Xanadu Weyr - Weyrling Grounds
Cradled in a cup shaped bite out of the mountain, this wide, grassy flat has become home for Xanadu's weyrling dragons. It's set surprisingly high above the level of the beach, visible from the eastern side of the grounds where a long path snakes its way down the hill to the sand dunes below. All other sides to the grounds are bordered by the hard granite cliffs, two entrances clearly visible. One is merely human sized and leads deep into the mountain, to the Caverns. The other is broad and high, the entrance to the Weyrling Barracks.
Late summer often brings continued heat and humidity though the days can be interspersed with dry, cloudless ones that breathe a hint of the coming fall crispness. Today is such a day. The soft summer blue has given way to deep azure skies, the clarity brought by the lack of haze brings everything into sharp focus. A brisk breeze carrying the scent of ripening grain and curing hay from Xanadu's feilds while the last of summers insects drone lazily unaware that their days are numbered. The young dragons have been flying in gradually-increasing amounts, their wing, back and shoulder muscles strengthening nicely. The Weyrlings should by now have created their final set of straps, which have been carefully inspected and passed prior to this lesson. Though the Weyrlingmaster has daily watched the flying, poked and prodded muscles with dragonhealers alongside, eyed the wing bones and sails alike, he's been closemouthed about when the dragons will be ready for carrying their riders' weight.
Morning classes, followed by a break for lunch, at the tail end the entire Weyrling class was recalled to the barracks, an order issued by a stern-faced Weyrwoman as though something ominous is about to break and they're all in deep trouble. She's followed the group out, traversing the entire distance while maintaining her own silence. Surely this cannot bode well! She follows them at least to the barracks entrance, and there she breaks her silence to utter a clipped, terse, "To your cots!" Then she leans on the doorjamb, folds her arms across her chest and… tries hard to keep from losing the frowny-face to the grin that wants to break loose. For there is a large, flattish oblong box on each cot tied in wide ribbons bearing Xanadu's colors and the color best matching that of their lifemates.
Opening the boxes, each Weyrling will find a set of finely-stitched, elegantly-finished dress leathers tailored to fit their measurements, boots, gloves, goggles and helm - flight gear.
Panic! Fear! What did they do wrong? More importantly, what did she do wrong? The usually put together, cool as a cucumber, nothing gets under my skin unless I allow it Jnelle is a bundle of nerves! She's surely in trouble for something, why else would the Xanadu Weyrwoman be here? And looking oh so peeved at that! Jnelle knows she herself hasn't been exactly the model of innocence when it comes to following the rules to a T lately. For sure all of this is because she painted Kanyeth's claws sparkly purple! But, what did it hurt? And the dazzling green enjoyed it so! And doesn't it make her look so dashing? And so while she still strives to keep her cool outer appearance, the constant picking at somehow well kept yet notably shorter fingernails is a sign of nerves. What she should be worried of is what Ka'el's mind is on: Straps! Sure, his passed … but that was largely due to the amount of help he received from the sparkle-toed green's rider on them. What if they are to recieve a Stern Talking To because of that? What if there's some larger consequence? What if! Ka'el exchanges a look with Jnelle. His thoughts on straps, hers on polish, but both equally worried as they post themselves, with their dragons, at their cots. He eyes Thea, trying to read her face though coming up with nothing. Then there's that box on his cot that he's just now noticing, and upon glancing to the other weyrlings…he notices they all have one! "..Ma'am?" he dares to speak, "Do we…open these?" And if given the ok to do so, he…well, does so! Bracingly…cuz you never know. And once opened, he stares…and stares…eyes widening to blue saucers. "Eeeeee!!!" This is not Ka'el, mind you. That was Jnelle, who beams at the gifts, holding up her leathers gleefully. "They're divine!"
Soriana has made the doom march in silence, trying to figure out what Somebody might have done that would get the whole class in trouble. Either it's something they all did, or the weyrlingmasters don't know who did it… which would explain the Weyrwoman's presence. Seryth might be prodding around for answers if that Somebody doesn't 'fess up. Maybe someone's sneaking firestone for unauthorized practices? She glances to Ka'el, checking for signs of guilt in his face, but… hmm. Maybe not. Well… maybe it's about… and there's so many things it could be, both ones she knows about and ones that are mere speculation. None of the ones she actually knows happened seem bad enough for this, though… except, well, clearly there's something. So she walks with a straight spine and an even pace like she doesn't have anybody stalking behind her, and the only words she says are silent ones to Luraoth. Back at the barracks, her straps are not only finished but untangled, sitting by the edge of her dragon's couch. They're hardly a tanner's master project - or even a journeyman's - but they're firmly passable, because she went over each bit of them until they qualified. Soriana glances back at the Weyrwoman at the given order, then… heads for her cot! Hmm, cots. So… maybe there'll be an inspection, because it's something about keeping the barracks in order. Oh, Faranth, did Tahryth actually… she glances to Idrissa, and frowns briefly before continuing to her cot. No, surely not. This is just… huh. There's a box. Why is there a box on her cot? She definitely didn't leave a box there when she left this morning… and they're supposed to open it, are they? Well… so she does! With squealing in her ears from Jnelle, no less, but never mind that. There are riding leathers here, and there's a grin across Soriana's face. Still no words, but oh, there's a grin, and a near reverence to her gestures as she carefully removes each piece and sets it out on her cot.
Idrissa has follows along with the others, a faint glance sent towards Thea during the whole trip, pondering, pondering what is going on. So so many things is going on at the moment. There was talk of a green's nails getting painted, and Tahryth does /not/ want her claws pained, and this is told her dear rider over and over. Tahryth is settled outside, head tilting and a soft warble escaping her while she watches the weyrlings curiously as they all head inside, she has her straps on and mostly it was for the green to get use to the feel of them as they are /new/ straps after all. Idrissa sends a glance back towards Soriana, a 'what' look is clearly seen once they are inside and she catches sight of the box, or well boxes around the place. She took moves along and pauses, eyeing the box a few moments before she goes about opening it, ever so slowly and peeking within it. The squeal from Jnelle makes her open the box the rest of the way, a soft oh escapes her while she looks over the leathers within the box. No way Rissa could have ever gotten some so nice on her own. She picks up the jacket looking over it, a soft smile seen. "There beautiful.."
Mur'dah tried to catch his mother's eye, looking for some sort of reassurance or…anything. But seeing nothing, he just walks. Dun dun duun dun da dun, dun da dunnn. Seeing the box his brows lift and then he beams, hastening over to pull off the ribbon and lift out the dark, dark brown flight leathers. Dyed almost the same hue as his lifemate, they're nearly black. And he beams, immediately pulling on the jacket to see how it fits. Perfectly! For now. "Thanks, Mom!" Thea. Yeah. Weyrwoman.
V'dim and all of the weyrling assistants are there, standing along the aisles looking austere - that is until the weyrlings are in eyesight of their own cots and those boxes are spotted. Then they all start smirking, grinning, maybe chortling if that is their nature. V'dim's face merely relaxes (his smile is far scarier, so he doesn't use that one right now). He waits until the the exclamations die down, then says crisply, "Time to fly, weyrlings. Don your gear, meet on the Grounds with your straps and harness your lifemates for inspection." Then he turns on his heel and leaves them some privacy. Isobeth needs harnessing, apparently, for he ducks into the office, passing back out through the barracks with his own straps coiled neatly over his shoulder, saluting the Weyrwoman as he passes on by her.
Thea's smile has grown while the weyrlings have been opening those boxes. Mur'dah's eclamation draws her eyes to her son and she chuckles. "Don't thank me. Those were not paid for from my salary. Thank Xanadu." Then she lifts her voice to call out, "Well-done Weyrlings! Fly well. Clear skies and safe back." Oh then she'll slip briefly back into mother-mode and glance at first Marel and then Mur'dah with an intake of breath and a brief catch of lower lip between teeth before steeling her nerves and nodding to them all. She too slips out and will be watching their departure.
Oh and the boots! And the gloves! And oh, don't they just compliment each other perfectly? Jnelle continues to gush over the contents of her box, holding her leathers up to her chest to gauge the fit, then setting them down on her cot to next oogle over the boots. And oh, won't it all just bring out her eyes, Kanyeth? Glitter-toes croons her agreement. Ka'el is still at a loss for words, staring down at the contents of the box for lethargic seconds more before finally pulling himself out of his stupor and lifting each piece out one by one. Leather. Leathers for riding! The color of … well, leather, though if one wanted to be technical the stain is more of a mottled chestnut, rich and deep without being too dark. His eyes first seek Soriana. Look! Look! He grandly grins as he holds up his jacket and he can't help but to be nosy and see what hers look like. Then over to Jnelle, thankful that neither one of them was the cause for trouble, though she's too busy with herself to notice him right now, a fact that makes him laugh. Phew! Getting rid of the nerves through laughter. Idrissa is sought next, then Marel, Mur'dah, and the others before he once again focuses on his own set and the instructions given. « We fly today? » is Kanekith's curious wonderings to his rider's excitement. "Yup. We ride today!" And with that overwhelming thought in his head, he tends to Kanekith first, getting him fitted before dressing himelf in his dashing new gear. Today, they fly! Woah…
"Thank you, Xanadu," Soriana says with a lift of her eyes to… well, the ceiling of the barracks, but it works in principle. She looks back to Ka'el as he lifts his jacket her way - yep, that is most definitely a riding jacket! And it's his for him to use to fly! - before lowering her fingers to brush along her own, golden brown like cookies just getting crisp. She's still grinning as she lifts it up and sets it around her shoulders, because… it's time to fly! So V'dim says, and so evidently the dour expression during the last wing inspection was just him being himself, not something wrong. In fact, apparently nothing was wrong at all, and all this was just… hmph. She casts a glance to Thea that's only barely short of a glare, but it's soon replaced with a grin again. She can't help it! Riding! Them, riding, flying, yay! On her gear goes, and it fits nicely! So supple. Soriana looks the part now… and maybe she'll even manage to get her straps to behave today. She sidles up to them, trying to pick them up carefully… oops, no, don't go falling out of place, you loose end you. Get back there… come on… finally she manages to get it more or less settled over her shoulder and ready to head out. … slowly and carefully. Don't fall, riding straps. Don't fall. Just stay where you are until she gets out there and meets up with Luraoth, who's waiting outside (because coming inside to get her straps would make things too easy). It's okay, even misbehaving straps can't take Soriana's grin away.
Idrissa looks up at the talk of them to get there gear on, and wait they are flying? When.. /now/? Wait wait, but that means off the ground! For a few moments she chews on her lip before looking over the others, they was waiting, and working for this moment right? Of course so it is a good one! She pulls her jacket on, it is pale tan with green across the shoulders and down across her arms and back, the rest of her gear is in the same colors. With her helmet in hand, and goggles she follows the rest of them outside where Tahryth is waiting. The green is rather eager, moving around and wiggling, there is a bounce and a hop while her wings flap. It takes a few moments before Rissa is able to get the green to calm down. Sharp warbles and happy croons escapes the green while Idrissa is busy making sure the straps are all in place and nothing has happened to them while being on the green.
Mur'dah grins widely at his mother and the Weyrlingmaster staff, before he's eagerly pulling on his gear, even running to the little mirror to check himself out. Does he look sexy? Then he's back to gather up Kalsuoth's straps, draping them over the brown and making /sure/ they're fastened correctly. And then checking again. And then one more time. The dark brown's mind is rolling with excitement, shifting with visions of clouds and his dark bird soaring through them, darting and dashing and twirling.
Ohhh those V'dim-glares and eyerolls weyrlings do. Thea has been there herself, seen many over the turns of observing weyrling classes from the sidelines. She winks at Soriana, chuckling under her breath as she heads outside to wait with the aged weyrlingmaster for their arrival. They're patiently chatting when the weyrling pairs come tumbling out of the barracks. They're sure with the prospect of mounted flight it won't take them long to get out here and line up for inspection.
Nope. It doesn't take them long! Ka'el is in his leathers in no time, and he checks Kanekith's straps once more, which prompts him to check Jnelle since he sort of owes her. And, well of course she'd be checking herself out in the mirror! Mur'dah isn't the only weyrling with a vain streak! "Hey, c'mon! No one's gonna be lookin' at you when you're up in the air anyway!" To which he earns an owlish blink. "…What do you mean no one will be looking??" They'd better! Have they not noticed how well these pants hug her backside? Leaving her to ponder that, Ka'el heads off with Kanekith outside for inspection! He did double check those straps, right? Ka'el and Kanekith, reporting for duty, sirs and ma'ams!
Her straps may intend to misbehave, but Soriana's goal is simple: find her dragon, put them on, get flying. Wearing her new brown jacket, she manages just that, getting the straps to Luraoth with a minimum of dragging on the ground and getting them fastened. The gold's quite eager to help, crouching down and standing on one foot in turn to assist. She's worn her straps in flight before, and she's worn her straps with her rider before, but never before has she flown with her rider. Her thoughts are bright excitement, colors of pink and gold tumbling over each other and tracing out phantom thermals as she and Soriana head to their place in the line. Ready! Oh yes they are so very ready.
Tahryth is finally settled down and lines up with the others for the inspection, a eager warble escaping her while her tail flicks and snaps. Her straps are all straight and in place, buckles are shined and polished. Idrissa looks over the straps once mores and then glances to herself there is a mental check list and she nods a few times before looking over the others. They can do this, yes yes!
Mur'dah hastens out to the bowl along with the rest, adjusting his gear and Kalsuoth's straps. Then his gear. Then the brown's straps. The pair are almost vibrating with excitement, though constant deep breaths keep them from springing between right from the ground.
V'dim begins inspection as soon as the first pair arrives, circling around each dragon, tugging on a strap here, tweaking a clip there, rattling each buckle to be side they are firmly fastened. All seems as it should be and though his wrinkled cheek is a-twitch, he gives the gruff command, "Mount up! We'll take formation three for this exercise." That's the one where they form a horizontal plane in the form of a V with Isobeth on point, Luraoth on his right and Kanekith on his left with dragons ranked by color on down to the end (this gives the smaller dragons less of a headwind and will lengthen their endurance in the air). He himself swings aboard Isobeth, clips himself in and gives the signal to rise.
You sit atop Isobeth. Beneath your legs, you see: Shadowed magnolia green blooms over a slender muzzle and headknobs, the paler green of the leaf's underside defining her expressive eyes that shimmer like sunstruck water. Her slender neck runs down into her barrel chest, mottled hues of waxy green, light and dark, play their way across her shoulders and into her rounded belly. Overly large wings sport the brilliant greens of freshly sprouted ivy, twisting along translucent sails speckled with the creamy paleness of magnolia blossoms. The pale petals trail down her heavy haunches and into her dark tail, the color of fallen leaves shadowed by the canopy of the living. Each leg is wrapped in inky darkness, all the way down into thick paws tipped with perfectly sharp claws of obsidian.
The Weyrwoman stands by, watching the inspection, proud of them all. Proud of her own children, of course, but being in an official capacity at the moment, she doesn't allow this to show. Later, alone - if she can get the time to see them privately - it will be a different story. For now it is fitting to soak in their excitement and reminisce about that day - Faranth! Was it really seventeen turns ago when she and Seryth took their first flight?
Much as her straps may tangle when off Luraoth, once on, they fit well and comfortably. V'dim may find things to tweak, but the day V'dim doesn't find something to tweak is probably the day he retires, so Soriana's not exactly taking it personally. Once she's given the go-ahead, she mounts up, settling in on Luraoth's back and trailing her fingers along the curve of an eagerly arched neck before fastening her straps, hearing the faint squeak of that leather against that of her new leathers. They sit there, ready and waiting, with the eyes of dragon and rider both intent on V'dim and Isobeth. Before the signal to rise is given, Luraoth's excited thoughts reach out to the rest of the weyrling dragons. Nothing much, just, « We fly! » and a sense of joy. They fly together with their riders! All will be right with the world. The signal is given, and Luraoth spreads her wings, beating down against the air and launching herself into the sky, one wingbeat at the time as Soriana beams. They fly!
Idrissa swallows as she watches the look-over of her straps, hoping that all is well it would seem. A soft breath escapes her once she is given the 'go'. Like that she clambers up onto Tahryth's straps, clipping herself to them. Tahryth warbles out and at the orders here is a soft rumble, right she understand that! There is a few moments as the other launch into the sky and soon enough the runnerish green is following after them. Leaping into the sky, wings flapping hard a few times until she high enough off the ground. Idrissa lets out a half squeal of excitement.
Oh great, Kalsuoth gets to fly with Kanekith's backside in his face. Though it causes a faint frown in Mur'dah, the brown doesn't seem to mind in the least, eager to get started. Crouching down, he holds himself perfectly still while Mur'dah mounts up. "We're real dragonriders now," he whispers, awe in his voice behind his mask and goggles. Buckling in, he holds the straps tightly and then lets one hand go so he can rub that dark, earthen hide. "Ready?" he whispers. The brown rumbles confidently, and when the signal goes up, he kicks off the ground to soar aloft with his rider for the first time. "WHOOOOOOOOOOOO!" Mur'dah can't help but bellow, a hand in the air as he's overwhelmed with the sensation of flying on /his/ dragon. Finally - /finally/ they are airborne together.
Goggles, set. Straps, ready. Heart, thumping wildly in his chest. Ka'el is as ready as the rest of them as he's inspection from V'dim passes. He exchanges a grin to Kanekith who rumbles eagerly. They've both been waiting for this since… well, perhaps the first moment his fingertips touched his egg. Ka'el listens to V'dim's instruction. Formation three, got it! He visualizes this in his mind, sharing it with Kanekith as he mounts up and settles himself. Inhale. Exhale. He buckles himself, checks things three times, then breathes again, pressing his hands upon his bronze's neckridges. "We've got this." They both wait for the signal, and when it is ready, Ka'el can feel the power behind Kanekith's takeoff. The skyward leap and the pump of brilliant wings. Up. And up. And WOAH! Behind those goggles, Ka'el's eyes widen as he tightens his grip, the ground beneath them growing further and further away. Exhilaration doesn't even begin to describe the electric feeling that shoots through every vein and capillary. They're doing it. They've done it. Flight! He keeps his wits about him … unlike last time. His excitement and Kanekith's can't get away from him. Isobeth. She is our point, find her. All thought while grinning madly!
Xanadu Weyr - Weyrling Sky
Framed between the gentle curve of the cliff holding the main Weyr and the uneven coastline, there are no obstacles here - no jutting rocks or odd thermals. A pocket of calmer air, this patch of airspace is dangerous for a very different reason: the presence of Weyrlings whose flying ability is exceedingly unpredictable.
Isobeth is speedy-quick, moreso than the browns and bronzes, but sadly, not as sprightly as the young blues and greens as she was when she was a youngun. She rises while V'dim turns around in the saddle to watch the launches carefully. She glides primly into the lead and maintains the heading, giving the others time to fall into formation positions and then she'll glide forward leisurely in a straight line towards the weyrling beach while V'dim remains twisted to watch them, gives the Weyrlings time to acclimate to the double sensation of flight - their own perception and that of their lifemate's. The AWLMs flank them for these first few minutes.
Below, on the ground, the Weyrwoman salutes the take off, neck craned to watch the weyrlings 'leave the nest', waits until the grounds are empty and quietly wipes her cheek with the .back of her hand.
In the air, Luraoth's thoughts are still an exultation of pink and gold, swirling in the shapes of thermals, but she keeps them to herself now - well, herself and Soriana, the contours of them growing to match the sky under her wings. Soriana's grin is seeming kind of like a permanent addition now, feeling the muscles of Luraoth moving beneath her as they climb up and take their position, just to the side of Isobeth and trailing her. Now is not the time for aerobatics, though Luraoth's thoughts tease playful eddies at her rider that make Soriana grip the straps more tightly for a moment as she adjusts.
Idrissa takes in a breath, it is a few moments before she actually remembers to breath and she is nearly light headed when that happen. Tahryth bugles out now that she is in the air, the wind hitting into her form, a faint sting to her hide which feels good in her mind. They are flying, all of them, just like the green knew would happen. Idrissa coughs a few times and soon clears her throat once more as she reminds herself to breathe yet again before she is looking over the area and everything below. The girl can't help but grin and relaxes a bit in her straps. All is well!
Kalsuoth is a natural in the air, despite his awkwardness on the ground. The brown soars up with his clutchmates, a low rumble and brief mental touch his only outward show of the excitement that rocks back and forth between him and his rider. Mur'dah is grinning, not that anyone can see, happy as he closes his eyes briefly to enjoy the sensation of being one with his dragon where they're meant to be - in the sky.
Kanekith calls out triumphantly as he takes to the skies with the weight of his rider felt on his back. But to the bronze, it's a slight thing. A vague pressure against the skin. So slight, yet so very important. Together at last into the endless blue! They shall soar to the highest heights! And dive and dip and test their courage! … But not today. Ka'el reins in his dragon gently, smiling. No.. grinning. Not today, Kanekith, but soon. Kanekith complies. Complying is easy today. He has his rider with him, and all is right. His wings test the air, getting a feel for the lifting and dropping of the breeze. Ka'el does the same, feeling draconic muscles beneath him as he leans forward comfortably. He's still attempting to get a hold of his heart when he gets sight of Luraoth and Isobeth. There is our position. Right there to her left. It's weird, seeing everything at once up here from two points of view. Like wearing glasses that aren't his prescription .. yet everything is crisply clear! Wingbeats bring him up to Isobeth's left, and Ka'el turns his head to peer over to Sori across from him, then back to his weyrlingmates. Everyone is up!
Xeosoth launches up using powerful muscles he's build up in his hind legs to do so. Naturally he's one of the last to leave the ground though the reason is anything but unwillingness. Like a coiled spring he waits and then springs upwards. Both wings unfurl quickly to fill with air and once he's high enough he's soaring with slow and steady wingstroke against the air. How's M'kal fairing in all this? Despite being quite green with nervousness as he put on the straps to his blue he's slowly regaining a more natural color once he doesn't fall /off/ the blue and the blue indeed can stay up in the air with a passenger. Nervously he tugs at the new clothing that he found in the box on his cot, gear dyed a dusty shade of brown with blue and green accents that simply goes together with Xeosoth's coloring quite nicely. For now he simply clenches onto the straps he's most recently made and breaths as he takes in the view from up here. It's completely different now that he's not a passenger behind another rider!
Xanadu Weyr - Lake Sky
Looking out across the Caspian Lake, this is indeed a prime location. A sheer cliff to the southwest meets the deep water of the lake and following that cliff north a little leads you to the main beach and docks. The air here tends to be a little cooler than inside the sheltered valley but the northeast aspect of the weyrs scattered over the cliff face makes up for it.
Below you, the water of the lake shimmers blue or grey, depending on the weather and one can usually see the fishing fleet of Xanadu out on the lake or traders ships are often visible on their way across.
V'dim has taken them aloft, but not too high today. It strains muscles to lift weight against gravity and a tumble from on high would be fatal. The pale blue eyes behind his goggles are intent on each dragon for a few long moments, then pleased, he faces forward, his arm sweeps out towards the lake, and Isobeth carries his message to all of the dragons, her tendril of tender vine and sweet spring scent breathing into their minds with, « V'dim says we will do some real flying now, but we'll keep it low and in formation. Enjoy flying, savor it, but be alert. » Her green wings sweep to carry her foward - not too fast but faster than a glide. Below them the strip of beach sand passes under them and the leave it behind. Out over the water they go, Isobeth's happy trill a clarion call to the young dragons to follow.
Kanekith is a follower today, a position that usually … he has issue with. But not today. Today is a perfect day and not even he who finds fault with everything can find fault in this. Besides, he is in the lead of the followers, and that is good enough. Ka'el is looking ahead now, having checked the others. Now it is time for enjoyment. Kanekith does the same, briefly passing his shadow of a touch to those behind him on his side. No one has been left behind? Is everyone in their proper place? His wings thrust then spread in a wide glide as he tails Isobeth out over the sands and above the water. Both rider and dragon look down at the blur of a reflection of themselves, and Ka'el grins as he peers ahead. You're doing great, buddy. Keep it up! This is … amazing. Ka'el begins to sit up just a little from his lean to get a better look ahead, his grin growing. "Wooow.."
In the sky, with the wind rushing around her ears, Soriana understands on a visceral level the value of all those hand signs. Here's one for Ka'el now, as Kanekith settles into position across from Luraoth in the formation: thumbs up. Because he may not be able to see the grin (though, oh, it's there!) but the gesture, exaggerated appropriately for in-flight… yeah, he can see that. That's why the hand signals exist, and why she keeps looking to V'dim as part of her eyes' sweep. Out fifty meters. Then fifteen. Then five. And repeat, checking her airspace with a constant vigilance fueled by visions of dragons in the infirmary that didn't pay close enough attention. She's intending to visit there again soon… but not as a patient. Be alert, Isobeth warns them, and Soriana may not need that warning but she heeds it - the same as she heeds without needing the exhortation to enjoy the flight. How could she not enjoy it? Luraoth follows Isobeth, and calls out her own pleasure to the skies.
Tahryth continues to follow along in her position, wings flapping in time with the others, or well the other greens at least. Her wings are tucked close, head and neck kept in an even position so make it easy for her to slip through the air. Idrissa grins as she continues along, the message is given to her on what they are to be doing and she nods with a soft pat sent to her dragon's neck. "We got this.." Is murmured out softly. Tahryth lets her mind connect back saying that she understands and she shall be alert. The picture of a brook flowing through a little forest is clearly seen within her mind while she bugles out while following after Isobeth.
Xeosoth trills out cheerfully as he moves with a certainty in the air that he's doing everything perfectly. PErhaps he is. After all he's still up in the air and he's not overly straining himself to kept aloft. Keeping at a altitude that's not too high or too low he looks down at the reflection of the weyrling formation in the waters below. M'kal's grip isn't quite so whiteknuckled any more and it's at Xeosoth's insistence that he looks down also to enjoy the waters below.
Kalsuoth follows, the brown rumbling happily as he soars with his clutchmates. Wings beat against the air with ease and grace, Mur'dah taking the chance to look around. This is…incredible.
Out here over the open waters, the breeze is brisk. Stronger than when it moves over land, it sweeps up under them forcefully enough to buoy them but not enough to make flying into it difficult. It is, however, a bit of a workout as they are flying straight into it. The lake shimmers but a dragon's length below, the whitecaps dance inviting a plunge. Swimming will have to wait for another day, however. Isobeth continues ahead, straight as an arrow, warbling her joy to those behind as their shadows follow in rippling fashion below them. The surface of the lake is broken suddenly by a pod of shipfish, who manage to keep pace, leaping and squeeing their greetings.
Ah ha! A challenge. Just what Kanekith likes. Well … granted, the motions of the air isn't hurricane strength or anything, but it does require the bronze to have to adjust himself. Tensing and untensing of the wings. Motions of his body. Ka'el can feel it all and he too makes minor adjustments to the way he sits or the strength of his grip instinctively. .. How did he know to do that? Watching flight and reading up on is is nothing compared to the real thing! A grin is given over to Soriana, and he mirrors her thumbs up. All is well over here too! His vision is broken as Kanekith looks down, alerted by the jumping fish. Oh, he could catch one of those in his claws! Just a dive down.. "Don't even!" Ka'el warns aloud. « I wasn't…» Honest! His wings flap, bringing him out of the vague descent that he wasn't going to do! Somewhere behind in on his side of the formations, back with the greens, Jnelle clings to Kanyeth. Oh this is fun! But must it be so fast? She clings a bit tighter at the bouying and looks over at the other greenriders.
The wind and water dance together, their currents and eddies meeting in waves of foam. Luraoth's wings turn the wind meeting them into lift holding her there, floating in the sky as she has in the waters below - oh, but these currents are different, this dance of currents and eddies more joyous. They beat, propelling her forward, keeping her place in the formation, where the turbulence from Isobeth swirls against her just so. She bugles to the dolphins dancing below them, in their element as she is now in hers, and carries Soriana on, on - they could fly forever, it seems, chasing the sun and moons across the sky.
Xeosoth bugles cheerfully to the leaping shipfish, his croons and warbles a counterpoint to their squees way far below them. Leaning in a bit into the neck, M'kal's expression is one of wonder and amazement. The smile that is creasing his face from ear to ear will likely be there for days. Oh how different it is up here! Just him and Xeosoth. Such a view. Such a rush! Even though they'll have other flights after this one…it's this one that will likely be stored in memory for sometime. Xeosoth's wings beat steady against the brisk breeze but he shows no signs of strain.
Kalsuoth fans his wings and shifts his tail to keep himself level. He does falter a bit though, when he ducks his head to rumble happily down at the shipfish. HI I'm flying! But then he snaps back (or is called back) to the attention of actually /flying/, and he pumps his wings to regain those lost few feet of altitude.
Tahryth follow down near the water, a forepaw lowering to dip into the water just slightly as they fly across it through the formation still, and following after the others. Another bugle escaping her once more while her wings continue to flap carrying her along. Idrissa looks down at the water and grins as she catches sight of the shipfish, which the green warbles down at them playfully.
V'dim, now makes the signal to rise. Isobeth beats upwards, gaining altitude while her rider turns to watch the Weyrlings, making sure they follow her up high. It is really only several more dragon's lengths this time, but it is higher than they've flown yet. He makes the signal to indicate a wide turn and the green tilts slowly on one wingtip in a gentle, curving bank to head them back towards the beach. Rukbat now gilds her underside as her own wing's shadow moves across her back, darkening V'dim briefly as he keeps his eyes back there the entire time noting how each dragon handles itself and how they make their turns. The shipfish (aka dolphins, sentient beings of Pern - would take exception to being snagged by dragon claws) have fallen behind, turn and are now racing back for shore along the path they think the weyrling dragons will follow, clicking and chirping their excitement. Head start? Well, yes, but all's fair, right? Yes, but now the young dragons are flying with the wind, so their forward speed increases.
Another day, shipfish. For now, Kanekith leaves them be and focuses ahead again as Ka'el catches that signal from V'dim. Yesss. Up and up! Wingbeats are large and it doesn't take many of them to propel the bronze higher. Good, Kanekith. Good job paying attention. Ka'el looks down again, the water even further below them than before. Oh, to go higher! Can't they? Oh please? But it isn't height that is signaled next, and Ka'el nods to himself. Got it. Watch her, Kanekith, and do as she does. The bronze rumbles deeply as his body begins to tilt, wings tipping as he arcs. Ka'el closes his eyes, shielding his own vision to look through Kanekith's eyes instead. .. Wild. He can feel the pace increasing, the wind at their back. Eyes re-open at the close of their turn, and Kanekith flies faster.
There it is; the nearest star, shining Rukbat for Luraoth to chase. And chase it she does, for a few dragonlengths up into the sky. A few lengths, but she feels as though she could climb forever, to touch the edge of space and soar beyond… but her wings are growing tired. Not badly so; one of the things she's learned, in the daily practices that have stretched the weyrling dragons' wings, is just how tired she can get. She's not there yet - but carrying her rider is more effortful than just flying on her own, and she's beginning - just beginning - to feel the soreness of tiredness in her muscles, the way it takes an extra bit of effort to extend her wings fully. Soriana pats her neck, encouraging the dragon with gesture and thoughts, and redoubles her own vigilance of the skies as Luraoth stretches her wings and soars through that turn, taking advantage of one of those air-currents over the lake and her greater wingspan to glide and rest a moment before she beats her wings once more, racing forward with the wind at her back. She's not so tired yet that she can't exult in her flight, trilling to the shipfish and her clutchmates.
Kalsuoth rises higher, rumbling his pleasure at flying closer (even if a little bit closer) to that forbidden sun. Staring at Kanekith's backside, the brown tilts, dipping a wing to take into a shallow turn, trying to match the bronze's so he stays in formation.
The call is to go up, and up they shall go! Tahryth follows after the others, her tail lashes against the water before she is going upwards. Her wings beat in time, carrying her higher and higher, she is going to follow as long as she can. Her muscles are hurting just yet; the green is built for this and knows she has the stamina to get herself through it. The turn is quick, she shifts, wings tucking slightly during it and now she is using the air to help her along. Idrissa grips at her straps a few moments before the flight is getting a bit easier, it is a strange feeling to be on one's own dragon, and she'll be thinking about this flight for a very long time.
Xeosoth shifts as M'kal catches the signal and bespeaks him quietly. Anything said out loud would be whipped from his mouth by the wind regardless. His slightly longer than usual hair whips back in the wind which will certainly end up all mussed up when they finally land. Perhaps Xeosoth's thoughts are skipping ahead in the future for he watches the way the green moves and works to copy the movements and turns exactly. Turning wide as she does his direction is now with the wind and he uses that to his best advantage with his flight turning more smooth as he goes.
V'dim is satisfied, it seems, for again he faces forwards. Isobeth beats forward for several lengths then as V'dim signals 'descend' she folds her wings - but just crimping them enough to drop in a dizzying swoop back down towards the water before leveling out once more, this time barely skimming the surface with her wingtips on each downbeat. With the wind now at their backs, the trip towards shore is much faster, but the wingbeats required to stay aloft must come more often. The dragons will have had a good wing-workout by the time this exercise it done! The dolphins are easily overtaken, passed over in a flash as the disappointed, but good-natured squeals fade behind them. The beach seems to be rushing towards them, the silvery waters almost a blur. Isobeth flares her wings just offshore to slow her pace, drops lightly to the sands in a running stride that also makes way for the ones behind her to land. V'dim is once again turning to watch, careful eyes judge the landings as well as the condition of the newly flown pairs.
Xanadu Weyr - Weyrling Beach
With a gentler slope to the water from the main beach and the way it is cut in like a cove, this is the most sheltered spot for bathing. The sand is the same white hue, there are just as many — or perhaps more — scattered shells. From here, one has a beautiful view across the lake, a scene more often tranquil than not.
Aaaand, floomph! Kanekith's wings tuck in and the bronze torpedos down like a rollercoaster making its terrifying, yet most anticipated drop. Ka'el can feel his heart lurch up into his throat at the suddenness of it, and the blue water rushes towards him. With an audible snap, the young bronze's wings extend again and he levels some handful of feet above the water itself. Close call! Wingbeats bring him a little higher, back in formation while laughter fills Ka'el's mind. To which he can only join in…as his heart falls back into place. "Git.." He relaxes forward again, finding the rhythm of his wings that pump a little more often now. The twinges of weariness is felt through Ka'el, though luckily ahead, Isobeth is landing. Landing? Slow. Slow down. Slower. And he does slow, though not as smoothly as the seasoned Isobeth. And his landing isn't as neat either, but he does accomplish it, clawed feet heavily find the sandy ground and continue thudding forward til he slows to a trot. Up top, Ka'el gets a bouncy ride as air is traded in for land! Phew!
Descend. A fall from the heavens to the deeps, an artful tumble through the sky that makes Soriana grip her straps as she is, for a moment, not flying but falling, feeling as if she'll fall off the dragon's back and make those dolphins dive for her - or that Luraoth will dip beneath the surface of the water, and not all the shipfish in that pod will be enough to lift her… but that doesn't happen. Luraoth's wings snap open again, catching their full lift and rising away from that water - for the moment, and yet she flirts with it, wingtips brushing the surface as she skims over the waves. On toward shore they fly, and Luraoth's tiredness shows in the careful precision of her movements, the beat of her wings done like the stretches of her PT; a deliberation, a focus on every motion, reaching for perfection because if she lets herself settle for anything less she might not make it off the ground - or through the air. Soriana leans forward against her neck, reducing her presence to the wind, watching for her. Together, they fly, until they near the shore and Luraoth's wings cup the air differently, no longer asking speed of it but instead to slow, to reduce her pace so that her feet can touch the ground, wings still flared as she hop-runs forward, like her first wingbeats… but now they come at the end of a real flight, and bring her out of the way of the others and to a stop. Her wings slowly fold against her sides, an over-careful motion, and Soriana slumps back a little in her straps, her grin tired now… but still present.
Kalsuoth follows after, dropping down a bit more carefully than the green did. There will be time for fancy flying, but at the moment the brown (or more likely his rider) is a bit nervous, so things are done carefully. When it comes time to land he makes sure Kanekith is clear before he backwings to touch down, ending up landing in a stopped position rather than landing on the move, as it were. Then he has to hop out of the way, Mur'dah giving a brief yell and lunging for the straps. Kalsuoth flew so smoothly in the air, his rider forgot what he was like on the ground.
Xeosoth watches first Isobeth then the torpedoing bronze. Now /that/ he can do. Without a second opinion from his rider he's copying those around him. After all he's got to stay in formation, yes? M'kal's expression surely will be funny if it is seen for it is one of pure terror as he's hurtling to his DEATH! Well maybe not that dramatic but close! The water rushes beneath them as they glide squarely over it then the beach is approaching and Xeosoth backings to a landing without a hair out of place. If he had hair. If he did though he would totally slick it back like the cool kids. Still…he makes the landing stick and awaits the points from the judges.
Tahryth turns her to watch as Isobeth is going downwards, and thus she follows. The younger green tucks her wings slightly as she heads downwards, crooning out as she moves lower and lower, and quicker at that. Her wings open slightly as the ground is there and she rather not hit it! With her wings opening she starts to slow down. It takes a few moments but by the time she is near the ground the green is landing with ease, hoping a few times once she feels the ground under her feet. Her wings flap a few times. Idrissa is quiet as she sits there upon her dragon a few moments and she gives the green's neck a firm hug. "Great job Tahryth.." Is murmured out softly.
"Slow down a little, pleeease!" Jnelle is not enjoying this anymore! Too fast! And Kanyeth, being the small thing she is, is hurrying to keep up. And now .. hurrying to slow down! Of all the landings, hers is probably the worst. Coming in too fast without time to slow, Kanyeth hits the ground at a running pace, leaving Jnelle to cling for dear life! « Excuse me! » She zips by clutchmates, not running in to any of them, but resorting to a sort of sliding, skidding, sand spraying stop. Er .. ta da?
V'dim seems satisfied for he voices not one word of criticism after all have landed. He doesn't lavish anyone with praise, either, but that is V'dim. In a voice intended to carry he says, "Remember, a little more each day. Rub the wing muscles with oil and numbweed, check the hide as you remove the straps." It's going to be an oft-repeated reminder from here on out until they graduate, most likely. "Good flyi-" and then Jnelle and Kanyeth go barreling, skidding by and he stares after them. A look is sent to one of the AWLMs. "On it!" is the AWLM's response as he strides after that particular pair. Jnelle, Jnelle, Jnelle. That particular lesson - the landing one - will likely be drilled into you and your lifemate for the next few sevendays. V'dim? He salutes the rest of the group, cheek a-twitch and lifts off for the short hop to the grounds where he dismounts, strides into his office and begins writing up the 'first mounted flight reports for the Weyrleaders' - and his own records - The V'dim Dossier.
Ack! Ka'el winces, seeing Kanyeth go barreling past. Hey .. that's his straps buddy over there! He peers at the greenriding pair, though doesn't see any blood or hear and screaming, so … all must be good, right? -.-; He looks back to V'dim to listen to him, a hand lightly rubbing at the side of Kanekith's neck as he does so. Ooh a good rubbing has definitely been earned! He salutes the weyrlingmaster before he too dismounts. "That was awesome Kanekith," he praises, catching the bronze's lowered head between his hands to give a few more private words before releasing him. Another look to Jnelle here who is being helped off of her green.
Hey, this is V'dim. Lack of criticism practically is praise. Soriana's grin continues undaunted, like it's going to last for the next few sevendays. Maybe it will… or at least for the parts of them spent in the air! A little more each day, with care and tending for Luraoth afterward… yeah. She can do that. She can so do that. And then there's Kanyeth, who… well. About that thing where lack of criticism from V'dim counts as praise? Yeah. That. Soriana gives her head a small shake, then unfastens herself from the dragon, sliding down to touch her feet to the sand. V'dim is saluted back, and then Soriana turns to Luraoth, taking a moment to caress the golden dragon's muzzle as Luraoth noses her fondly and share a moment of silent thoughts about the flight that ends with her laughing and stepping back along Luraoth's side to start unfastening the straps and checking beneath them.