With a dwindling dragon population and the threat of Thread far from most people's minds, the fear and respect of the Holds was gone. Green could be seen on the heights. Though no disrespect was made publicly to dragons, little respect was given to their riders. And while no one could deny the power of the Weyrs, their usefulness was called into question. Over the course of the Long Interval, riders were relegated to flying patrols and acting as couriers, a far step down from the proud and noble fighters of the Pass.
Now, as the Red Star reapproached, there were many who would like to believe Thread would never fall again. There were others who gave honor to the dragons and riders for duty and custom's sake. And there were some who truly believed. But even in the Weyrs, not all believed....
A conclave of Weyrleaders four Turns ago decreed that High Reaches Weyr would open. Fort Weyr had five golds and Telgar, four, a situation that was rapidly becoming difficult. The queenriders chosen for this were Joliene of Telgar and Nalan of Fort. Both women were in their early thirties, though Nalan had Impressed some two Turns sooner than Joliene. The Weyrleaders, in concert with the Weyrwomen, decided that Joliene would be the better choice to become the Weyrwoman of Telgar, with her Elsibeth's first flight there deciding the Weyrleader.
Since then, both Benden and Igen Weyrs have also been