Weyrling Lesson: Learning to Make Straps

Xanadu Weyr - Training Grounds
A wide, grassy expanse, nestled into the gentle bowl shape where something's taken a bite out of the mountain. It's high above the level of the beach, and there's a good eastern view of the lake and a long path leading down to that sandy shore. Granite cliffs surround it on the other sides.
While much of the grounds are left in their natural state, one area has been trampled and trodden by enough feet that the grass struggles to grow. A running track circles a set of equipment - straw dummies with wooden frames, obstacles of various sizes and shapes, and targets for flaming, archery, and whatever else.
There's a dragon-sized opening to the south that leads to the cavernous weyrling barracks, and a smaller tunnel to the northeast - large enough for dragons newly emerged from the sands, but quickly outgrown by hatchlings who are then forced to take the long way around - at least, until they learn to spread their wings and fly. Between them in both position and size, a jagged crack in the stone leads to a dim cave with the sound of water.

It's a bright and frigid morning at Xanadu, with winter refusing to release its hold on the Weyr. But the Weyr has been busy for candlemarks, and Kera is no exception. Over on the grassy slope, the greenrider drops the last of the long bundles, still wrapped tight. There are quite a few bundles mounded up there as she moves to her dragonmate's side. Giving Moncerath's neck and affectionate rub before rummaging through one of the large packs on the green's straps. As she works, her gaze drifts about, spotting young dragon pairs dotting the area. Watching them as she works quietly, Kera moves purposely about the area, finally slowing to a stand still by Moncerath's shoulder. "Alright, call them in Mon." With that, the older dragon's soothing thoughts reaches toward the young ones « It's time to gather round. Very important that you pay attention. You and your riders. »

Garouth is here, but D'lei… isn't. Not right now, anyhow! He'd been given permission to scamper off and spend some time working on technology, and he isn't back from there just yet. The bronze, however… well, first he waits for a little green to get off his tail. He was being a jungle gym! But then, after he's done that, he does roll up onto his feet and pad toward the group, keeping to the back since… well, he can definitely see over the shoulders of all the rest of them. His shadows brush out to Moncerath's, a cool darkness in contrast to the cold light of day. « Is mine needed? » Since the two of them are under slightly different rules than the rest! And it seldom hurts to ask.

Sanarth plods into view, and over to Bryn'jan, where he hipbumps the weyrling, and settles in beside him. «I'm /hungry/! When are we going to eat?» Brynn gives his young charge an exasperated look. 'I fed you not even FIVE minutes ago.' «Yes, but that's FIVE MINUTES during which I HAVEN'T EATEN. I'm /hungry/.» Another exasperated look, and a little grin, from Bryn'jan. 'Okay. Once we're done here, I'll get us something to eat.' The weyrling gives his lifemate a friendly pat, and settles in for the lesson.

Bump. Bump. Bump. Bump. She meant to do that. And that too. And okay maybe not that one, but shut up. She's learning. « Minion! They summon us! Come! » And there Risali is, bundled up in her jacket, looking for all the world as if she'd rather be curled up somewhere and dead asleep, but forcing a smile when she makes her way over to join the gathering group. Leirith takes advantage of her lifemate's sight to navigate, landing herself closer to Garouth where she settles with a bunt to his side with her head. "Morning, Kera, Bryn."

Jaicoureth waddles out onto the the training grounds to check up on some of the baby dragons. He has come to know at least one of them, and is always ready to meet more. He will move toward the group that is gathering for a lesson, « Good evening everyone. » he will say with a shimmer of starlight in his mind. He notes Moncerath and will happily plod to stand beside her as the young dragons speak and settle the lesson.

Kera shoves hands in her pockets to warm her frigid digits and huddles deeper into her riding coat while she waits for the weyrling pairs to gather. When they approach, she reluctantly drags her warm hand from the pocket and gestures at the wrapped bundles she has tossed around a semi circle. "Morning everyone. Form loosely around here. Space yourselves out so you have plenty of work space." A bright smile flashes to each weyrling, the awlm making a leisurely pace from one pair to another. Kera pauses to speak with weyrlings and check over their dragonmates. Each little conversation basically asking how the dragons are feeling. One response bringing a sudden laugh bubbling from the greenrider "No, hungry will not dismiss you from the lesson." Pausing to peer over to her dragonmate, Kera considers a moment then gives her head a shake, turning her attention to the recovering Garouth. "I wouldn't mind if he helped with assisting some of the young weyrlings, but if he's busy, it will all work out." Canting her head at the bronze. "Are you injuries healing well?" Gaze drifts back to Moncerath, as replies are relayed and such before moving on.

Garouth spreads a wing for Leirith, who a) is also taller than most of the other weyrlings and b) can't see anyhow so what does it matter if she's in front or back? He rumbles softly, his shadows tucking in as - between wing and mind - she settles in the dark despite the bright day. Also, the warm, because there's a bronze's worth of heat there! He tilts his head, regarding Kera as she addresses him. « He will come when he finishes this assembly. » Neither abandoning work in progress, nor leaving Kera without an extra pair of hands! « They are well. All is nearly healed. » His shadows touch to Jaicoureth's stars, and he makes a greeting in answer to the blue.

Sanarth offers a low growl as time passes. « Alright. I'll play your games.. but it better be good food. » He offers a glance to Bryn, and then gazes around, getting a look at who all's in attendance. « Good evening. » He responds to Jaicoureth.

It is true! Leirith is growing into her gold hide, and one day she may even be bigger than Garouth, and maybe she will tuck him under her wing and tell him about chasing the moon (or being chased, SEMANTICS). For now, she just leeches his heat and rests her maw on her forepaws, content to tuck her wings in against her back as Risali's eyes track Kera's progress. The hum of too much bass expands out to encompass Jaicoureth and Sanarth as well, making stars twinkle in the distortion her mind makes, though curiously silent. 'Silent'. If silent is assaulting your lifemate with imprinted images, of course.

Jaicoureth will respond with a bright flourish of starlight to the various greetings, while directing his attention toward Kera and her lectur, though he may twitch his tail to touch Moncerath's side. His attention will then be drawn by the not so little gold but he won't be so rude to greet her and interrupt her lesson or upset the progress. The brown he will offer a flourish of music to greet him.

Kera nods as if agreeing with Moncerath, and retrieves a long strap of old thick hide from one of the green's pouches. Waving it about for all the weyrlings to see, Kera takes it in both hands, walking among the group to show them the sturdy looking bit of harness. While she Moncerath waddles over to plop down by Jaicoureth and the young dragons, the blue getting a gentle headbutt against his shoulder before she sorta slides to setle on her belly. "Take a look at this hide. Nice thick sturdy strip. Looks good right? IT's a couple turns old, and hasn't been tended properly."Her gaze flicks among the faces, gesturing to a sturdy looking guy "Bryn'jan, up front please. Grab the other end of this strip and play tug of war with me." She grabs one end of the hide strap, wrapping it around her hand once and gesturing for the weyrling to do the same. All the while, the greenrider sets her boots in a slightly crouched wider stance.

Imagine it, Garouth as a teeny tiny little dragonbloop under Leirith's wing. …okay, not that tiny. STILL. Someday, she will be the larger one! For now, he rests with her, his hide warbled with the visual distortion of that bass (because really, what does Leirith care for little things like causality?) and listens to the others. D'lei actually makes his appearance about as Kera summons Bryn'jan to the fore, moving at a brisk walk through the tunnel and still wiping his hands with a mostly-clean rag to get off the lingering bits of oil and machine-grime.

Bryn'jan hops to, front and center, smartly. He flashes a confident grin to Sanarth, and a thumbs-up, before taking up the strap and settling into a stance. He begins tugging on it, gently at first, but increasing in strength as time goes on. When it finally snaps, he appears to lose his footing, backing up a few steps, before catching himself.

Risali's attention is on the piece of leather produced, arms coming over her chest as Kera selects Bryn'jan for a tug of war and — there's D'lei. The goldling makes a motion for him to join her, patting the empty space beside herself as Leirith relishes in her heat-bath and dancers peek out in twos, peering at the outskirts of his vision as if asking to be let in. She is tired of human sight, she wants to see. Jaicoureth, of course, is not ignored; Leirith wuffles blindly at him from somewhere. THIS IS HOW SHE SAYS HELLO.

Jaicoureth is content with the greeting that he recieved from his cabinmate. He won't lay down just yet, but he isn't going to go anywhere. He'll observe the young weyrling as he tests the straps. This is a very common lesson but an important one. A broken strap could mean life or death! He'll glance toward the arriving bronzerider, he will know this already. He'll send a flourish of trumpets in the direction of the young gold. « Your weyrlings are doing well. » he'll say softly to Moncerath.

Kera tugs on her end of the strap, gradually pulling harder against Bryn'jan's efforts. Shifting her weight when the hide snaps, she keeps from falling on her backside. Lifting her broken half for everyone to see the ragged end. "That would NOT be a good thing to happen when flying people. Even just a few feet above the ground could get you seriously injured. You're flying along fine, and suddenly you and your dragon veer sharply, then SNAP! You've got some serious issues to solve quickly." Kera steps to Bryn'jan, retriving the other end of the strap. "Thanks Bryn'jan." Tossing the broken bits aside, starting what will be a growing trash pile of tiny hide bits, Kera then points out the bundles scattered about "Risali, open up that bundle there and make sure everyone gets one of the strap making blades please." Glancing about, she smiles, "Now, keep that little demonstration in mind as we make your first set of straps. You'll be making them for the rest of your lives, so you'll become masters at it in the long run. They'll grow out of the first set soon, then the next and so on til they ar fully grown. But they need to start getting used to wearing them. And you'll also need to adjust their oilings a bit, make sure the areas of their hide are always oiled wear the straps rest. Now, open up these bundles, grab some hide and get started. Space your dragons out a bit, you'll need some room to work."

Garouth fashions shadows into masks for those dancers, black feathers and sequins around the eye-holes where what should be empty space instead gleams with a hint of the vision they offer. His eyes! That draconic gaze, watching… tug of war? Apparently. « If they cannot pull well enough, we can do it for them. » comes the observation… followed by a satisfied sort of snort as the humans do manage their task. D'lei? Well, he ahhs as he notes the strap in play (er, the fragments thereof), and sidles in around the back ('scuse him, Ayurath, coming past you…) before stepping up to join Risali. Where she says. Like a foo- friend. Or something. He hehs at the demonstration, then nods more serious-like, listening to the rest of the explanation. Such as it is, because he seems to have gotten here mostly in time to move again!

Sanarth offers a growl of curiosity, but also of contentment. « Anything to keep you safe, Bryn. But, please, can we take it slow? I'd rather you take care in making the straps, do it right the first time, than have to redo it, or worse.. » Brynn'jan nods to his lifemate, taking up one of the strap-making blades in preparation for the rest of the task. « Careful! » Brynn winces, casting a glance askance to his companion, as if being nagged by his own mother.

Indeed! FOO - friend (nemesis). D'lei arrives in just enough time to earn himself a shoulderbump before Risali gets to her feet under Kera's orders and retrieves the aforementioned bundle. She's careful with her burden, hugging it against her body as she makes her rounds and finishes at Bryn'jan, handing him a bundle with a smile as she handles her own and makes her way over to Garouth. She'll run her fingers gently down his wings if he allows, a gentle inquisition for him to remove them from around Leirith so that she doesn't catch them in her blind haste to be everywhere. « Ahaha! Lucky for us, they were badass enough to do it on their own! We'll show them next time. » How fierce Garouth is, she means, of course; her dancers show this by affecting their own snarls of intimidation as they dance and Leirith shares his vision just long enough to be told she has to GIVE UP HER COMFORT. OBJECTION. But Leirith does as she's bid, using Risali's hands and eyes to guide her to her own space for working.
Jaicoureth will now settle himself down to his belly to make himself comfortable, though he's still awake and watchful of the young dragons and their riders. « Thats right Sanarth you always want to make sure your rider checks the straps before getting on. If they don't remember you can remind them. And you should. » he'll echo the words of the weyrlingmaster. Though as his mind drifts he does focus in on Garouth and Leirith. He knows them the best, but also enjoys their back and forth friendship.

Kera smiles and helps pull out some straps and pass them out. "Don't worry bout the padding bundles yet. Right now just concentrate on measuring, and cutting." Spotting D'lei, she gives the bronzer a wave "Since you've already been working at this, mind helping some of the others make their first sets?" Seeing Risali finished passing out bundles, Kera cautions "Careful with those smaller pouches. Each have needles and the tough threads for stitching the harnesses together, as well as the cutting blades you'll all need."

Bryn'jan sets out his supplies, and then begins measuring and cutting as instructed, making doubly sure to take his time — not in a lazy sort of way, but he's certainly in no hurry, especially not when it comes to something related to his lifemate. He studies the bits and bobs laid out before him, before taking them up and stringing them together in a way that is most definitely strap-like. He's no tanner or weaver, but being the progeny of a smithcrafter does give him a bit of an eye for detail.

Where's the Leirith? After all, she's invisible under that shadowed wing. Totally stealthy and… gasp! Risali found her anyhow. Garouth's wing lifts in answer to the secret combination of fingers along it, exposing the little gold to cold air (and her rider). This is why Risali is the cleverest (and fiercest) minion. « Next time. » he agrees with a rumble. « We will show which straps are inferior. » And thus undeserving of riders or dragons! Garouth remains where he is, so as to not trample anyone's work in progress, but D'lei gets up with a nod for Kera. "Yep. I at least know a few of the things to avoid!" he says cheerfully, and heads to look at… hmm, there's Bryn'jan. "You'll get better results if you have the grain going the same way," he notes. "Like, rotate that smaller piece ninety degrees…"

LEIRITH DOTH PROTEST. She croons to Garouth, pushing against him much like a cat as she goes and - okay so maybe she just lost her footing but shut up it was cute - is directed elsewhere. Physically, anyway. « Are we going to use these straps to catch your moon? » Leirith asks, the shadowed masks her mindvoice adopted at Garouth's behest being pulled away to reveal masks of beautiful green. And Risali? She's got parents that are goldrider and bronzerider both, so suffice to say that she has totally got this. "I don't have this. At all." Okay, so watching (and hearing your Dad walk you through the steps) is completely different than applying knowledge and implementing it into the actual practice. Truth be told, every tidbit of know-how goes out the window as brows draw together and Risali looks from her bundle, to her blind gold, to Kera, to Bryn'jan, to D'lei, and back to her straps. And for Jaicoureth, « Is Moncerath your moon? » And of course she pulls Sanarth into the conversation, spilling into his mind the memories of ghoulish shadows turned dragon in flight, without any of the connotations. « This is love, Sanarth! Like I love you, and Garouth, and Jaicoureth. And my minion, of course! Though sometimes she disappoints me. » Like now.

From his place the blue dragon hears the question that is being directed at him and looks over to the green beside him. The gold is so young and to answer that question would seem to him to be out of place. Though he has little interest in lying either. So he'll put his answer in the context of the magic of friendship. A gentle scale on a piano plays in the background as he responds. « Moncerath is the kindest dragon I know. We are best friends. » Which is the absolute truth, but perhaps not the whole truth.

« I'm hungry, Brynn. And kinda tired. » Sanarth looks to Bryn'jan with a sort of bored look. Those nearest him can hear the rumbling of the brown's stomach. « Did I mention hungry? » Bryn'jan looks up. "Perhaps we can break for a bit, and those of us whose dragons aren't in the best of spirits can tend to their needs?"

Kera walk among the weyrlings, wincing as the first casualty of the lesson rears it's bleeding thumb. "You're supposed to be cutting the hides It'zel, not your thumb. Come on, I'll get it fixed up." Pulling a clean clothe from her pouch, Kera frowns at the injury when she gets a better look at it. Wrapping it with the square linen, "You're lucky that your dragon will be hunting soon, cause your meat cutting days are gonna be interupted. Sliced yourself good. Gonna be at least eight stitches." Yea, it stings a bit now, but soon there will be numbweed then, ahhhhhh. Looking about the group she nods to the sr weyrling. "D'lei, help everyone til I get back please."

« Not for that. » Garouth answers Leirith, the discarded masks growing out their feathers and fluttering away. « They are for your Risali, when you wish to carry her. » He shares an image of his own rider, sitting on his back with the straps holding him secure. « The humans cannot fly, and so they must have straps so they do not fall. » Because seriously, you can't go trusting humans to not do dumb things like that! They're all human and such. D'lei hehs as Sanarth demonstrates his hunger. "He's not going to let you concentrate on anything else until you do, huh?" he says, then… blinks as he's put in charge by Kera. Wait what? Is she even allowed to do that? "Uh… sure." A glance around, to make sure nobody else is doing anything they oughtn't now that he's responsible or something, and then… a look back to Bryn'jan. "Why don't you grab him a snack?" he suggests with his newfound authority. "Just make sure to not leave the tools out…" And then… with a few other glances along the way… he heads over to Risali and her assorted pile of… strap-related crap. He looks amused at her perplexity, because he has no common sense at all, but then he actually offers something useful before he gets stabbed. "Which band do you want to start with?"

For what it's worth, Leirith pretty much just draws that conclusion anyway - that 'moon' and 'love' and catching flying dragons all equates to somehow making friends. So when she starts to maul her smaller siblings because THIS IS LOVE, YOU CAN BLAME GAROUTH. And apparently Jaicoureth too. « Best friend! I have a lot of those. Risali, and Garouth, and - » Yeah, she's just listing off everybody she's ever met, don't worry about it. She'll stop. Eventually. Someday. When Garouth chimes in, actually; the dancers stretch their limbs in an elegant mimicry of her dancer's masks losing their proverbial wings and becoming caricatures of shadowed beasts again. « To keep her safe, when we go to see the Fort, and the Ierne, and the Monaco Bay, » Leirith concedes with understanding. Definitely wouldn't want her Risali to fall. WHO WOULD BE HER SEEING EYE MINION THEN? Risali? She glowers at D'lei when he comes over to amuse at her dismay, holding out her knife threateningly before sighing and letting her shoulders droop. "How should I know, D'lei? You're the dragonrider." But she picks one by pointing, because this is logical, right? "And wipe that smile off of your face." Was he smiling? SHE KNOWS HE WAS, EVEN IF IT WAS INSIDE. Hence why she grabs his cheeks and PINCHES before letting him go. Stupid bronzerider.

Garouth? A bad example? NEVER. He is a shining … shadow. Okay, never mind, bad metaphor. Anyhow! « Yes. » he agrees to Leirith. That is the purpose of those straps! Such clarity and comprehension, unlike that whole love-moon-catching mess. And as for Risali's strap-related mess? There's a dragonrider to look at it! Two, in fact, because.. "So are you," D'lei notes, with that smile that is not nearly stealthy enough to hide from Risali. Or her pinches! Which he outright grins for, if only briefly, and then crouches down to take a closer look. "Okay. So… you want to make sure the seams aren't anywhere they'll rub against her hide. So if this is the breastband, then you want it centered…" It's like he's competent or something! Weird, sure, but it can happen.

Bad is an understatement; he's the worst of the worst. ABSOLUTE WORST. You would almost thing he was inspired by a bad guy or something. « And what about if I wanted to ride you? Are there straps for that? Can I ride you? » And Leirith goes about shifting, excited, giddy, little wings coming open as she vocally croons and her dancers jump on the backs of each other, spinning as their colors turn gold, and bronze, and black, and yellow. "I can't even ride my dragon," Risali tells him on droll tones, the kind that are all about semantics and say, 'SHUT UP, D'LEI,' without her having to say it. Still, the weyrling crouches down beside D'lei, shoulder pressing into his as grey eyes (try to) study exactly what it is that he's seeing and she's missing until he speaks. There's a soft noise in her throat of consensus to show that she understands. "So how long should I be making this?" she inquires, and then she's shifting forward onto the tips of her toes, catching herself on Leirith who leans into her touch as Risali uses the queen to gain her footing again, stepping around her bundle so that she can slide her hand down the gold's chest. Leirith, probably under instruction from Risali, lifts her head up to be out of the way. "And how wide? Should it go from here to here?" She's making motions with her hands to gauge length, and then looking back at D'lei because somehow she feels like she is doing this wrong.
Archer> K'vir has disconnected.

« There are straps for that. » Garouth is such a fount of knowledge in addition to terrible ideas! « They carry injured dragons. » He shows an image of a sling set up between a pair of dragons, together carrying another beneath them. « They are very hard to use. » But really, when has the difficulty of something ever stopped Leirith from thinking she can and should most definitely do it? Garouth rumbles, watching Leirith cavort - and her dancers do the same, inside their minds. D'lei? He's going to focus on the basics. Simple dragon straps for one dragon and one rider… of a human sort. Who will definitely be able to ride her dragon at some point, regardless of how things may stand now! Though he has the grace (and/or sense) to keep the "YET" in his inside-his-head voice. Which, unlike Leirith's, is actually quiet! Straps, yes. "You can't make it long enough," D'lei answers. WAY TO SHOW CONFIDENCE. "If it's big enough that she won't outgrow it, it'll be so big the extra strap will chafe. But… aim for about once and a third around her. Like…" He reaches for the other side of the strap, adjusting where it settles on Leirith. "About here. Does that feel comfortable for her?"

Leirith is… amused, and awed. Her dancers joining hands to brace another dancer on their forearms, moving about like dragons in flight, saving their own. « Is this how you are going to take me to the Fort? And the Monaco Bay? » She asks, because apparently she's forgotten some things. Ah well, she's young yet. She will learn. Meanwhile: GOOD MAN, D'LEI. Nobody needs to die today and set off a chain-reaction of probably-retaliatory killings. It would be a bloodbath, and it would span Monaco Bay, and Xanadu, and Half Moon, and maybe even Fort Weyr. Lots of retaliation. "She says yes, but - Leirith no." But what does the queen listen? Her amusement beating at Garouth is fading as she shifts despite the riders before her and wuffles at them both. « I do not want to stand here anymore! OPEN SESAME! To the outside! » And despite the riders (and her inability to see), Leirith is giving in to her own impatience and moving away. « This is boring. » Risali? Shooting a helpless look at D'lei - first to make sure he's okay, and second to apologize as she goes after her gold. "Please tell Kera I'll be back if she shows up before we return." Sigh. C'est la vie.

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