Guess the 'Illness'

Xanadu Weyr - Weyrling Barracks

A long and roughly oblong cavern, about a third of the space is open, used for classes or chores as required. The rest of the space is filled with couches of varying sizes, all with plenty of space between them. Some couches are obviously intended for the very young weyrlings while the largest ones at the back are for the older weyrlings.

It's a quiet afternoon at Xanadu. The perfect time for weyrlings to study for quizzes about who is who in the weyr. That is, it was. One can almost hear the fanfare as T'per, the latest assistant to V'dim makes his entrance with his green Aspeth trotting along behind him. "Hellooooooo weyrlings! It's time to play the dragon anatomy game! Who wants to have a good time? Gather round gather round! For those of you who don't know me I'm the newest assistant weyrlingmaster T'per and this is Aspeth. In this game we'll learn a little about dragon anatomy and we'll get to practice a little with our dragon-rider mental connection." T'per then starts clapping; for what, is anyone's guess. Then he waves the weyrlings who want to play over.

Jessa is out enjoying the afternoon, chatting amicably with Ninkasith about who is who in the Weyr. Though it is likely as much to make the names stick in her own memory as much as to talk with her lifemate. With the cool weather of late autumn, she's exchanged her white cotton tunic and ruby linen skirt for a cream wool tunic and patchwork, poof-legged wool pants. Sturdy brown shoes, plain as plain can be, protect her feet as she ambles along beside Ninkasith. Well… so much for quiet chatter and recitation of names! "Come on, Ninka. Looks like we've got another adventure ahead." That's all it takes for Jessa's lifemate to make a beeline for T'per and Aspeth, bugling a greeting to both.

Phylicia has always been a fan of relative silence when she's trying to study, so when the newest assistant walks in making a fuss, the healer-weyrling raises unamused chocolate eyes to reguard this assistant. "I think all male greenriders are confused in the head somewhere." The girl mutters under her breath to her dragon darkly, before her face grows sheepish. "Yeeees, Faui. I know that wasn't fair…" But the pair dislodge themselves from their couch, trailing over to T'per and Aspeth, Phylicia giving each a nod of respect, as she takes up waiting patiently for whatever this… game the assistant has concocted is.

R'shed is, for once, tucked up on his cot and reading studiously, as utterly silent as the blue behind him is. Lonarith has his head swept around as if trying to read the words that the young man is, but it's a thing of mute frustration for him. Thus, when the assistant pops in rather loudly, his narrow muzzle lifts with ponderous slowness, slow-whirling gazed fixed on the man and, eventually, his green. So much for being oblivious; R'shed's best efforts to keep studying are cut short by a very strong nudge from the blue, which sets him to flailing a bit before getting to his feet to join the other weyrlings. "Hey," is offered to Jessa and Phy, though his attention is set rather warily on T'per.

N'shen was sitting on his dragon's couch, gazing quietly into Taozyuth's eyes and clearly holding some form of conversation. As T'per enters, both weyrling and dragon turn their gazes on him as one, whirling blue eyes and abstract green focusing on the weyrlingmaster. Though the boy's brow draws together in confusion at the rider's exuberence, he and the bronze obediently join the circle gathering around him.

"Oookay here we go here we go. Everyone gets a card. The card is for you and your lifemate. Don't show it to anyone, we don't want any cheaters. Cheaters never win and they always have a…" The greenrider clearly wants someone to finish his sentence, but he's too eager to wait even more than half a second. "A bad time, that's right. What you'll find on the card is a dragon ailment. That's right. There's always the possibility of dragon illnesses. They don't have to be as serious as the plague back in Ista a few turns ago but it's important to recognize the signs in both your dragon and other dragons." T'per hands out little cards. "Once you know your illness hand the cards back. Now here are the rules." He pauses for a second to take in a deep breath. "Riders cannot talk! This is hard for me, I know. But you need to instruct your dragons to act out the ailment so that others can guess! The person who wins… gets pre-chopped meat tomorrow!"

Jessa raises an eyebrow at the prospect of the prize, but shrugs. "Of course, sir. But if we'd like to pass the prize on to someone else, may we? If we win, that is?" Ninkasith swivels her head around to look at her rider, warbling and butting her head up against her side. «But you would be able to sleep a little bit more.» Jessa just smiles, scritching her lifemate's eyeridges affectionately. "Maybe, but I like being able to be of use."

One of Phylicia's eyebrows definitely shoots up, long before the prospect of the prize comes along. She's wise enough to hold her tongue within speaking distance of this new … enthusiastic … assistant. R'shed gets a bit of a faint smile, as does N'shen and Jessa once the circle closes in. But Jessa gets eyed the moment after she potentially offers up the 'prize' even if the other girl wins. As T'per goes around with those cards, she obiedently draws one, carefully looking at what it is, pursing her lips together in thought.

By now, R'shed and Lonarith are both giving T'per a strange look that's probably best left uninterpreted — in the blue's case, it might well be the look given to some crazy foreigner that's invaded his territory. It's definitely more of Lonarith's influence on the lad, though; he's not one prone to such a thing … but their bond has evidently begun to deepen considerably the past few sevendays and this is merely the most disturbing evidence of that. Both are silent, of course, when they get their card, although the blue weyrling does comment, "He already insists I speak his language and not mine, so, uh, that works." As for the prize, there's just a slight, puzzled pull of his mouth to one side. He attempts a smile for Phy and another for Jessa, with a slight nod given to N'shen … but, after that? He finally checks out his illness card.

N'shen settles near Phylicia, shooting the green weyrling a quick, somewhat shy grin as he slides into a cross-legged position on the floor, his bronze lifemate curling up against his back, head hovering over the boy's so that the pair can watch the weyrlingmaster together, the lad's expression wary, the dragon's serene. Almost absently, the boy reaches up to the chin above the crest of his head and scratches it as he takes the card in his other hand, peeking at it with a slightly confused expression. "Uh. Hmm." With his brows drawn together, he mutters softly under his breath.

T'per walks around and collects the cards. "Alright, is that all is that all? Whoo! Alright! I got everyone's! And there will be no more talking from the riders, except to guess! It'll be a little crazy at first. Once someone guesses your illness step back a little, but keep guessing!" T'per goes back to clapping to get everyone's attention. "We good? Alright! And start the good time! GO!"

Jessa takes a peek at her card, and flinches. Ouch. Of all the illnesses, it had to be -that- one. Well, no help for it. She turns to look in Ninkasith's eyes, those whirling turquoise orbs melting away the lines on her face, and drawing out a smile. There is silence between the two, and then Jessa steps back with a nod at Ninka—and covers her ears. That is all the warning anybody gets before Ninkasith hunkers down on the ground, shifting her tail uncomfortably and letting out the most piteous howling a dragon ever could. It is like a child crying, such is the pitch, but louder by far. Her wings are kept in close to her body, her head low to the ground, and ever the shifting of her tail, slow and unsure.

Phylicia silently shakes her head at this addled-brain assistant, but a look is momentarily shot over her shoulder, and her eyes grow a little vague. At first Fauikith begins scratching at herself. And then she pauses. There's a small laugh from Phylicia and she nods, silently promting the small green onwards. Fauikith then tucks her wings carefully, rolling onto her side/back and continues scratching. At her belly. With a pleading croon. And then Ninkasith is howling, and Phylicia has to cover her ears as well, as she starts to survey what the other dragons are doing.

There's a grimace for some discordant comment or another from Lonarith, but his rider doesn't indulge him by articulating it. Instead, there's a shake of his head and a bit of blanching, with his mouth settling into an uncertain line. R'shed winces a little for all the clapping, a hand absently lifting to rub behind his ear in a gesture that's become a painfully common one for him. Of course, once the instructions are given, there's a heaved sigh from the weyrling who says nothing more; Lonarith just turns around, with his rear facing outward toward T'per, and sets his tail to writhing before it kinks up rather unnaturally. And, of course, his mindvoice lifts in a discordant chiming of vast thunder-bells, a terrible, booming cacophany that, blissfully, does not devolve into actual sound. As Ninkasith begins her howling, R'shed just covers his ears ineffectually; even if he can blunt out /her/ noise, there's obviously no dulling of Lonarith's.

"All at once?" Nash looks very confused, but shrugs his shoulder and scoots away from the others, Taozyuth standing up to tower above the group as he tries to give the other weyrling dragons some room. With wings folded against his back, the bronze circles around while his lifemate stares at him, clearly trying to convey his thoughts without resorting to speech. At first, all the dragonet does is toss his head uncertainly, but after a moment he gives a low moan and lowers his head, scrubbing his muzzle against one paw, tail lashing back and forth. Whirling blue eyes, bright with amusement, fix on his lifemate as the young dragonling gives another soft, pain-filled moan.

Aspeth is crooning a bit. She's quite possibly laughing at all these tiny little dragons writhing in fake agony on the ground. Though the sounds are a little hard to bear. There are some winces, even from T'per. "Oooh, maybe next time both rider /and/ dragon should be silent… You crazy dragons! Alright let's start the guessing!" He walks around to look at all the weyrlings. Then he pulls a clipboard out of… no place to start making notes possibly. There are probably a lot of exclamation points in his notes, too.

Jessa winces as she watches Lonarith's tail kink up, reminded all too well of previous incidents. "If I didn't know better, I'd swear that Lonarith there overate. Fauikith, well… looks like someone's been forgetting to oil her hide." The corners of her mouth twitch as she watches Fauikith's performance, trying not to chuckle as she knows that the young green is faking it. As she looks at Taozyuth, her brows furrow, and her guess comes a little less readily. "Not so sure of what's wrong with him. If it were a human, I'd say he had a toothache."

Phylicia very possibly has a small bit of an advantage over the others, having been drilled for turns in how to diagnose people. However, that was for people. But Ninkasith is Phy's first target, and she walks over to the pair-hued green. "An upset stomach is what you get for over-eating, Ninkasith." The girl 'chides' gently before she drops her tone softer. "Now please stop wailing like that?" The healer-girl takes a few more minutes to look around, giving R'shed a look of laughing confusion before she turns to look at N'shen and Taozyuth. "A toothache there, Taozyuth?" She calls out, loud enough to be heard, but softly enough to not add much to the noise floating about. But then she's looking back to Lonarith, a bit perplexed. "What's your problem..?" She mumbles, thinking.

Truthfully, the whole thing is more disorienting to R'shed than anything else. He looks rather baffled at both Ninkasith's display and Taozyuth's, as well, but when his attention settles on Fauikith, he almost looks relieved. Or, rather, does … until it seems that Jessa gets it. His nose wrinkles a little and he continues to study the other two, his mouth pulling to a side. Fof Phylicia's comments, there's a muttered, "He has a /lot/ of problems not related to, uh, this thing." It's affectionately meant, of course, but no less true. Lonarith, helpfully, just keeps his tail held in that awkward posture, his head swinging back to study the others and their antics. Warped celestial thunder continues to resonate from the depths of his mind, deep and pained.

Ninkasith whuffles at Phylicia, the sound almost like laughter from her. She butts her head up against the healer's side, crooning. Amber warmth, sparkling and redolent with scents of fermenting fruit, whispers on the edge of the minds of those who might be able to hear. «I am well. See?»

N'shen just looks bewildered by all the noise and motions and retreats to Taozyuth, who immediately stops his playacting and rests his head along the ground, allowing the young boy to settle himself against his neck. One wing comes up to drape lightly across him while he bronze croons, eyeing his siblings with amusement. "I dunno," he mutters, somewhat sulkily, and rests his cheek against the top of the bronze's head, turning his face away from the others. "They all look - and sound! - like they got into a bunch o' that itching powder someone put in the laundry a while back. But that ain't it." As the others start to call out their guesses, he merely nods in agreement to those who correctly diagnose the bronzeling as having had a toothache, but ventures no true guesses of his own.

Fauikith stops rolling on her side and back, chuffing at Jessa and resuming a silence that signifies she's been guessed. Phylicia merely continues to look at Lonarith for a moment, though her attention goes to N'shen for a moment, and she offers him a smile of encouragement before her head snaps back to the dark blue dragonet. "Are you… constipated, or blocked up?" Oh. That would NOT be pleasant, and her voice reflects that.

T'per is cheering, adding to all the noise. Though it has calmed down quite a bit. "Okay! Phylicia has guessed correctly for Jessa's ailment! Overeating! Oop, and R'shed's got Phylicia's, cracked belly skin. Always oil, or your dragon's gonna have a bad time!" He laughs a bit. "Alright Phy! You got N'shen's! Toothache! Looks like Phy is going to win the prize, but can anyone guess R'shed's illness?"

Jessa shakes her head. "Still think that Lonarith overate and is… well… blocked up. Yeah… Phy put it better than I did." Other than that, Jessa remains silent. And, mercifully, so does Ninkasith!

And, of course, R'shed is at as much of a loss at Lonarith is. The blue looks accusingly at the young man, which earns only a placating gesture from him and another heaved sigh. But, none of the guesses seem right, and he just shakes his head, leaving poor Lonarith with his warped up tail. At least, now, he's stopped with all that booming nonsense to fall utterly silent again. The game is done for him; his tail will just remain as it is until a guess is made or he grows bored with it — which is entirely more likely to happen.

"Looks like he stumbled over his own tail," N'shen replies softly, though it'd be amazing if anyone can actually hear him, ensconsed as he is by Taozyuth's neck. "An' trust the healer t' know all about illnesses." But there's no censure in the boy's tone, if anything, the look he sends the green weyrling is amused, and he offers a wink at her smile, though he makes no move to rejoin the others in their circle. He's safer cuddled with his dragon, and clearly a bit overwhelmed at the moment. The bronze merely chuffs softly at him, the sound remarkably like the gentle clucks that mothers around the world make to soothe their fretful children.

T'per claps a bit, then laughs. "Very good very good. There was only one overeaten dragon in the bunch though." Aspeth gives some nosings to the little ones to let them know how good they did. And how silly they looked. T'per then points to N'shen. "Very close little dood! I'll let R'shed fill you all in on his illness. Phy… I'll have the meat delivered tomorrow! Good job everyone, way to have a good time!" The greenrider throws his hands in the air and waves them all around to signal his escape.

Phylicia lifts her hands in a helpless shrug at N'shen's comment. "I'm a bit better at diagnosing humans than dragons, though. It's why there's a specific craft for dragonhealing." T'per gets a grateful nod from the healer-weyrling and she smiles a little, fixing Fauikith with a look. "There will be no waking me up tonight, Faui. I /need/ to sleep for once." She prompts her dragon, who whuffles softly in a sort of aparent apology. But the girl just smiles, looking back to R'shed then, and settling down on the floor near Nash. "So what did he have then, R'shed? A broken tail?" If Nash was close…

"Pulled tail muscle," R'shed finally says and, with that, the blue's tail simply relaxes and he moves to reclaim his spot near the lad's cot. There's no impatience in him, though he does make a point of planting his nose on the book they were studying out of earlier. His shoulders rise and fall, with the lad ultimately just leaving the others to their devices with a mumbled, "That's still not appropriate, Lonarith. Not. Appropriate." Clearly it's for the dragon, words trailing off as he retreats to his cot.

Taozyuth croons softly to Phylicia and retracts his wing from around his lifemate, though the boy himself makes no move to leave the comfort of the dragon's neck. He does, however, slant a side-long glance at the healer-weyrling, lips quirking in an almost smile as she settles nearby. "Ow," he remarks to R'shed. "Sounds nastier'n a toothache." Brushing a hand along the bronze's jaw, he sighs softly. "It was a silly game anyway. And that was a silly man. I'm amazed V'dim would work with him." Sour grapes? Perhaps, though he doesn't look too put out about missing out on the prize. "I guess I need to find a book or somethin' about dragon illnesses though. Sounds like they can get as sick as humans."

Phylicia shoots R'shed a vaguely amused look, even as the bluerider gets back to studying, and Phylicia's attentions divert to N'shen once again, Fauikith deciding to trail over and situate herself behind her rider. "I think…" She starts off, pondering. "I don't think that dragons get sick like humans do. They don't catch colds. You'll notice everything was a… a symptom of something. I neglected Fauikith with oiling. Jessa let Ninkasith overeat. Lonaright over extended himself and pulled a muscle." She smiles, looking at that large, protective bronze. "Taozyuth either ate something sweet, or did something else to promote a toothache." It's a bit of a speach from the young woman, but there does seem to be a point there.

N'shen hums softly. "True. But dragons can get sick. Bellyaches or itchiness, sore teeth, pulled muscles, broken bones, strained wings… don't they have some kind of, oh… what's the thing they call it? Fat tail? Something like that." The boy makes random gestures in the air, as though to pull the term from the nether. But nothing seems to come to mind, as he shrugs and lets it end there. Taozyuth chuffs again, then lifts his head and studies Fauikith as she approaches, warbling softly at her and extending his muzzle towards hers in greeting.

Phylicia gives N'shen a kind, but rather perplexed look. "Fat tail?" She repeats. "I'm not sure I've ever heard of such a thing." But nonethe less, it has her pondering. "There's… an older man around the Weyr. K'vin, I think he said his name was. He's a dragonhealer." She's full of all sorts of helpful things. "He could probably help with any questions you have." And she lifts her head for a moment. Chuckling as Fauikith extends her muzzle in kind to briefly tap it against Tao's own, answering his warble with another. Phylicia lets herself relax against the shoulder of her green, an easy smile on her face. "There're just a lot of new things to learn, isn't there?"

"He likes it." The boy jabs a thumb back at the bronze as Taozyuth settles his head on the ground again, angling it so that N'shen can scritch his jaw. The weyrling obliges, studying him thoughtfully as he does so. "It's when a weyrling can't, you know… go to the bathroom." His dark cheeks flush slightly with the uncouth conversation, but hey! Phy's a healer, certainly she understands. "I don't remember exactly what they call it." At the mention of the aging dragonhealer, he hums softly, then shrugs. "Maybe I'll talk to him. I'd just like t' know what to be aware of for Tao here, though. I don't think I'd make a good healer." He adds something under his breath, then shoots the greenling a bright, somehow false smile.

"You know what? I don't exactly remember what they call it either." Phylicia assure the younger bronzerider with a smile, more or less unphased until she remembers the treatment. "Just… try not to overfeed him. The… treatment isn't a pleasant thing." And her nose wrinkles a little bit in distaste. She doesn't catch whatever the mumble was, but she does note the off-sort of smile she gets. "Not everyone is made to be a healer. The healers and the tech - or computer craft, I don't remember - have the two highest drop out rates for crafters." The smile she gives is most definitely a kind one. "It's a demanding career choice. And not usually an easy one, either." But her eyes laugh at herself. "Though I tell you, I would make a horrible Techie, or Harper even." And the latter shouldn't be THAT hard with some of the youngsters they send there…

"I don't know if I'm gonna be good at anything," Nash mumbles, causing Taozyuth to chuff again and shove his nose into the weyrling's hand. "Well I don't!" he insists, staring into the dragon's eyes. "'Cept rider. I'm gonna be a good rider. Jus' don't know what kind yet." The bronze chuffs again, somewhat causticly, but the boy just laughs. "Yeah, yeah, Tao, we'll see what happens. I got you, and that's all I need right now." Rolling his eyes, he glances back over his shoulder at Phylicia. "This one won't let me get down on myself. Silly thing."

Phylicia pauses a moment, looking at the young bronzerider. "You're what? In your young teens?" She asks, hardly waiting for a response as the gears in her head turn. "You would've just been accepted into a craft not long ago, if that's the direction you would've liked to take." She notes to him as she stands up. The bronze dragonet actually gets a smile from the healer-weyrling too. "That's because nothing good tends to happen, when you're feeling sorry for yourself." So says the voice of experience. Ahem. "Think of what you like doing. I'm sure you can find a way to work it into being a rider." And she's actually heading off then, collecting a container of oil and a paddle to go along with it. It seems the mock-itch has turned into a real-itch. "Come on Faui. If you complained, lets get it tended to."

N'shen wrinkles his nose at Phylicia's retreating back, but he doesn't respond to her. Instead, he uses Taozyuth to push himself up, slapping the bronzeling smartly on the neck. "C'mon, I think it's bed time. And try not to roll over on me, this time? You keep saying you want me to sleep with you, but you try an' force me into the cot!" With a chuffing laugh, the rotund little hatchling follows his rider-to-be towards their couch.

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