When the candidate class had been told they could bring instruments to play for Razelth, or that they could sing, or converse with the mighty gold, Asheran had sat there quietly and wracked his brain for some way he could have contributed meaningfully - some way to prove himself to the dragon, to prove that he was worthy of one of her as-of-yet unhatched hatchlings. His initial impulse to take to the stands and do push-ups for as long as he could, but he quickly dismissed the idea. He wanted to entertain her, but in a useful sort of way, not put her to sleep. He wasn't sure what exactly impressed a dragon (wingspan, probably) but she could benchpress more than he ever could aspire to. Weights were out.
In the end, he had gone back to his cramped, crowded quarters and carefully extracted the letters his family had sent him over the turns, and had made his way to the sands. There, he had waited until the last trilled note of a pipe had quieted, and that candidate who had played last had exited the cavern, and then stepped in himself and taken to the stands, carefully shuffling the sheaf of papers in his hands, clearing his throat. A part of him felt silly and small and hopeful; another part of him was proud because he was here, confident enough to read aloud, proud of all the progress he'd made during his time at the weyr.
"My sister, Felisa, she's with child again. It'll be her third. She's said... 'Dearest brother' - those are probably the harper's words, she wouldn't say it like that. Maybe 'Little Ashy' or something like that. Shards, though, uh, I mean - well, I'm larger than her by two and a half heads at least. But this will be her third. She thinks maybe a boy again. She's got one of each, but the..." He skimmed the first letter, skipping to the part in question: "The kicks make my back ache, like it did with Faelen, that's her boy, and I can't hardly sit down without having to get up again to, ah, well..." He scanned the letter again, searching for something more interesting than his sister confiding to him how often she had to relieve herself, and how that meant another nephew and not a niece.
"I hope you're doing well. Tomlin's had trouble with the harvest this turn, which has strained things between him and I on account of it's Raegar who helps collect the tithe. But ma is doing well, and da seems better some days. He actually came out of his sick to play with Ava, that's her girl, and she was riding him around the cothold like a runnerbeast the last time we came to visit. You wouldn't have believed how fast he could move on his bad leg, either. It was almost like he was back to how he used to be before the accident."
He hesitated at the next paragraph, then shuffled that letter to the back and started on the next:
"...Dearest brother, I hope you're doing well. I'm so proud to hear that you're doing well in your classes. Don't worry, you'll be certain to..." to Impress this time, I'm certain of it. "...and even if things don't go as you've planned, then you'll have a place here until you find your feet again. Da's leg has been bad again in the cold, and it's put a strain on ma. News from Braden. He might be this way soon for one of the Gathers. He has a new instrumental piece with drums and pipes, and looks forward to playing for the Lord Holder..."
And on and on, carefully reciting all the little things that had happened to his family during the three and a half turns he had been a candidate at Arolos Weyr, focusing on the child-rearing parts, hoping there was at least some overlap between his little nephew learning to walk, and the trials and tribulations of laying eggs.
Eventually, finished reading - spying more anxious candidates waiting in the wings, he let his voice trail off until only the echo of his words remained, sketched a polite bow, and then made his way back toward the barracks, to catch a bit of sleep between chores and craftwork.
(OOC: If any candidates want to pile onto this with how they're entertaining the queen on the sands, feel free!)