Through a Maze Darkly

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.

Overnight, a nice dumping of snow has happend. With the wind blowing, snow has drifted up into mounds a few feet deep and scoured other areas free of it. It's cold out, and the clouds are hanging on refusing to go away. It's late afternoon and the weyrling grounds have become an obstacle course. Bales of straw have been set up in a simple zigzag with a space between of about five feet. Keziah is standing at the far end, bundled up a little, but not as much as some people are. She's waiting it seems after having whistled and summoned the weyrlings outside. Alosynth is sitting off to one side, on the opposite end of Keziah. Her attention is towards teh barracks as she sits and waits for the young dragons to come out, her tail a thumpin.

Zhaoth was already there, with Ers'lan. They had been immediately outside when summoned, no questions asked. Ers'lan looks as if he had to flurry through some mess or another, since stains still show on his shirt, blood and oil, covered only by a jacket he happened to grab before racing outdoors. Some would wonder if there was a fire. No. There wasn't. Zhaoth bristled up, standing straight with his wings crossed over his back, at attention with Lan more or less attempting to do the same. The only difference is that Lan's gaze was clouded over as if in constant conversation with his lifemate.

There is a bundled shape, fuzzy hooded coat covering over his face 'til only a nose shows. His hands are tucked into opposing sleeves as he kicks at the snow. Guess who is also kicking at the snow? Kagenaith bounds out into the white fluff, pouncing forward a few paces with happy grace, only to skid to a halt. The blue's body turns and spins about in a slide, tail swirling about him. « Cold, white stuff! »

Sahazyth responded quite quickly to the summons, coming to the barracks opening to look outside onto the obstacle course. There is a look over her shoulder as she waits for her lifemate, her tail twitching eagerly for the day ahead. Finally Briana shows up in a heavy jacket, still pulling on her mittens and places a hand upon Sahazyth's side as they finally move with the others in the group, "I am sorry I took so long…had to find my gloves.." She says as she looks up to her golden partner. The dragon for her part is most intrigued by the snow and whips it about with her tail, lowering her muzzle to the ground to sniff it before giving a draconic sneeze. «COLD!!>

Keziah hehs a bit "You'ld think it was freezing out or something." she says with a wicked little grin as she notes some of the overly bundled, in her opinion, weyrlings. "All right, what I want is you to have your dragons line up at the end of course there, near Alosynth. « Kagenaith, you will be right by me. » Comes Alosynth's little addition as the green watches the sliding and spinning blue. "I want you weyrlings to line up down by me. I trust you all brought yer blindfolds." she says after a moment. "Yer gonna need them. What we are going to do now is very similar to what we practiced in the barracks with your life mates guiding you to their couch. Now, they're goin' ta guide ya through the course and to them." There is amusement on the greenriders face as she watches the weyrling dragons and trusts in Alosynth to keep them in line if need be.

M'nol eyes the various Weyrlings as they arrive. Nodding to some, frowning at others. When he reaches Ers'lan, his frown deepens, "Weyrling Ers'lan, in the future you will take a moment to be certain you are presentable before running willy-nilly to your lessons." He moves down the line, one brow arching at Fl'ynn, "If you think this is cold, wait until you feel /between/." Briana gets half a smile and a stern, "Be certain to keep your gear in good order. Emergencies won't wait for you to find your gloves." Faraeth snorts at Alo's seeming favoritism and turns his head to watch, his soft, lavender scented mind of satin reaching out to the young dragons ever so gently, « It is called snow. And you will be able to play in it later. »

Line up. Fl'ynn looks across to Kagenaith, still spinning about in some kind of endless slide. It is a mental request for the blue to go join the far larger dragon. The blue digs in hind talons and then gallops to where indicated, bouncing along in an oddly graceful pounce, with wings half-mast, tail curling this way and that, and an excited gleam to his eyes. Kagenaith drops to his hindquarters, looking for all the world attentive… 'til his muzzle drops, and it is back to wuffling at the snow and filling his 'mate's head full of chatter. Fl'ynn's hand comes up to press to his forehead, causing the hood to fall back away and allow the wind to ruffle at his dark hair. "My bone are cold, and you all won't let me cuddle up with anyone. It is a shame, I tell you, sir," he calls after M'nol, his smile growing just the slightest. Kagenaith is already starting to wander away from his spot. "Kagenaith!" « What? » "Sit." « Okay. » Butt drops, but not in line anymore.

Zhaoth is already moving before Ers'lan appears to have registered the issued order. In fact, Ers'lan is just getting a once over from M'nol and scolded about his appearance as Zhaoth is moving into position. There is even a tilted glance back from the brownling, eyes flicking with red and orange, minor annoyance that speaks loud enough for everyone to hear, « You will do better next time. We will work on you not spilling a drop. » The brownling swishes his tail with an purposeful scoop of snow, sending a small plume of it back up into the air. Lan blinks languidly a few more times, the clouded look still there, that 'rider' conversation look. The one he had on the sands and still has now. "R…right. Yes. No stains," though whether this is to M'nol or his lifemate is unclear.

At the comment from M'nol, Briana dips her head, "Yessir…" She says without an excuse being given. She stamps her feet a bit in the cold as she listens to the instructions and nods before looking up to Sahazyth, "Just like in the barracks, you have to guide me through like she said. You have to stay here." She says pointing to the gathering dragons. There is a focused look upon the dragon's face, «I will not let you get hurt little one.» She avows as she joins the line, her whirling gaze never leaving Briana. Briana for her part moves around the course to stand by Keziah.

Keziah arches a brow at Fl'ynn "Ya can cuddle up with Kagenaith." she notes and shakes her head at the pair. Alosynth has reason for wanting to blue by her and she pointedly ignores Faraeth. Favortism indeed. « Kagenaith. You will stay right here. » Her tail thumps a little to emphasize her point, and then another towards the blues tail in to move it back into position. Never too early to work on formation work in her mind. Her attention shifts to Ers'lan, but she keeps her mouth shut on that issue, after all M'nol seems to have that well in hand. As the weyrlings line up, she hands blindfolds to those who didn't bring any and praises the ones who did. "All right line up. Fl'ynn, I want you to go first." she says to the blue weyrling, her eyes on the fidgiting blue. "Ers'lan, you next and then Briana." she says to the first trio. "When one gets half way down, the next one starts."

M'nol raises one brow at Ers'lan, but says nothing more. Fl'ynn gets a darker look, "You can cuddle with Kagenaith." he echoes Keziah almost perfectly, but adds, "Faranth knows I slept with Faraeth most of my weyrlinghood. And our bond's all the stronger for it." And just you kids remember that. Briana gets a matter of fact sort of nod, "Which reminds me. There will be regular inspections, so /all/ of you had better keep your wallows in order." Faraeth shifts slightly, though, snorting right at Zhaoth, « You should not be so mean to yours. He is trying his best and does not always know what is needed yet. »

« I will stay right here. » Kagenaith agrees. So, he stays there, but the dragon spins about in that space to look about, twisting his neck around here and there to peer at everything, and then look up, up, up at Alsoynth. Fl'ynn looks from Keziah to M'nol as they say basically the same thing, and it causes him to grin rather widely. "Aye. Aye. I will. He's a fine looking one, and a warm one, but-" « Who is a fine looking one? »

Briana nods to M'nol as she makes her way to the line behind Ers'lan. "Yes sir…is it ok that her couch has extra bedding? She keeps finding discarded bits in the empty wallows and I can not seem to stop her." She says as she rubs her hands up and down her arms. She is not so used to cold, having always lived in warmer environments. At the approval of sleeping in the couches, she gets a little look of relief on her face as she has been one of those that slept with her lifemate as well.

Alosynth twaps her tail again at Kagenaith « Pay attention or your will walk into the bails if you are not watching. » A long dramatic pause and her voice sharpens, like hairs whipping sharply in the wind « You don't pay attention later can get you and yours killed. » And with that the green gives a deep and low rumble, almost a growl. "Get moving Fl'ynn." Keziah says in just as low of a voice. Her attention is enough on the blue pair that she leaves the gold pair to M'nol.

The next frown on Morl's youthful face is for Fl'ynn, "Well, you aren't getting within several feet of a girl in that manner for more'n a turn, so you might as well take advantage of his warmth. Also, while were on the topics of screw ups during my Weyrlinghood, mind your thoughts. Your dragons /will/ share them." He gives Fl'ynn a significant look, "No matter how private or intimate you think they are. Now get walking, blindfold on." He glances at Briana, "For now, yes, but you need to learn to control her so by one turn, no."

« I will pay attention. » Kagenaith is just as quick to respond, head bobbing up and down in mimicry of a nod. Fl'ynn is all ears for the weyrlingmasters, his hands coming up to fasten that blindfold over his eyes, and diminishing the world to a place that he cannot sea. "Kagenaith." « That's me! » "Aye, now you are supposed to direct me again." « Where? Did you see the white stuff? It is everywhere, and it is cold. When I breathed it in, it made my nose cold too, and then it disappeared! Where did it go? » "Kagenaith, you need to direct me." « How? » Here we go again.

"I reckon she will have run out of bedding to pilfer by then sir." Briana says in all seriousness as she watches Fl'ynn start the course. Sahazyth for her part lowers her head to her sibling. «You must be his eyes blue one and tell him how to come back to you.» She instructs in her wind swept voice. Encouraging the littler dragon as she lifts her own head to keep eye on her own lifemate.

Keziah watches the blue pair "Take it easy, make a connection with your dragon. Make sure he is /lookin/" she instructs. Alosynth is still poking at the blue to pay attention. There is, however, a rumbled sound of approval at the gold. « Keep him on the right path. » Another tail thwap at the blues inattention.;

M'nol smirks slightly, "You'll have to sweep her wallow daily either way. Just remember that." In the background, Faraeth watches, making eversnide comments to his lifemate about how different it would be if these were /his/ get.

Fl'ynn takes a deep breath, hands out before him just in case he blunders into something. « I'm supposed to be your eyes, but you already have eyes. I have seen them. I could maybe climb on your back and put my eyes where your eyes are. » The blue starts to take a step forward when Fl'ynn shouts out. "No, wait, Kagenaith! Just tell me where to go. Just pretend." « Pretend. » Apparently this word strikes a cord in the dragon. The blue's head tilts to the side, periwinkle glints flashing in the light, seemingly brighter with the winter white about him. "I think we've got this now."

Briana stands with anticipation watching as Fl'ynn starts through the course. Words of encouragement whispered on her breath so as to not distract him. "You can do it…" She murmurs even as her own dragons tries to keep the blue focused, whipping her tail at any other weyrling dragons who try to distract him. Now that he is focused she doesn't speak to him less to break it.

Keziah is quiet as she watches Fl'ynn make his way down, quietly talking with Alosynth, who now that Kagenaith has found a focus she also spares a glance Faraeth's way. « As if you would beget any » The green says simply and oh so sweetly.

Ers'lan has been uncharacteristically quiet this whole time, hands at his sides, his eyes vague as if he were staring off into space. His head was tilted to the side a little, chin pointed down to carry his gaze toward the snow base. If a man could be sleeping on his feet, this was it. Others might say he looks drunk or on some sort of drug. Zhaoth was the attentive one, swinging head from side to side, listening to the instructions. The brown has even moved a little onto the course, head lifted high as if to see the whole length of it, studious of it. There's a flick of the brown's tail, a shuffle of crossed pinions, and a craggy swing of his bony neck.

M'nol just watches for now. Faraeth rumbles low in his throat and shoots back at Alosynth, « When I've caught enough greens, I'll catch a gold and have children of my own. »

Fl'ynn makes his way through the course, trying his best to keep Kagenaith focused, despite the fact that the little mini-dragon pretty much well gets distracted with each snowflake that flits across his eyes, every obstacle requires a discussion as to its purpose, and so it all goes. But Fl'ynn finally makes his way to his dragon, putting hand too muzzle and then sighing with a flop near to onto the dragon. This has Kagenaith honking with amusement, and the teen laughing with relief.

As it becomes her turn Briana moves to the line, her gaze moving across the course to meet with her lifemate. With some concentration she bespeaks her lifemate, eyes unfocusing. She takes a breath and puts the blindfold around her head. Sahazyth gives an approving nuzzle to Kagenaith before she lifts her own head high, her overlong wings rising up slightly as if she would wish to take flight to get a better view. «Come to me little one…forward now.» Briana puts her hands out in front of her, giving hesitant steps as she starts the course.

Keziah looks pleased as Fl'ynn makes it without mishap and she nods in approval to the blue. Alosynth is pleased as well « Well done Kagenaith. » She says simply. She now watches Briana, she has great hopes for this pair. The gold is already showing great leadership skills.

Zhaoth snaps his head to the side at Sahazyth's display of rising up, the brown stepping a few more paces out of line, tail swishing with lashing beatings given to the snow, leaving mud uncovered behind him. « Let mine try. He will run to me. » A steely edge to his tone, resolved. There is a wince from Lan on the otherside of the course, yet other than the scrunch of lips, he seems prepared to do as the brown wants him to. A case of the dragon wearing the pants in the relationship, maybe?

Dragons shouldn't wear pants. Faraeth sends another dark snort Zhaoth's way before casting Alo a look that would be equal to begging canine. She stopped talking to him. SAD.

Sahazyth is focused on Briana at the moment and the girl manages to make it through the course slowly, only bumping into one of the obstacles, though slow going. As she makes it to the gold she pulls her mask off with a smile and wraps arms around the gold's neck. "Thank you Sahazyth!" She declares and finally relaxes. At Zhaoth's boast the gold looks over to the brown, «Do not push him too hard. Mine believes yours is strong and protective, let him show that!»

Alosynth just felt no need to comment on the idiocy's of a brown catching a gold. Really. Delusions of grandeur that one. « No running on the course. » is simply passed on to the other brown. What is it with browns anyways? Keziah smiles in approval as Briana makes it across. "All right Lan, Ers'lan" she says "It's your turn. Remember, take it slow and easy. This isn't an excercise to get hurt in." she notes.

Zhaoth curls his neck up at the skull, the main portion of his neck lowered, as if turning defensive, yet his mindvoice mingles with soft touches of amber, « He is mine to push. He -is- strong. But there is not greatness in just that alone. He has to be -more-… He has to be pushed. » The brownling gives a righting of his pinions, crossed still at the tips, swaying his body until he stamps on the ground, almost military style commanding attention. « Be quick about it.» On the other end, Ers'lan gives a gusty sigh, frowning by the twist of his lips, as his eyes were covered. He eventually grunts, "Thar be too quick… I did narh see it." The brownling opens his maw and straightens up on his forequarters, « Quicken your wits boy. STEP. One. Two. Three. Four.» Ers'lan seems begrudgingly 'marching' toward the first obstacle and then around it, murmuring the count in his own head.

Briana sets her hand on Sahazyth's shoulder as she looks out to the course and watches Ers'lan come through it. "Its ok Sahazyth…" She murmurs though there is a worried look upon her features for her friend as he is 'pushed' through the course. "You can do it Lander…Ers'Lan!" She corrects herself with such intensity in her gaze. By this time the gold has settled back down, her oversized wings settled back on her sides.

Even Morl rolls his eyes though he keeps comments about nutter browns to himself for now. Instead, he turns to Briana, "Can you tell me what it looks like through her eyes?" Faraeth nearly snaps at Alo. Weyrlings? What weyrlings? « I will catch a gold one day! You wait and see! I'm bigger'n some bronzes who have already. »

Keziah head tilts a little at Ers'lan and then nods a little in understanding as Alosynth seems to fill her in on things. "Remember, this isn't just an excercise of visulization, but also on building trust and communicating with our partners. It's about teamwork and working together, not always one leading the other. Though as mentioned before. We need to be the ones in charge as we are the ones with the long memories." A glance towards Kagenaith. ALosynth hisses at Faraeth « Not the time nor place, mind the lesson. » Her tail twitches in annoyance « I should never have let you catch me. It's gone to your head. » Now who has an ego?

Ers'lan is walking with steady feet, sailor-legs, his balance seemingly perfect even on ground that didn't sway and heave. Chin was held up and his arms were at his sides, not in front or around him, looking confident. "I be in charr—" he's about to say in 'charge' when something happens between the pair and Ers'lan trips over an obstacle, toe catching just the right spot to send him sprawling down to the ground with a loud 'ARRG' type nose. When he lands, he's on his stomach, no worse for wear save for a bruise to the FACE and ego. Zhaoth snaps his tail to the side, a defiant almost rebellious curl of his neck, steely sounds lancing through his words, « Maybe next time you can try it. Not this time. Dust yourself off and try again. Hurry it up now. » Snow-washed face comes up from the ground, the former-sailor vexed as he pushes himself up, readjusting the blindfold over his eyes with a haughty tug.

M'nol winces even before Ers'lan falls and actually says out loud, "Farry! Leave it." And there's a brief contest between the older pair. Until the brownlin falls, at which point Faraeth bugles his displeasure at the event, standing for the first time, eyes whirling red, and Morl's trying to stifle some giggling since it's clear Ers'lan is fine. Once he has himself back under control, he makes a beckoning motion Ers'lan can't possibly see, "C'mon, finish it out."

Keziah winces a little as she watches Ers'lan go down. "And that's what happens when there is a break in communication." she states to the waiting weyrlings when it's shown that the weyrling is okay. She glances over towards M'nol and arches a brow and then just shakes her head a little and smirks. Alosynth herself is quiet, course there'd been a quick glance her way from Keziah, so obviously something had been said. "Take your time Ers'lan. This isn't a race." A glance towards his brown. Still it's something the pair needs to work out for themselves and all.

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