• Jaxom, the underage Lord of Ruatha, cleans his dragon, Ruth.
• Ruth is a white dragon that is a runt.
• Jaxom is preparing his dragon for inspection by the Weyrleaders and other Lord Holders who will determine if Jaxom may fly on Ruth.
• Jaxom's mother died in childbirth, and his father was killed moments later in a duel.
• Lytol, a former dragonrider, is Jaxom's guardian.
• Jaxom will be appointed Lord of Ruatha when he is believed to be old enough.
• As a baby, Jaxom was nursed by Deelan, who raised Jaxom with her son, Dorse.
• Dorse, Jaxom's milk-brother, constantly teases Jaxom and tells him that Ruth is merely an overgrown fire-lizard.
• Fire lizards are smaller than dragons, but not as intelligent.
• The leaders of the dragonriders of Benden Weyr, Lessa and F'lar, agree that Ruth is large enough for Jaxom to begin flying.
• Jaxom will be allowed...
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