Weyrling Lesson: Hunting

"The guests are met, the feast is set:
May'st hear the merry din."


Xanadu Weyr - Feeding Grounds

A large portion of the eastern edge of the meadow has been fenced off, the corralling on three sides is located on the rolling meadow, while the fourth is located a short way up on the eastern hills. Within the large corral are a variety of beasts - ovines, bovines, and wherries - milling around, though the appearance of a dragon may send them one way or the other to try and escape. A small pond is set near one corner of the enclosure, and at times it reflects the low, bordering mountains.

It's early afternoon and the skies are clear. S'ya is making her way over to the Grounds with So, the greenpair ushering a group of Weyrlings that are interested in getting a bit of flying practice in. "Should be roomy enough here for everyone to spread their wings." S'ya says, looking over the area with her hands on her hips. "Alright, let us start with our warm ups!" Sophyrinth is eager to start, stretching her frail wings out so that all the Weyrlings can get a good view.

Seryth pads into the area beside Thea, who is walking along with the other weyrlings. As they near the feeding pens, the young gold's head snaps up and she whuffs sharply. "Later, Seryth," she cautions, "we've stuff to do first." Her riding straps are slung over one shoulder and they're heavy, which is evident by the difficulty she has moving.

Ellamariseth makes her kamikaze-like entrance, diving out from the skies to scatter a big group of wherries in their own separate pens. She pulls up before hitting the ground (or the fence again) and rumbles happily. From her home comes the junior weyrwoman, looking a bit annoyed. "No playing today, Ella," she grumbles out, her green eyes turning in the direction of the class. "Our weyrlings at work! Interesting place ya pick, S'ya," she calls over, smirking at the assistant weyrlingmaster. Ysa makes sure to eye the woman a bit, too, especially since she hadn't seen the greenrider much since she was popping out a baby.

Sophyrinth catches the young golds sudden whuffling, the tiny green tilting her head a bit as she glances her over. "Um, the stretches love." S'ya reminds her lifemate with a bemused look, giving her dragon a bit of a poke as she moves amongst the Weyrlings to see if anyone needs help. "You alright with those straps, love?" She asks Thea brightly, having noticed her struggling. When Ella strikes she does look over at the full grown queen, blinking a bit as she watches her handy work. "Oh Ysa, good afternoon." She says with a bit of a giggle. "Oh? Well, I was thinking that maybe if the class impressed me I would see about giving them a special little lesson after our flying practice." She makes sure to speak clearly so that all the Weyrlings can hear her, hoping to snag their interest.

Thea is caught off-guard as she's preoccupied with carrying the straps without tripping, so is startled when Ellamariseth swoops down. "Someday, I hope these sudden arrivals affect my adrenaline less," she comments to nobody in particular. She waggles a few free fingers in Ysa's direction, then nods to S'ya, "I'm all right Ma'am. Have to get used to carrying them someday." Seryth, meanwhile, watches the scattering wherries with a feline interest, but snaps out of it when Thea pokes her. Oh yes! Exercises! The gold dutifully moves to a clear space to extend her wings.

E'gin blanches as they draw near to the feeding grounds. Some bad memories in this vicinity, apparently. There's saliva drip-dripping from Mazunth's maw. As they move out to join the exercises, the blue also keeps his eyes on the herd's movements. E'gin, just keeps his eyes averted, swallowing repeatedly.

"You'll get used to it," Ysa assures Thea as she glances back to her lifemate, who was gaining height again but still meal-less. "I see. They're more than ready to hunt if that's what ya mean, S'ya, those poor things. Some look pretty starved." She eyes the other weyrlings around, frowning at the skinner dragons with them. Ellamariseth finally swoops back, this time in a gentler glide to circle once over the herdbeast herd. Once the beasts move closer to the little dragons, she strikes and makes sure to make her kill right before them. Ella was just being nice and showing them how it's done… right?

S'ya giggles a bit at Thea, bobbing her head. "Oh, I am sure they will! I mean, you live in a Weyr now so you must!" Sophyrinth watches the wherry when Seryth does, the green wiggling her butt a bit as if she's getting ready to chase after a nice fat one just for fun. "So, exercise." S'ya says firmly to the dragon, the green dropping a bit but complying. When Thea turns her down S'ya moves over to E'gin. "Are you alright, love? You look about ready to faint." She turns to Ysa, leaving So to lead the Weyrlings through the drill. "You think they look underfed?" She asks curiously, glancing back over at So.

Thea's expression just says she hopes so as Ellamariseth swoops back down and snatches her kill. Seryth snaps her jaws in unintentional accord with the larger gold, pausing in her wing stretches; Thea nods at S'ya, then silently calls Seryth back to her task. The wings stretch and flap, warming the muscles, but at least there's entertainment while exercising, right? That she is pleased is evident in her trill of admiration to Ellamariseth's catch.

E'gin just blinks at S'ya, shrugging his shoulders, his eyes wander over everything but the feeding pens. "Bit queasy, that's all, Ma'am. Must be something I ate." Or that Mazunth is going to eat, likely. His blue is avidly watching Ellamariseth eat while his wings extend and furl over and over.

Ysa leans against the fence of the grounds, near the group of weyrlings doing their stretches now. "Oh, definitely. Ya see that brown? Whats-his-name? Definitely skinny… I mean, I know Arinith doesn't have much meat on his bones, but these dragons look sickly more than how they were born." She turns her attention from dragons to her lifemate, frowning as she sees the animal still thrashing. Finally Ella snaps the neck, bugling her triumph at getting her kill towards the weyrlings. And then sloowly she lowers her muzzle to tear into the soft belly. Making sure it was facing the weyrlings, too. "This is torture," the goldrider says, though there's a grin on her face now. "Ya been cutting up meat for awhile, this is nothing to be queasy 'bout now!" Cackle.

"Ella reminds me a bit of As, he loves playing with his food too." S'ya says with a giggle to Ysa, the greenie glancing over her shoulder quickly to make sure everyone is working at the drills and that So was still teaching them. The green looks a bit bored but she's still moving through the exercise, her whirling eyes snapping over to Ella every so often in order to catch what the queen is up to. When E'gin answers her S'ya gives him a warm smile. She could put two and two together. "Just keep focused him focused on stretching, love." She heads back over to Ysa, glancing over the dragon she points out. "Well, I suppose it is about time they learn to hunt for themselves." And she leans in a bit to the goldrider, obviously wanting to keep what she's about to say a secret. "Maybe if they are good today." Once that's over she pulls away, looking over at Ella as she shows the Weyrlings her handy work. "Nice one, love." Silly dragons.

Thea is near enough to hear and see E'gin and her eyes roll. She doesn't comment, but concentrates on what Seryth is doing. Seryth, meanwhile is going through the motions, wings extending and folding. She flutters the tips of them once in awhile, but is mesmerized by the sight of the flock, the smells of warm flesh and Ellamariseth's feeding. "Focus, Seryth," she calls out. She can't help but eye the form of some of her fellow Weyrling's dragons, asking either Sya or Ysa, "What do we look for when a dragon needs more flesh on their frames?"

One of the other Weyrlings sinckers at Ysa's comment, chiming in, "He gets that way when butchering too." E'gin just claps his hands over his ears so he can't hear any death shrieks, but that isn't helping. He can hear Sya also and nods, but mutters, "If Mazunth would quit thinking about kill—" he just gulps again and his face tinges a greenish color.

"She doesn't always like to play with her food," Ysa notes with a roll of her eyes at her lifemate. The gold appears to do it to either aggravate her rider or aggravate everyone else as well, especially since she was eating in slow-motion. Ysa leans her arms against the wooden fence, shifting closer to S'ya as she grins out to the weyrlings. "Really? Well, I hope they're good for their own sake." Her eyes roll at E'gin's reaction, though. "Some of the weyrlings that have been impressing recently… Seriously. Where the shards do the Searchriders find them?" She snorts and nods at S'ya for Thea's question, letting the real teacher answer that one.

Sophyrinth is getting bored of all this stretching, the green slowing down a bit in her drills as she watches Ella with envy. She wanted to play too! She turns back to the group, lifting her wedged head before tucking her wings against her frame. «All warm now, up time!» S'ya, however turns around to make sure everyone /is/ ready to head on up. "Alright, following So up everyone. This is not a race so make sure to keep distance and flying at a reasonable level. No crazy twists or turns." When Ysa reveals the truth about Ella's eating habits she can't help but giggle a bit. "She just wants them to get a good example of it I guess." Ysa's negative words on the quality of some of the Weyrlings makes her just wave the comment away. "Aw, give them a chance love. They are still young! And well, you can tell if their ribs are very visible. It is okay if they are peeking out a bit but if you can count them easily then you have a problem." She answers Thea before leaning against the fence to watch the dragons get ready for take off.

Seryth finds herself a space where she can launch without hitting anyone else with her wings and opens them as she crouches low to the ground. Her butt wriggles just a bit. Practicing short flights for awhile now, but there's an audience today! She trills low in her throat, starting with a low note and scooping up the scale like a jet's engines from old Earth. Then, it's blast off! She springs and with a few mighty flaps gains altitude. A disgruntled growl burbles out as she spies the blues and greens have zipped almost effortlessly above her. Thea just watches her, breath-caught and hands clenched to her chest.

Ysa lifts her head up as Sophyrinth takes to the skies, watching the rest of the weyrlings curiously doing their lesson. "Some of them really do take after Ella," she comments, especially when her eyes rest on the youngest queen of Xanadu Weyr. She chuckles and then turns to nod at S'ya. "Yah, or she's just teasing that she can eat before they can." With the weyrlings in the air, Ellamariseth quickens her pace on eating, tearing off big chunks of meat for E'gin and tossing her head back to gulp it down. The beast is quickly stripped, though, with the queen gnawing on bones by the end.

E'gin manages to focus enough on Mazunth to get him to think about flying. The blue tears his gaze from Ellamariseth and launches quickly with a warble of joy. As he passes directly over E’gin, drops of leftover drool fall thickly on the boy's head. But spit doesn't seem to bother the boy now that feeding is on the back burner. He's gripping a small tree with one hand as e watches his dragon in flight.

Sophyrinth is leading the pack, the green gliding effortlessly as she leads the Weyrlings on. She's half tempted to do a few twirls and loops but fearing gutting by S'ya she keeps on her boring course around the pens. The tiny dragon keeps an eye on the animals below however, finding their actions much more interesting than Weyrling watching. S'ya however is watching the Weyrlings very closely, so she's able to catch Seryth's butt wiggle. "Of course they do, love." She says to Thea on her comment. "Aw, Ella is a dear. She would not be so mean, would you Ella?" She asks the gold, tossing her hair behind her shoulders as she keeps tabs on all the Weyrlings. She pulls out a notepad and jots down a few things as they continue their flight. She watches the stressed and slightly moist E'gin and frowns a bit. "I wonder how some will take hunting."

Seryth glides along with the group, flapping now and then to keep pace, but mostly gliding as the upper level winds help keep them aloft. She hums contentedly, not worrying that she isn't leading or anything now that she's in the air. The feeding pens are forgotten. She hits a bit of a downdraft. Whee! But the thermal on the other side gently lifts her back to the level of the others. Thea is watching carefully.

E'gin is doing much better now that his focus is on the sky and a happily soaring Mazunth. His grip on the tree loosens and his color turns to a healthier hue. He's quite forgotten the feeding gold in the pens.

Ysa's mommy-instincts seem to perk up just the slightest bit as she turns her attention towards the weyrlings every so often. It's hard not to worry about them… She purses her lips at the little gold for a moment when she turns away as Ellamariseth moves off her first kill, leaving it for the firelizard scavengers to finish. "Sometimes even /I/ don't understand what goes on through Ella's mind," she says with a dry chuckle, watching as her lifemate takes down a double-kill of wherries. "They'll faint, that's how. E'gin, you have to realize that your dragon is number one, and if it's natural to 'em, it's natural to ya now."

Sophyrinth is heading right back to where they all took off, the green looking down at the landing spot in sheer boredom. When she spies Ella taking down her latest kill she swerves for the pens, gaining altitude before she circles once over. Seems the lessons moved from flying to hunting. "Alright then! Since you all did so well we are going to move on to hunting. So will go ahead and model how to make a kill and you can all follow suit. One at a time please and make sure not to crowd a certain area." Before S'ya even finishes her orders So dives down onto an unsuspecting buck, slicing into the beast happily. "Sometimes I do not understand So either, love. I think that is how it is most of the time." She replies to Ysa, eyes moving over to E'gin to see how he takes the announcement.

Seryth lands near Thea to receive her muzzle-hug, so she is not among the first to crowd the fence. She's mighty interested in what's happening over there though, so Thea waves her on. When her turn comes, Seryth leaps into the air and gives but one wing-flap — she's not skilled enough to make a drive-by-kill yet. She lands short of the buck she was aiming for, missing it totally. To her good fortune and a buck's mis-fortune, she is rear-ended by another running buck. Seryth takes advantage of this by rolling over on her side and nabbing the hapless thing with all four of her talons. Now what? She does what comes natural, rolling over onto her back, she proceeds to eat the thing then and there. All sorts of interesting fluids drain onto her belly as she rips at the thing.

"A bunch of young dragons eating their first caught meal. This is going to get… messy." Which is an understatement really. Ysa isn't the queasy sort, but she does start looking a bit green as they all start making their kills. Ellamariseth on the other hand moves closer with her two wherries in her maw, making sure to have a good place to watch. "At least it's rare to see a weyrling getting hurt on their first hunt. They know what to do when the time comes." She turns away from the massacre, glancing at the human-halves instead and straining to smile. "Good to see that ya all are doing good. C'mon, Ella, and hurry up! We got to go pick up the kids today!" This last is shouted over her shoulder as she pushes off the fence.

E'gin eyes Ysa unconvinced. The goldrider is using the F-word. Food. He just smiles weakly and says, "Yes Ma'am," as Mazunth eagerly vaults the fence and snags a running wherry with a quick snag of a fore-talon. E'gin is transfixededly watching. Horror mixes with hunger on his face as he obviously picks up strong sensations from his blue. Amazingly, he walks towards the fence, watching as Mazunth sucks at the beast and wolfs the steaming meat. "So… warm… it's really good… oh, this is good." It's not the Weyrling talking really, but something is happening to the boy. He is not green. Later he'll never believe it.

S'ya watches as one by one the Weyrlings go at it. So is still in the pens, the green taking her time with her meal while watching the younger dragons go at it. When Seryth misses her buck the greenie shakes her head a bit. "Nice try love, maybe on the next go." She says to both Thea and the gold, blinking a bit when the young queen manages to nab her meal either way. "Or that can work too." She says with a giggle, resting on the fence as she watches the blood bath. When Ysa gets off the fence she bobs her head to the goldrider. "Messy and entertaining. I guess I will see you later then, love?" When she spies E'gin moving towards the fence she just beams.

Thea rubs her face with her hand as Seryth make her kill and showers in the meal's… juices. "Just bathed and oiled her this morning, too," she tells S'ya. But there's not too much distress there. Seems she's getting used to cleaning a messy dragon. She does notice E'gin and just blinks. "Huh. Never would have thought." As the young gold finishes and rolls back onto her feet, leaping the fence to pad, warbling her triumph at her rider, the dust, chaff and blood dry. Irritated scratching ensues. "May we go wash, Ma'am?" Thea's patiently waiting for Sya's class dismissal, all the while absently scratching at -her own- stomach, though it's clean as a whistle.

E'gin is still enthralled by Mazunth's feeding, not commenting to anyone much. Just absorbed. Mazunth is taking his time, too. As the meat disappears, he's nibbling the last bits of meat on the carcass, then picking his teeth with a claw. Waiter, wine please? If only…

"Ya can be entertained. I'd rather get to a nice glass of wine back home— Ella!" The gold is quick to dispose of the wherries, nearing eating them whole before she reluctantly moves to the side. She doesn't move further than the fence, though, to continue watching the weyrlings in their lesson. "Yah, 'm sure I'll run into ya soon, S'ya. Got to visit Mike's little brat and… well, other stuff." She purses her lips again and then nods towards Thea and the other weyrlings. "Take care," she calls over to them before wandering back in the path for home, with or without her lifemate.

S'ya tilts her head a bit as Seryth paints herself red, So watching in amusement too. Before long the green is mimicking the gold, getting her paws and face totally soaked in the warm stuff. "Oh, So love, really?" S'ya says with a sigh, putting her book away before turning back to the Weyrlings. "Yes, class is dismissed. Just remember that you are now free to have your lifemates hunt for themselves now without supervision. Just make sure they go slow on the eating bit. If your dragons are still eating please take your time, I will not be going anywhere until everyone is ready." She makes sure to give Ysa a wave and a smile. "We will be waiting for you, love! Take care!" And with that she turns back to watch the last dragons feed.

Thea salutes a departing Ysa and also her AWLM as she hurries towards the beach with an equally eager Seryth behind her. Seems neither like the dried-blood itch, real or empathic. "Thank you Ma'am," she adds over her shoulder, spotting E'gin glued to the tableau in the feeding pen involving Mazunth. Another headshake of wonder and she disappears down the trail, talking to Seryth, "A good stiff brush and sandsoap…water… "

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