over him. Nothing could go wrong today, right? Wivenalt wore his white impression garb with pride as he entered the hatching grounds. He walked straight and smiled, he wouldn't have to listen to anyone anymore once he had a dragon, well, maybe the weyrleaders and wingleaders, but they would know what was right.
The first egg cracked, a brown, he wondered what a brown-brown clutch could produce. It hadn't happened before to his knowledge.

Elshenric sat on the hatching sand benches and was enjoying himself. Not many people were able to attend a hatching. The eggs were rocking and every dragon of the Weyr was present. Suddenly a whisper went through the cavern. The candidates were coming in. He looked closely at these young promising people. One of them looked familiar, the thin boy on the right. He cursed his bad memory and let it go. Maybe he would remember later.
The first egg cracked and a silence came over the Weyr.
About halfway through the hatching he remembered. It was the thief!!! Elshenric immediately jumped of the bench and ran down, causing a big commotion. At some point everyone was looking at him. He had almost made it when a little blue dragonet burst from it's egg and started bugling and flapping his wings. He ran straight to Elshenric, crashing in and sat on top him.
"If you hurt my chosen, I will harm you." the blue said, audible to everyone in the grounds, clawing Elshenric's chest.

Wivenalt looked at the little blue that defended him so fiercely. He stepped closer and whinced as another hatchling blue ran over the firs. He stepped closer to the first blue and picked him up. The blue twisted his neck to face him and said:
"W'alt, I am Oseth. And he had no right to try do anything, especially during my hatching. And I was sure he was going to harm you. You donít think he would have really harmed you, do you? I was so worried he was. Besides, you returned the ring, didnít you?"

Elshenric slowly rose to his feet, looking angry at the Thief and hardly noticed the second blue until it spoke:
E'shen, I am so sorry I was not able to stop that blue from hurting you. Are you okay? He should pay for what he took, he should."
ďIím fine, Saphith, I think. I will get a medic to look at this though.Ē
Both men left the hatching ground, as far apart from each other as they could.

Oseth and Saphith


Act 5: Weyrlings

E'shen watched as he saw the young thief come closer. The little crook had tried to convince him he was an ok guy. Well E'shen wouldn't forget what he had done any time soon. No way. He stood up and left W'alt before he had even gotten close enough to say his name without attracting attention. The other riders were already spreading rumors about them having an affair.
"They are not." Saphith said.
"I know they are, I see them look when I walk past."
"They think you are grumpy."
"I am not grumpy." E'shen said and entered the Lower Caverns to get some food.

W'alt sighed as he saw E'shen leave again. You were supposed to start all over again once you impressed a dragon, but E'shen just hadn't cut him any slack.
"He doesn't like you." Oseth remarked.
"I know, he think I did it on purpose."
"You sort of did."
"Yeah, but I didn't want to."


Act 6: Adults

"Anything to prove your innocence?" E'shen asked.
"Yes, just to get even, I can't take it anymore." W'alt said.
"We pick a female and we see who wins. The one that wins will be right."
"Ok..." W'alt said, E'shen certainly was the most impressing of them and a riders choice did influence the dragon. E'shen was tall, big and muscled while he was still short and pale.
"I can win any female!" Oseth bragged.
"But I get to pick the female." W'alt ended, encouraged somewhat by his dragon.
"It's a deal." E'shen said and looked at him like he'd better hold his promise and lose. W'alt shuddered and hoped E'shen hadn't seen it.


Elshenric and Wivenalt impressed at Sidra Weyr