Xanadu Weyr - Training Field
As the coastal road leaves the Weyr proper, it hugs the cliffs overlooking the Sea of Azov while skirting the perimeter of the large, treeless, dwelling-free field here. It appears this is a multi-purpose area with the grass rough-cut and trampled by man and dragon alike. At one end there are several wood-frame, straw dummies used for flaming practice, on another, a jumble of movable objects that look suspiciously like obstacles and targets.
The road continues on toward the south, finally turning inland towards the rolling hills that form the highlands that lie between Xanadu and the open plains. Passing through Ressac Sea Hold, it encircles the Sea of Azov eventually curving back in a northerly direction linking Black Rock Hold with Hannista Hold and Rubicon River Hold.
There's been a bit of a thaw in the winter weather - the lake ice has melted away, though the water retains slabs of ice floating upon the surface. There is still snow on the ground, but it too, is melty, leaving squishy, muddy ground. The upside? The skies are a pale blue and the air feels downright balmy today. It's perfect obstacle course weather! And thus, what else can V'dim do but assemble the Weyrling pairs on the large training field to do exactly that? The apparatus assembled must look quite challenging but the aged Weyrlingmaster has a way to make it even moreso. He walks down the line handing each human half of the team a blindfold. "Today's lesson is an exercise in trust. Your lifemate will be guiding you through the course," he says laconically, wrinkled cheek a-twitch.
Why is there always a blindfold? Ka'el stands alongside Kanekith as the piece of cloth is handed to him, giving the thing a withering look. He trusts his mother, father, and brothers very much, though he wouldn't particularly enjoy any of them trying to guide him blindly through an obstacle course! And some of these things… he glances to the monkey bars, then over to the distant climbing wall…. Really? Blindly? « I will not cause you broken bones, pain, agony, or embarassment, » assures Kanekith confidently, his head already lifting a bit in self-assurance. « Those thoughts can go away. » Easier said thatn done, Kane ol' buddy! He grins a bit, if not slightly doubtful, though his eyes soon follow V'dim. "Weyrlingmaster, may we speak to them aloud, or like before, are we to be silent?"
Oh, look. Exercise equipment. But… Soriana has been doing exercises every day! There's the Oiling Luraoth Calisthenics, and the Feeding Luraoth Meat-Chopping (the reps on that one keep increasing), and… sigh. Sigh is the sound of her accepting the blindfold from V'dim. It's the closest to a protest she voices, though she tilts her head a little at Ka'el's question. Luraoth is behind her, surveying the obstacles with interest. « How do they work? » she asks her rider. The uninformed leading the blind! What could possibly go wrong? Oh yeah. Broken bones, pain, agony, and embarrassment.
Idrissa has followed the other here to the training grounds, her gaze drifts over the area oas she pauses at the end of the line or is int the start of the line? She isn't too sure that she wants to that she wants to know. Idrissa lifts her head blinking at the talk of the course and a soft ah escapes her as she listens. Wait, blindfolds are included? Tahryth settles down next to, the small green tilting her head while she looks at the course with a soft croon escaping her. « We should go first. » This offered over to her rider as her wings twitches, and tail wiggles about with excitement. Rissa sends her dragon a slight glance that says 'no, no we shouldn't'.
Anoryn follows along behind the Weyrlings, moving at a rather sedate pace though her eyes remain sharp and focused to be certain no one dawdles or gets sidetracked along the way. Once they approach the training fields though, the AWLM moves forwards while the Weyrlings approach V'dim. She'll take her customary place to the side, trying hard not to grin too broadly as she takes a relaxed stance, weight shifted to one side and her arms crossed over her chest. One glance to the muddy grounds though and she gives a small snort, murmuring in an amused tone,"I don't doubt we'll be needing baths after this either."
V'dim's chuckle is a rusty one as Ka'el asks him that question. "You may talk to them aloud this time." Because these conversations ought to be amusing! Oh yes, he sees that lack of enthusiasm for those blindfolds. "You'll also be strengthening your ability to see through your lifemate's eyes," he tells them all. "So you're only as blind as your lack of focus." They should have improved that a little in the past weeks. He paces back up the line after reaching the end, explaining, "Have your lifemate look at each obstacle and describe to you what he or she is seeing. You will focus on 'seeing' it. You'll be the one moving, your lifemate will be your eyes. It's simple." Understatement! "You may begin when you are ready and move through at your own pace." Then he takes up a position beside Anoryn and says lowly in an aside, "this ought to be good."
« My eyes are keen » assures Kanekith who is interestedly probing Ka'el's thoughts, wanting to know more of what he is supposed to do. What they are supposed to do together. Ka'el provides, and Kanekith's tail whips. Challenge, accepted! The young rider eyes the equipment out there in the slushy field of half melted snow. Focus? He glances to V'dim again, listening to his instruction intently. And then … go? Blinking, he glances at the other weyrlings with faintly raised brows before a half grin is offered. "…Good luck." And off he goes! Towards the rope swings, cuz why not? The blindfold is kept in his hand til he's about halfway there, then he pauses to tie it arond his eyes, eyes closing behind the fabric. "Alright…let's do this." He places a hand upon the bronze's hide, using him to guide him the rest of the way to the obstacle. « You are certain you do not wish to do the very high one first? » -.-;;
Oh, is that all? Soriana sighs again. "Yeah, good luck." She lifts the blindfold to her eyes before she starts moving. The walk over to the first obstacle will be practice - at least that way, the worst she'll do is trip and land flat on her face in the mud… uh. Well, she can't have that bath until after she's done with this. "Okay, so…" ah, why not jump into the deep end of Trust? She's got her blindfold already, after all. "Which one should I start with, Luraoth?" The words are quiet, said mostly as an aid to focusing her thoughts. Soriana may be getting better at the silent communication thing, but sometimes, she'll take all the help she can get. Now is one of those times. « There is one with many circles. » Many circles? "Okay, sure." Why not? "So…" And, toward the wheel hop Soriana goes, with Luraoth trailing behind, head lifted to have a good view.
Idrissa isn't sure about all this but she goes about putting on that blindfold as she listens. This is doable, she knows there figure it out and work it though if given the chance. She listens to the others while Tahryth is wiggling and eager to get started. With others going to different obstacles Rissa and Tahryth head towards the monkey bars, the girls hand resting upon the green's side. "Which one are you picking?" Yes the green gets to pick the first one it seems and once there at the bars the pair stops. « It is the one that has a ladder in the air. » It takes a few moments for Rissa to figure out what they are in front of, while she works on trying to get the image from her dragon, which is taking a few moments.
Anoryn quietly observes as the first few weyrling pairs approach the obstacle course, mentally taking notes. Her gaze turns away though as V'dim takes his position beside her and at his low comment, the AWLM chuckles gruffly and now she does grin. "It should be. One reason why I like the earlier weeks and months." Far more entertaining and less 'serious business'. Enjoy it while it lasts? "Wonder how fast they'll grasp it." she murmurs, keeping her voice low.
V'dim's mouth forms a sardonic smirk at Anoryn's musing. "When they have to," he replies, keeping his eyes on all of them as they approach the apparatus on the field.
Ok so the tall one will be for later. Kanekith can handle that! He suffices with guiding his Ka'el to the swinging ropes, steps sure and unfaltering. This is easy, especially with Ka'el using him more like a guide dog than an extra set of eyes, but the challenge will start soon enough, for now they're slowing. Now, stopping. « This shall be simple. » Kanekith examines the structure, and Ka'el remains quiet, trying to clear his mind and focus. A deep breath is taken in, and with his exhale his mind asks: What do you see? Show me. Kanekith stands still a long while, watching the equipment as if expecting it to move. Then, the bronze rises to his paws and begins to circle closely around it, sniffing at the sand, pausing to nudge at one of the ropes. « Many have been here before us » The tone is begrudging, but Ka'el dismisses the sound of it and focuses on what he can pick up, comparing it to what he saw. "Okay…" said to himself as he shifts on his feet, adjusting his body to the left a bit more. "I see it.." In a way. Not clearly, but the general gist is there. There's…something there. He can see, or more exactly, sense it. He steps forward, this time without the physical guide of Kanekith, relying on the mental one instead. A shadow of a snake. A forest's vine. No.. a rope! He reaches out, grasping for air once, then succeeding upon feeling the rough texture of the rope in his hand. Success! .. for now.
Soriana moves somewhat more slowly than the others, arriving later at her obstacle - but then, she doesn't have a hand on Luraoth, instead just using her mind to get a sense from the gold of where she's supposed to be going and what's in front of her. Sori's eyes are closed behind the blindfold, because it's easier that way, and she comes to a stop at one end of the wheel hop. Small victories, huh? She's successfully standing there, and at no point during that did she faceplant in the mud. "Okay." That accomplished, it's time to do the actual exercise, but before that… well, before that, she just stands quiet and still for a moment, her thoughts twining with Luraoth's as she gets a sense of what lies ahead of her. A rainbow swirl of what lies ahead - the first wheel red, then orange, yellow, a rainbow of hops showing their order with bright outlines.
Idrissa reaches out to feel around for the item she is to be working on it seems. It takes a few moments before she is able to get hold of part of the bar and she oys softly. "The monkey bars really?" Is grumbled out while she moves forward. It takes her a few moments before she is able to clamber up onto one of the rungs in order to work on getting at the top bars. Tahryth wiggles about on her paws, shifting forward with a soft croon escaping her. « Yes yes! Very good, now just reach out and grab it » Grab it? Grab what? Rissa is left swiping at the air a few times while she struggles on that link from her dragon to try and see the bar that she is to grab hold of. A few missed tries and then she gets hold of the bar and lets her other hand reach out to grab it. Tahryth trills out, very happy with this as her attention rests on the next bar for her rider to get hold of.
Anoryn's lips twist into a smirk as well for V'dim's reply though not as sardonic as the Weyrlingmaster. She snorts but bites her tongue for now but not without giving him a long, sideways look. But there are Weyrlings to watch and so she turns her head to face forwards again, eyes moving from one pair to the next. For the most part the AWLM is relaxed, though when they begin the exercise she begins to tense a little. Just a little!
« You've done it! » Kanekith celebrates the grabbing of the rope with a dragonic cheer, wings flapping in needless celebration! Ka'el grins, then grimaces…then grins again. He can't help it! Though Kanekith's joy does hinder that picture of his, losing what it is that he saw of the course. "Kanekith! I haven't done anything yet.." he reminds. « But you have. You have grasped with the veil over your eyes. You have succeeded!» Ka'el laughs. What was that about focus? "Shhh. Hush it and look. I haven't done anything 'til I've gotten to the other side. I've to swing.." With his grip still on the rope, he takes a few steps back, giving him room to build that momentum. "You show me where…" Gradually settling, Kanekith's head tilts to one side, watching Ka'el, then tilts to the other upon looking at the course again. The teen waits, his darkened vision lightening vaguely. Then a bit more. Then…ah, he sees! Not hesitating, Ka'el runs forward and swings, clinging to the rope, then fully reaching for the next…and grabbing nothing but air. "Ah!" Splat. Too much trust, not enough focus. He lands on his knees on the cold, squishy ground, hands hands the only thing keeping him from falling forward fully.
Okay, just a hop, skip and a jump, right? Soriana can see the wheels in Luraoth's mind. She can see herself there. She can see the distances between them! She takes a deep breath, and begins… only to discover that those distances she saw were calibrated by dragonling steps instead of human ones. Her first hop is a success! Her second one, well, at least her foot lands inside the wheel, but it's off center. « Careful, my Soriana. » Luraoth murmurs, her rainbow of color updating to show the next steps. « You are - » finding the edge of the third wheel instead of its center, and her foot slides down it as she begins to tumble, hands flailing. "Yagh!" Soriana tries to regain her balance, hopping forward - and maybe she would have managed it, if it weren't for the other edge of the wheel, catching her ankle and tipping her out of control. Her feet: no longer on the ground. Her hands: on the ground. Her nose: smelling slush and mud, about an inch away.
Idrissa is hanging from her bar, and swinging back and forth a few times even. "Tahryth, how far away is the other bar?" The images from her dear green or a bit fuzzy as the full attention can't be found for some reason. Tahryth is looking towards the wheel that Soriana wondering how it is going round and round it seems. Rissa reaches out making a grabbing motion for the next bar, which takes a few tries but she manages to get it! One hand on, the other follows suit and she 'swings' forward. Tahryth turns her attention back to her rider and warbles out. « Good good! See, you don't need to see. I can show you everything that you could need! » Rissa isn't too sure about that.
Laughter. The eruption of music is a familiar sound to Ka'el, and he mentally rolls his eyes as he picks himself up out of the cold yuck. Cold hands are wiped against the side of his trousers, leaving brown gunk and sand behind. « What happened? You were so close. You lept too far … this way » A pressure is felt on the left side of Ka'el's temple, and the joyful noise in his mind begins to subside. "That would have been grand to know before the jump," he remarks as he stands, feeling a cold wetness seeping into his trousers. « Again, we shall try. You will see for yourself, and I shally not have to tell you anything. My eyes will open wider this time » he promises as Ka'el picks himself out of the sands, walking to that rope again with a hand outstretched.
Anoryn's apprehension wasn't completely unfounded it seems. First Ka'el goes splat into the squishy, muddy ground and then Soriana isn't far behind in stumbling through the wheels. Wincing a bit, the AWLM pinches her nose for a bit and then glances sidelong towards V'dim and a quirked brow that seems to say: you sure this is a good idea? But the greenrider doesn't go rushing forwards. No, she just tucks her hand back under arm and remains where she is, blue eyes watching keenly now. Laughter is a good sign though!
Luraoth scampers forward as Soriana falls, nudging at her arm with a golden muzzle. "…yeah, I'm okay." She shakes her head, bringing up her knees to kneel in the mud and then push herself to her feet, resting one hand on Luraoth's shoulder (and leaving a muddy handprint) as she does so. Soriana smiles slightly. "So… what did I do wrong?" she asks Luraoth quietly. Instant replay, please? Sori frowns consideringly as Luraoth provides, complete with the swirly-color overlays. "Okay. Let's… let's try that again." Soriana stands up straight and takes a deep breath. She pats Luraoth's shoulder, then tries to follow her steps back to the beginning of the wheel hop. Her toes should be nudging the first wheel right about … now. Okay, now? Okay… uh… "Luraoth?" The gold dragon turns her head to regard her rider, who's currently standing among the dummies. « What are you doing there? » …uh… "Trying… again?" « Those are for different circles. »
V'dim is sure, says the slight nod he gives Anoryn. See? They are working this out - both dragon and human. His stance is one of relaxed, unruffled calm. Failure is an excellent tutor as is discomfort. The old Weyrlingmaster remains intent on the pairs working their way through the course but he does note idly, "Mud never killed anyone."
Ok, so that rope….is…where now? Ka'el is out of the muddy sandy, snowy pit beneath the ropes now, so that first rope be right about… Ah, there! Kanekith's eyes seem to be guiding him in the right direction, for he does see a swinging something not far in front of him, and he reaches forward to gasp it and pull back a bit, getting ready for another swing. "Ieee!" Wait. This doesn't feel like rope! And since when do ropes yell so girlishly? The braid he's accidentally grabbed is pulled out of his grasp, and the offended lifts a hand to peer out from beneath her blindfold. "Ka'el! Now's neither the time or place to play grabby hands!" Hrmph! With a smirk, Jnelle tromps away, heading to the rope shimmy with her green prancing in tow. "Er.." Ka'el flushes, slightly. What was that about not embarassing him, Kanekith? « You are nearer now. Kanyeth was in my way. » Uh, oops?
Sigh. Soriana reaches up to adjust her blindfold where it got joggled from the fall, and leaves some mud on it and on her forehead in the process. "Okay. So… what?" Hey, at least the scream's gotten her attention! So now she's listening to Jnelle's complaints. About… « No, not there. » "What? Am I about to step in the mud?" Well, more in the mud, anyway. « There is mud all over, but no. » Luraoth explains what she meant! …by sharing an image of the grab in question with Soriana. « Kanyeth says hers thought about the same. Why? » "…I'll explain later. Now… where am I going?" « This way. » And Soriana follows the mental images, heading back in the right general direction.
Idrissa scrambles a bit, which looks rather interesting when she is hanging from those monkey bars. Tahryth wiggles about on her paws once more and shifts forward with a soft croon escaping her. « Again! You can do it! » It takes a few moments but Rissa soon tries, she swings forward, this time without trying to grab at the bar first, and she manages to get it in the first try. With one hand upon this bar she moves forward swinging from the few bars that still go straight. All is going rather well and Tahryth is offering up the images, though at the part where the bars start to curve comes a problem. There are things happening all around, and Tahryth's gaze flicks one way then another, which means she takes her eyes off her rider and the bars in question and so while Rissa swings forward to grasp hold of a bar she /thought/ was there she grabs nothing by air and she stretches trying to get hold of something but finds nothing and thus falls to the muddy ground. Tahryth looks back in time to see this and her eyes swirl with worry.
Anoryn snorts again as she catches V'dim's slight nod, but the AWLM can understand the merits of such an exercise and all the failures that come with it. At the idle remark, she seems to pretend not to overhear it as her eyes follow one pair but when she coughs it sounds suspiciously like she adds the words "Not yet" to it and followed with a faint but wry smile.
All of a sudden, getting a hold of the rope to begin with has turned into rocket science. Ka'el is trying to focus, he really is, but now he's half worried about being seen falling flat on his face again. Which is ridiculous, seeing how everyone is blindfolded. But! It's the principle of the matter, and the dragons can see. Plus, Kanekith isn't exactly paying all that much attention to the rope anymore. As much as he'd like to be successful, there's so many other things to see out here. Like that runner over there! Someone is riding on the distant coastal road, and Kanekith shows interest in that just as Ka'el reaches out to take the rope. The side of his hand grazes, and soon, instead of rope he's seeing a runner. "Kane…" His brows furrow, turning the brunt of his thoughts to his curious bronze. "You have to listen and watch here, not there. I'll never make it."
The right general direction, yes. The right specific direction proves more challenging. Luraoth pads along after Soriana, nudging her along mentally. « There. » "Here?" « No, there. » "But… that's practically where I am." « It is not. These circles turn small problems into large ones. » Or at least, they did last time Soriana attempted it! So, the weyrling sighs, and tries once more to focus and adjust her position to be lined up juuust riiight. She's got a frown now, despite the enfolding warmth of Luraoth's thoughts. « If you start it right, you will get it right. »
Idrissa hears movement and some talk of others around her but she is up, brushing her hands off and moving to try this all over again it seems. She chews upon her lip, a glance sent towards Tahryth while she 'sees' how to get back to the start of the monkey bars. "Pay attention, look at the bars and we will try again." Yes, we, they are both working at this after all. It takes a few moments before she is up on the bars and moving across them to get back to that point where she fell before. « It turns to the side some, like a curve.. » The images from Tahryth are given to her rider as she ties to show what she is seeing. This time she manages to grab hold of that bar she missed before, fingers curling around it tightly before her other hand grabs hold of the bar and she is hanging there a moment.
« Yes, » agrees Kanekith whose head swings back around to Ka'el. « You are right. Without each other, we shall not make it. I will help, better than I have been. » One could hope. Half smirking, Ka'el moves the four os so steps needed to bring him to Kanekith, not realizing that those steps were perfect. Perfectly aimed to the bronze without even really trying to do so. He rubs between his nostrils fondly. "That's alright. Another try, huh? Show me where the rope is.." He turns and strides back towards those ropes, moving less confidently as before when he wasn't thinking about it. He reaches, and … shardit, he misses again! Kanekith rumbles, feeling the ripples of frustration shifting in his rider. « I can do this. It is .. there..>
Okay, so… first inch one way. Then… the other way. Then… Soriana pauses, her head tilted to the side slightly. "Is that it?" Behind her, someone grumbles, "Get on with it!" but she attempts to ignore them. « Just a little more… there. » Luraoth is now satisfied with the position of her rider. "Okay," Soriana says. "And the circles…" « Yes. There - there - there - » and so forth, the bright rainbows stretching out along the path. « You must take them boldly. You shall leap! » Luraoth's wings spread, showing the boldness of the leaps and bounds that must be had. Soriana frowns, then sets her jaw and nods. "I'll try." She bends her knees and… Ready steady go!
Idrissa continues along those monkey bars, swinging forward to get the next one each time. Tahryth is right here following and eyeing the bars that are next in line, which for the moment is keeping the green's attention. Then for whatever reason Tahryth looks off back towards Luraoth and Soriana. « Circles, circles are fun! » As it was Idrissa has made her way to the end of the bars, and Tahryth doesn't tell her dear rider that there are no more bars to grab so instead of getting hold of a bar air is grabbed. A faint squeal escapes Rissa and she is back on the ground once more. Hello ground!
Ka'el fights down the frustration. That's not going to help, and he can feel the beginning of Kanekith feeling the same way. "It's alright. We have this…" he murmurs to his partner, taking a breath. He just needs to clear his thoughts! Which is not difficult to do with the sound of squelching, groaning, and shrieking filtering in here and there. But not one sound of success. Well! Maybe he'll be the first. « We shall be » agrees Kanekith, whose confidence comes back quite easily. And with the glimmer of that light, Ka'el grabs for the rope and succeeds in claiming it within a fist. He grins, pulling back (making sure it's no one's braid again!) to give him room to swing. Wait….wait…
Hop. Skip. Jump. Leap. Bound. Every one leaves Soriana feeling just a little off-balance - there's not enough time to think about it, because if she does, she'll trip and fall again - and so she simply puts her trust in the bright colors showing her where to go. Luraoth's wings flick slightly with each jump her rider makes, as if her muscles are the ones moving Soriana as well as her eyes being the ones that let Soriana see. They're not, but… it's her sense of timing that Soriana's leaning on, and for those blurry moments it would be hard for either of them to say which part of the movement is dragon and which is rider. Of course, in those moments, they're both focused far too intently on the movement itself to spend any thought on who's doing what. And then… the other side! Soriana stumbles a few steps, letting her inertia bleed off with forward motion (but she doesn't fall down!) then grins wide. "Ha!"
And now! Ka'el takes a few quick steps forward to build the momentum needed to get from rope to rope and swings forward. Unlike last time though, he doesn't immediately go for the next one and instead keeps himself upon the first rope as it swings forward, toward that sedentary rope, and backward. With each forward swing, he feels something ahead of him. His goal, pulling him like a magnent. And that pull lessens whith those backwards swings. He's losing momentum! Resolved, he reaches a hand out for his neck swing, but the rope is not felt in the direction in which he thought it was. « Nearly. Here…look this way…» His tail twitches, perhaps picking up the excitement of someone's success. Someone else's success.
Idrissa is back up after a few moments brushing herself off and grumbling while pulling that blindfold off. "Tahryth. What are you" The green warbles out, something about wanting to be fed which makes her sigh. "Sure." Is murmured out while she turns to head off, pausing to speak with V'dim before she and Tahryth are off heading back to the barracks it seems. A glance is sent towards Soriana and Ka'el and she hopes they do well, but she doesn't comment not wanting to interrupt them.
For her Soriana's success, the golden dragon croons her pleasure, enfolding her chosen in a swirl of pink warmth. From there, she sends that swirl to dance past the minds of the other weyrling dragons here. « Nearly there! » she agrees to Kanekith, encouraging him and his rider with the enthusiasm of her and hers, and to Tahryth. « Careful! Remember yours needs you. » No being distracted! Not when their riders need them, and so Luraoth's affections swirl back to Soriana. « What next? »
Someone has done better than he. Faster than himself. … Unacceptable! It's all the motivation that Kanekith needs to get his rear into gear. Ka'el is still swinging, blindly, and if he doesn't move soon he's going to lose that momentum and have to start all over again. The bronze hunkers down a little, lowering his body closer to the ground, unblinking, pupil-less eyes swatching the swing, focused on that rope. Ka'el himself can feel a change in intensity of his lifemate's thoughts and attitude, and that in turn effects his own focus. Shades of grey begin to lighten in his vision, like deep fog beginning to disipate. .. There! He reaches, grasping for the next rope and pulling himself on it. And then, again! This time, without a pitstop inbetween. He falters now, unsure of what's next. Rope? Finish line? … It's the finish! And Kanekith sends up a near chirpish soun of triumph, just as Ka'el himself celebrates with a "Yeah!"
One obstacle down! Only.. many more… to go. Still, that small victory is an encouraging one, and Soriana and Luraoth make their way toward the next… and the next… and the next. There's plenty of fumbles along the way, and a few more times falling into the mud (and that's not even counting the one where they're supposed to be crawling through the mud), but they keep working on it, Luraoth's thoughts alternately intent on her rider and sharing warm encouragement with the other young dragons, until finally the exercises are over. …now, about those baths? Please?
If they can do this one, the rest stand no chance! Both Kanekith and Ka'el are feeling very good about themselves … a deadly combination of super-confidence! But it's good for them both, keeping Ka'el willing to attempt the challenges and Kanekith focused for more success. And there are successes. Far more failures, but eh, who is counting those? Definitely not Ka'el, who is the one doing the tripping and falling and bumping and crashing. It's work. Tiring work, but at least it keeps the cold at bay. And by the end, both dragon and young rider are still in high spirits and exuberantly share the tale of their experience with the group of weyrlings and dragons who are in dire need of cleaning up.