Ready to Run (Weyrling Lesson)

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.

A summer night filled with steady rains makes for one wet start to the morning, but that won't stop many from going about their daily routines. Which means lessons will progress as usual, the call to assemble given and though the ground is soaked, at least the air is cooled (for now) while the sun continues to steadily rise in the sky. The training fields have been rearranged, most of the obstacles capable of being moved now set aside to allow more room and space. Waiting for their charges, Rysith sits, poised and patient one moment and restless and fidgeting the next. The aged green has her straps fastened securely to her hide, but Anoryn remains on the ground, standing with her weight shifted to one hip and arms crossed loosely over her chest. She's not dressed in her riding gear and the jacket she does wear is meant only to ward off the worst of the cool morning air. "Hush, Rysith." she'll mutter under her breath, blue eyes rolling upwards to eye her longtime lifemate. "Settle. Or I'll send you off to the ledges if you cannot behave yourself."

Mur'dah and Kalsuoth make their way towards the training field at a sedate pace. The darkly hued brown constantly stops to sniff this, dig a paw into the earth here, stare at that. So it's slow going, and Mur'dah has learned to leave early whenever he can. The brown wears his new set of riding straps, ones that Mur'dah has painstakingly worked on and shown a rare focus to. They are very nicely made. Not immaculate, but it's clear that a lot of care went into this final set. "Ma'am," he says as they get to the training field and he touches fingers to his brow in a little salute. Kalsuoth rumbles his greeting as well, his mind a boundless forest full of possibilities.

Kanekith is not a huge fan of mud. He's not … averse to it, but it surely does make his paws squishy and an ugly shade of … well, mud. And he is a bronze that prides himself on his looks (along with a score of other things). He and Ka'el are not first to arrive, with Kanekith needing a good bit of nudging to get his rear in gear. Why must they go now at this exact moment? Surely they'll wait. Lessons won't start without them. How could they? They are, after all, one of the most important ones! Buuut eventually they get here, the bronzeriding pair, with Kanekith wearing his straps too. Ka'el's best work! Which really isn't spectacular and probably would score as 'somewhat passable', if one is generous. But Kanekith might as well be wearing platinum with the way he struts about in them.

Cool, wet summer mornings like these are meant for sleeping in. Unfortunately, not an option, so Soriana was up bright (well, except for the clouds) and early. Here she is now, walking with Luraoth. The gold keeps up a steady pace - it's just her mind that's flitting around, brushing against the others with bright greetings and the scent of the morning's rain sparkling in sunlight. She wears her own straps, a set made with even stitches but sometimes patched together from shorter lengths of leather than would quite be ideal. Still, all the seams are reinforced, and the final product fits well enough… right now, anyhow. Soriana gives them a glance as she and Luraoth approach the field, then looks up to Anoryn and gives a salute of her own. "Good morning," she says, looking out over the field to see all the extra space. "Huh."

Idrissa is following after the others, her jacket pulled around her a bit thanks to the cooler morning air, and the faint dampness that is rather clinging at the moment. Her gaze drifts over the others and she comes to pause near Kanekith and Ka'el of all people once there. Once there Rissa offered a salute and nod o Anoryn. "Morning." She even sends a glance over to Ka'el nodding to him a moment. Tahryth is following after her rider, hoping a few steps and carrying with her something within her jaws that looks like a collection of shells all strung together with some rope. The green has her straps on as well, there not to badly made either after how much time Rissa has put into them, areas are well padded especially under places that have buckles to keep the straps in place. Once next to her rider the green lowers her head, the shells are dropped and soon nudged over closer to Kanekith with her tail. Looky, she gave him a gift.

Anoryn straightens as the first weyrlings are spotted on their approach to the training fields, taking a few steps forwards while Rysith remains behind. The green keeps her fidgeting to a minimum, visible now only in the rustling of her wings and the flexing of her talons into the soft ground. Touching her fingers to her forehead in turn and tipping her fingers in a relaxed salute, the AWLM smiles to Mur'dah, before her gaze moves on to the arrival of Ka'el, Soriana and Idrissa. "Morning!" she greets to all of them, her mood rather cheery despite the chill and early hour. "And all suited up and ready to go. Good, good! Then we can start." Start what? Anoryn gestures with her hands, fanning them out in either direction as she goes on to elaborate. "Spread out please, straight line and give yourselves a little room between. I'll be coming round to inspect your work and if given the clear, you're to mount up. Take it slow, this isn't a race." Yet. She snorts and will nod, motioning for them to get to it before she moves forwards again. Kalsuoth is first, the greenrider stepping in close to inspect the work done on the straps. It lasts but a span of seconds before Anoryn murmurs to Mur'dah. "You may mount up!" And onwards she moves, in no particular order as she comes to Soriana and Luraoth next. Again, she circles to inspect and then her shoulder too is given the cue. "Mount up!" More steps, then Tahryth's straps fall under close scrutiny and Idrissa is given a small smile, "You as well. Mount up!" Last but not least, Kanekith and Kae'l and Anoryn lingers the longest with him. Reaching out once permission is asked and given, the AWLM gives a few testing pulls to the leathers, only to make a low thoughtful sound, hesitant. That can't be good, right? 'Somewhat passable' is… a pass. "These'll do but you may want to work on your strap makin' skills. Mount up!"

Mur'dah beams widely when she gives their straps the a-okay. With a thump to Kalsuoth's side, the eager teen hops up onto his foreleg, and then clambers up to settle between his dragon's neckridges. Sure he's been up here before, but this time is /different/. And he can't keep that stupid grin off his face as he holds onto the straps. Kalsuoth lifts his head up high, rumbling happily as he gets to his feet, tail swishing behind him. « This is wonderful, » he says, reaching happily to his clutchmates.

Ka'el glances over to Idrissa briefly, returning her nod, though not without a questioning look before looking back to Anoryn with an offered "Good mornin'." Kanekith turns his head at the sound of shells, blinking once at the sight of them. His confusion mirrors his rider's, and his head is tipped gently to one side. For him? A breath is exhaled through the nostrils, brief and warm accompanied by a small nudge of thanks, though he doesn't take the string. There are things to be done now. Like be inspected. His stance straightens proudly. Yes. Yes, marvel at what his rider made for him! Ka'el, on the other hand, doesn't look as confident in his strap-making as Kanekith seems to be, and it's with somewhat anxious eyes that he watches Anoryn. "I was workin' on .. see that stitching there? And I was…" Oh.. wait, excuses are not necessary. Yay, he passed! (barely) His grin is sudden and bright. "Yes'm, I will!" He already has a rather willing tutor, and he happily climbs up on Kanekith's back. Climb, pull, climb, mount!

Start their adventure for today! …whatever that actually is. Soriana hasn't figured it out from staring at the field yet. She nods at the instructions, glancing back to Luraoth, who steps neatly into place past a mud puddle. Soriana moves to stand by her dragon's side, giving her straps a double (or was that triple?) check that still gives her time to watch Kalsuoth's straps get approved. Next up… her? Well okay then. Soriana tucks her hands into the pockets of her jacket as Anoryn comes over, then pulls them out again while the AWLM circles. And… "Yes ma'am!" she says with a grin. Some orders are better than others. Sori locks eyes with Luraoth for a moment to share that grin… and then reaches for the straps and swings up easily. Just like a real dragonrider! Not that she hasn't had practice being a passenger, which accounts for the ease of the motions, but that wasn't on her dragon, with her straps. It's different. Luraoth turns her head to look at her rider, then holds it high. « We are ready! » she sends back to Kalsuoth and the others, and her wings half-spread before settling back again. « But not for that. » Yet.

Idrissa nods as she hears Anoryn and moves off to put distance between herself and others so there is no one in hitting range it seems. She smiles to Tahryth looking over the straps before hearing the 'inspecting' bit. A faint uhoh escapes her and she fiddles with a few strap bits making sure there nice and neat it seems. Thanks to her time working with runners the straps for her dear dragon have some saddle like looks to it one might find on a runner. Rissa looks nervously to Anoryn until catching the small and the 'ok' which she nods and moves to clamber upwards and sits upon her dragon's straps. She smiles and looks around, fingers gripping at the straps while taking in a soft breath. This is different, and it is a good feeling. Tahryth is still while she is given the look over, a happy warble escaping her once giving the ok and she wiggles about while lowering down and rests in the crouched position until her rider is on. As for the shells yes they are for Kanekith, the green looks over towards him, a soft warble heard before she turns her attention back to what is at hand.

Anoryn peers sidelong to Ka'el for his excuses and comments, smirking but not lending any response save to tell him (or is it warn?), "You better. Next time I may not be so kind." After all, they're still on the ground for this lesson. Not as far to fall if the straps fail but it'll still smart! Stepping back as the weyrlings begin to mount up, her blue eyes dart between each pair to observe and note how each go about it. Thankfully no one seems to struggle with that part and so with a cheery tone, Anoryn signals again, "Buckle in! Get comfortable. Have your lifemate move a bit in place, get used to that feeling." she calls out in a firm and level tone, only to shoot a quick look. "And no use of wings. We are not flying!" Period. Satisfied, Anoryn rejoins Rysith now, reaching out to soothingly pat the green's side. Easy, easy. "When you're ready, I want you all to move about the field. Normal pace and then quicker if you feel comfortable. Nothing breakneck though. And mind where your clutchmates are!" That might explain the extra room.

Kalsuoth croons happily, shifting his weight. « Not that, yet, » he agrees. « But soon! » Looking around at his clutchmates, Mur'dah grins widely and stupidly at them, and then tosses up a jerking, happy wave. HIIIII! Look where we are! At Anoryn's orders, Kalsuoth lurches forward confidently, and Mur'dah has to lunge for the straps again as he's almost jerked right off his dragon's neck. Kalsuoth's awkward pace is odd looking on the ground, it's true, but when one is /riding/, it's even worse. Startled, the brown comes to a halt and swings his head around to peer back at Mur'dah. The two converse for a moment and then Kalsuoth begins again, this time going /much/ more slowly. One foot at a time, just like their exercises. He still sways and wobbles, but at least he's not close to pitching his rider right off his neck. Blushing furiously, Mur'dah just holds on and stares forward, his pride getting in the way of being able to just laugh it all off.

Woah, Kanekith is big. Ka'el knew his bronze was large, but now that he's actually on top of him .. he's getting a serious feel for it! He's getting a bronze eye view of things, most definitely, and he grins broadly at those around him. Look at them. REALLY riders now! .. uh, kinda. In a way. Buckle in? He does so, and an eager Kanekith's wings spread and give a flutter. No flying? But aww, why not? He knows he's ready. He can feel it in his bones! "Wooah there… not yet." « But.. » "No buts. She said no flying." « Why must I listen to what she says?» "I say no flying," Ka'el says firmly. « But that is not what you are thinking.. » -.-; "Just.. walk, alright?" His wings very….slowly….fold back up and he takes a step forward. Then another. And another! And by George, he's walking and Ka'el holds on though with so much dragon beneath him balancing is not much of a problem. His eyes seek the others, catching sight of Mur'dah though either not seeing his mishap or not realizing the cause of it. Heck, any one of them could end up face first!

Nope. No flying. Soriana stares down at the top of Luraoth's head, and the gold tilts her head back to regard her rider with one eye as she presses her wings firmly down against her back. They're folded, see? No flying for her. (Yet.) Sori gives her head a little shake, though it's not enough to chase her grin away as she fastens her straps and settles into place. Not hardly enough to chase away her grin, because… here she is on Luraoth's back! Soriana glances side to side at the others that she's not supposed to crash into, and waves back to Mur'dah before reaching to pat at Luraoth's neck, "All right. You heard her. Let's do this." Onwards! Luraoth moves with graceful motions, slow at first but soon picking up more speed as Soriana settles into the gentle rhythm of her gait.

Idrissa shifts within the straps of her dragon, she brushes a hand across the greens neck a few times before clipping herself in place. Once the word is given Tarhyth and Rissa are off, moving forward at a slow clip, the movements making the green's rider think of her times upon the back of a runner. The comment of no flying is heard and she makes sens a certain green dragon doesn't get any ideas! Tahryth grumbles a bit while she moves along at the slow pace, wanting to move forward, her wings pulled close to her sides and her tail slowly flicking around.

Anoryn will give a sharp look to Kanekith when the bronze spreads his wings, but he does not keep them unfurled, the greenrider keeps her chiding remarks held back. But she'll be watching! There is a bit of a wince as Mur'dah is almost toss cleared and a relieved sigh as he works it out with Kalsuoth and her gaze moves on to Luraoth and Tahyrth. Pleased by their progress as well, Anoryn then takes hold of Rysith's straps and mounts up. Even as she buckles in, the aged green moves forwards, joining the weyrlings and keeping a respectful distance from each pair. But she will rumble and croon encouragement, while any instructions are either spoken by the greenrider or delivered through Rysith. « Continue as you are doing now! You are doing all so well. Now, to make it a bit more challenging… » Of course there's a catch! « You will all begin to draw closer to each other. A tighter lapped circle of the fields, if you please? Lets see if you can master a bit of coordination and sense of space. » Oh joy! And who will keep them from wandering? Rysith of course. Say hello to your physical fence! « Don't worry so much about pace yet. Figure out where you must go and where you are to the others. Then sync. »

But, he's still trying to master walking! Walking and thinking at the same time? Kalsuoth's steps falter and then firm again as he lifts his head and seeks out his clutchmates both with sight and with a brush of mind to mind. « Closer, then? » he asks, looking around and then finding a place to move towards which will put him nearer to his clutchmates. Still moving at his slow, plodding pace though.

Walking! Piece of cake. At least, it is to Kanekith. Pffff, he's been walking since he was hatched! Ka'el's weight is barely troublesome. Felt, but not a hinderance. But Ka'el is getting used to the feel of each footfall of his lifemate. The shifting weight when each foot is lifted, moved, and pressed back down. It's not a smooth ride when upon an animal's back, but his straps are holding up and he's doing a good job. Too good of a job. Where's the challenge! Kanekith is starting to pick up the pace because his walk is far too slow. The dragon back weyrling anticipates it (thank you mindlink!) though that doesn't stop him from holding on a smidgeon tighter just as instructions are called out. « Cake, » says Kanekith who's never had a piece of cake in his life, though the expression has been heard enough, at least mentally, that he understands the meaning. But as he's guided closer to his clutchmates, lo' and behold, who does he end up behind? « You move like a trundlebug. » Which is slow, apparently, in comparison to a dragon's long gait! He ends up too close, and the spacing between Kalsuoth, himself, and whoever may be behind Kanekith is terribly off.

Luraoth slows her pace, drawing nearer to Kalsuoth… and bringing her speed closer to his crawl. That part makes Soriana frown. They were just getting up to speed! The wind in her hair felt… okay, yes, cold, but good! Besides, the sun's warming things up. It'd be a good day for a run! « We can all walk together. » Or a walk, yes. That works too. …sigh. Soriana glances up to Mur'dah as Luraoth matches her elegant, dancing steps to Kalsuoth's slow clomps, and waves… because it's not like she needs her hands to hold on. Not at this speed, and not with the smoothness of Luraoth's motion. At Kanekith's complaints, her thoughts reach out with a laughter of bells and a fine spray of water. « Then, this must be a Trundlebug Race! The rules are different than other races. In this, the closer we can stay without touching, the better! »

Tahryth moves along at a slow pace; keeping up with the others it seems her swirling gaze drifts around taking in the others to keep them in sight. Soft warbles escape her at times as she keeps her sight before her. Then there is talks of them moving closer to one another? Woah wait This thought is rolled around in the greens mind a few times before she is quick to grin, alright! « Closer it is then! We can do this! » This offered to her clutchmates while she moves along, her gait and even one, something akin to a runner as she trots along getting get closer to Kanekith as a result. « Trundlebug race!! » This offered as she hears Luraoth and she is shifting to move along in the same pace as the others now that she is closer to them. So far no one has tripped, always a good thing, right? Idrissa casts a glance towards the others before she lets her attention back to the ones in front of her, hopefully they won't get too close.

Rysith will keep her own pace as she circles around the group of weyrlings, moving in only when she feels the need to shepherd them in a little before she's moving away. Surprisingly for her age, the green still moves with a nimble gait. « Careful Kanekith, mind your spacing to Kalsuoth. » she warns as she flows on by them, unaware of any of the banter between the clutchsiblings. As Luraoth and Tahryth come closer and match their pace, Rysith whuffles in approval. « Better! » she calls to them and then Anoryn is leaning in her straps to signal again. In case it wasn't clear, the green's mind extends to all. « Spread out again. Find your own pace and rhythms. » Brief break! So much for the trundlebug race? « Are your riders comfortable? » She will ask after a length of time. « Because if you all feel comfortable as a group, we may try some more coordination tests. Another challenge! See if you cannot all move in formation. » Which they just did… sort of!

Kalsuoth tosses up his head and his mental focus shifts in on his bronze brother. « Then it should be no trouble for you to keep a proper distance, » he rumbles, amused. When Luraoth nears, his mental touch is affectionate for his golden sister. « Fine rules! » he agrees, shifting closer to her, though careful to leave enough room for his natural wobble. There is affection towards Tahryth as well, but then he must focus more on his walking. On his neck, Mur'dah holds himself rigid, staring forward fixedly. Until something Kalsuoth says finally has the boy thawing, and he relaxes a bit and manages a quick glance at his clutchmates. He looks…embarrassed and ashamed. But also proud.

« No. No trundlebugs! » complains Kanekith with a toss of his head. « This is too slow. This is for hatchlings! » And a hatchling he definitely is not. He wants to run! And despite his rider's insistence, he knows he wants him to run too! But unfortunately there's brown roadblock in front of him and gold and green traffic officers deciding the pace. Siiiiiiiiiiigh! Ka'el rubs his bronze's neck consolingly. "Hey, you're doin' good. Sometimes, it's tougher goin' slow." « But boring » replies Kanekith, his voice droll as he slow himself down even more to distance himself from his brown slowpoke sibling. But, what's this? They're being set free again? Both he and Ka'el perk at this, and with a flashed grin, the bronzeling is off! He's jerked forward as his dragon breaks into a sudden trot, veering away from the others. He can handle a trot. Bouncy a bit, but he's got it. And he can handle just a little more. What's that called? A canter? Ka'el leans forward, getting a feel of the muscled rhythm of legs and claws. And…maybe a little faster? .. Sure. Why not? Make that a smooth gallop! Uhh, they're supposed to be moving together? Apparently these two are missing that memo!

« You do not have to join the race, » Luraoth tells Kanekith mildly. « You can forfeit. » And apparently, that's just what the bronze does! Meanwhile, Luraoth stays close to Kalsuoth and Tahryth, moving with a grace that has her practically floating, for all her wings stay neatly folded. Her thoughts are affectionate for them as well, her mind drifting along to watch their paces when the motion of her own is a thing too simple to occupy her fully. For a moment, as they walk along, Soriana closes her eyes. It's practice, just in case, because they've had to do practically everything else blindfolded! Then she opens them again, looking to the others and giving Mur'dah a thumbs-up. Just a brief one, because then they get to spread out! « That race is over. We have won it! » That'd be her, Kalsuoth, and Tahryth, according to her mental image. Kanekith? Not so much. With that said, the gold stretches her legs into a dance that carries her out past her smaller brother, moving ahead. « Mine is comfortable, » she tells Rysith, and then her thoughts reach for the others, with bright water-droplet sparkles that suggest the patterns of different formations, constantly shifting between the various shapes.

Tahryth tilts her head, warbling out as she sends a glance towards Kalsuoth before her eyes swirl as he looks over to Kaneith. The green offers no comments knowing she could perhaps make it worse if she did such a things. « Doing well Kalsuoth! » This is instead offered towards her clutchmates, that running water heard and pictured throughout her mind. The word is to spread out again and Idrissa grips onto the straps while Tahryth moves away from the others, her wings flexing and flicker as she settles into more of a canter, movements agile and her paws hitting into the ground kicking up bits of dirt and grass as she goes. « We are good! » Tahryth sends back to Rysith, her words eager to see what is to come next it would seem.

Rysith will keep her pace with the group, slowing as she needs to in order to be certain all is well. She'll rumble encouragement again to Kalsuoth, following swiftly for some whuffles of approval to Luraoth and Tahryth. Kanekith though? Get's warbled at in a barking-like call. « Slow down! » she chides, as if calling an errant child back into line. Off she goes too, to chase the bronze down and corral him back. « We said you can move faster but not like this! You need to learn patience. There is time for this but the time is not now. » the green goes on to gruffly rumble, her mind linked to all to be certain they all understand as a group. Walk and jogging or trotting is fine. Breakneck runs? Nope. Rysith will only back down once Kanekith slows down and snorting, she will then lift her head up high and speak in a gentler tone. « Now we try some formations. Straight line, forward vee and reverse vee. Mine will single when we switch and I am Lead. We do this at a walk. » BIG stress there. « And perhaps we will try it faster IF you do not fall all over one another. So watch, listen, TALK to each other and be patient. » Lingering only until she's certain the message has sunk in, Rysith will move into position and begin to lead them through the paces and motions of a few of the simpler formations, Anoryn doing her part to signal and observe their reaction and coordination. It will continue until the AWLM feels they have had enough (or she has had enough!) and either she will let them break to enjoy some freedom or order them back to the barracks to rest.

Mur'dah and Kalsuoth move into formation relatively easily. As long as the pace stays slow, the brown won't do too bad. And by the end of it, Mur'dah is even able to let go of the straps without danger of being thrown, as he gets used to his dragon's awkward gait. Oh, how he can't wait until they can fly and all this walking junk is over.

Truth be told, Ka'el isn't trying too hard to slow Kanekith down. He wants the fast pace and the reckless feel and the away of tempermental greens and too perfect golds and limping browns as much as Kanekith does. And for a few seconds, it's just the two of them, running. Fleeing. Letting the cool breeze rake through his hair and ever so slightly lift corroded wings. But it is short lived, for Rysith is quick to rein them in and Kanekith slows begrudgingly. His grumbling is kept to his rider who turns him back towards the group at a slower trot that eventually melts to a walk. Walk. WALK. Yes, he'll walk as he gets back in line, half-heartedly following the others. At least he listens to Ka'el who both consoles and encourages as he guides him through the different formations. At a walk!

When the formations begin, Luraoth reaches her thoughts for Kanekith. « The ends are hardest. Will you do them with me? » Whether he takes the other or not, she'll keep to one end, doing the formations at the pace of Kalsuoth's walk. Only her thoughts move faster, wandering between the other dragons with curiosity for their paces and encouragement to keep these formations that they'll be flying someday soon! …but not yet.

Idrissa follows along, giving Tahryth little cues on where to go once they are not next to the others. Her gaze follows after ka'el and Kanektih, a soft breath escaping her before she shakes her head a touch. Once there is space between them all they are moving into the different formations that are signaled. Tahryth offering soft warbles and bugles here and here as she seems generally happily at getting out to stretch her legs and being with her cluthmates. Yes even Kanekith she is happy to be near tonight a well.

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