Weyrling Lesson: The Hunt!

Xanadu Weyr - Feeding Grounds
Sparse trees are scattered through this field on the western edge of the forest, not far north of the clearing. The pen extends partly up the hills to the southwest, and the trees grow sparser the further west one goes. Within the large corral are a variety of beasts - ovines, bovines, and wherries - free to roam and graze. The appearance of a dragon may send them one way or the other to try and escape. A small pond is set near one corner of the enclosure, and at times it reflects the low, bordering mountains.
Just at the forest's edge, set under the tree line, is a guest weyr for use in mating flights, a simple cottage made of weathered planking and grey stones.

A bright spring morning, but winter still has a gentle grip on the weyr. Kera makes her way towards the feeding grounds, a plump Polgara swaying gently on the greenrider's shoulder. Moncerath waddles along with her rider in that awkward gait grounded dragons lumber about in, large squarish lump of bronze clinging to the green's neck. He'd be Weasty, who should wear a warning tag that says 'I steal shiny things' The green pair strolls towards the pens, pausing and observing the differant herds before the young weyrling pairs begin to arrive. Moncerath snorts and rest her muzzle on the uppermost railing, causing the smaller beasties to ease on away to the other side of the pen.

Sanarth makes his way forth from the aether, head held high and proud, plodding along beside his lifemate Bryn'jan. A low, throaty growl escapes him, accompanied by what one can rightly assume is a draconic grin. He seems to be in good spirits today. "So, what's on the agenda for today?" Bryn'jan inquires, offering polite bows to the various dragons. «Yes, what?» Sanarth echoes, inquisitively.

And then there is Risali and Leirith. And D'lei. And probably Garouth. Risali has hitched a ride (literally) on the Monaco Bay rider, legs tucked in against his side, torso pressing into his back as she leans forward with her arms extended out on either side of her as if she is flying. Leirith's nose is pressed into the bronzerider's side, an attempt to keep on the right track when her rider's vision is so sharding shaky and WHO HAS EYES, ANYWAY? NOT SHE. Leirith's drums swell, expanding from the faint warning that She Is Coming, to the throbbing over-reach of sound that means SHE. IS. HERE. And Risa? Singing, between hiccups of laughter, of course, in time with Leirith's drums until they have reached the group and the goldling achieves silence. She's flush (with joy and probably the bite of winter's cold), smile in place, remaining where she is until lessons, or D'lei, or both force her down from her perch. SHE CAN SEE SO MANY THINGS FROM WAY UP HERE. There is a wave for Kera and Bryn'jan, of course, and Leirith's, « WAHEEEY! » for greeting.

What? Risali is a rider! And D'lei is a dragon…rider. The point is that Risali needs to practice her skills on a mount, because Leirith will need a competent minion on her back. And D'lei… uh… is a mount, apparently. Really, it's a training exercise! Like hauling firestone, but self-balancing! Yeah. That's definitely the real and plausible justification for this. It makes perfect sense if you just think about it right. Which is to say… uh, anyhow, in they come, D'lei taking Risali's place (on account of carrying her, arms tucked to hold her legs) and giving her a view of the proceedings. She gets a bonus view! On account of Leirith not having one. Pesky eyes. D'lei dips his head to Kera, offering her a grin in leiu of a salute as they gather with the rest. Garouth is… some ways behind, making his own way through the forest from where he's been broodi- er, thinking. He's been thinking. That's it.

Azrith is leading the way, wandering into the feeding grounds with much enthusiasm, his freshly oiled bright indigo hide glimmering in the sunlight. He turns back to give an impatient croon, albeit with a croaking quality to his voice, and the ginger haired Zaria is puffing to keep up. "Don't even Azrith! You know you are not supposed to use your vocal chords unecessarily." She chides, which actually gets her an eyeroll from her lifemate. A quick look over at the rest of the weyrlings and she spies Risa, mounted on that Monaco Bay rider that has attached himself to their class. Her lips tighten to a thin line and she quickly averts her eyes from the spectacle and clears her throat as she approaches Kera, "Ma'am." she nods respectfully.

Bryn'jan gives the straps on his lifemate a good tug, making sure they're not too tight, but also not too loose. And he checks the oiling a second.. third? No. Fourth. Fourth time. … Fifth? Anyway. He checks it again, finds a dry patch, and fixes that real quick-like. «That feels gooood. Like an itch that just BEGGED to be scratched.» Bryn grins at Sanarth's words, sharing a glance as he stands around, looking around at those gathered.

Kera shakes her head at her dragonmate's antics and chuckles softly. "They'll just scatter again a the first attempt." A smirk cast over to her so 'helpful' herding dragon. She gives the lazy lizard on her shoulder a moment of attention before shrugging her off to pick over the remains of a previous kill. When the approaching weyrlings are heard, Kera turns and watches them trickle closer. A quick glance at Risali and the greenrider looks elsewhere quickly, hopefully no one payed too much to the amused roll of her eyes. Taking a moment to focus, she turns back to the collected group, tipping a smile and headnod to each weyrling. "G'morning." The greenrider meanders around the group, looking to see if any of the young dragons are moving awkwardly from injury, til her scrutiny falls on the young riders. "I'm glad to see you bright and early. I hope you got the memos to not feed your dragons yet." Still scanning the crowd as she speaks, and gestures for Risali to find the ground, with D'lei's help obviously. Zaria's dragonmate get a tip of her head "Morning weyrling." Smiling around the group, she gives an aknowleding head tip and gestures to the pens "First on today's agenda, are your dragons' first hunts. Followed by intense scrubbing, bathing and oiling."

And what a spectacle they are, Risali riding the mythical beast that is D'lei, D'lei just letting it happen, and a little gold dragon being a willing extension to all of the chaos. « Brothers! » Leirith greets both Azrith and Sanarth, beating at their minds with the frequency of that persistent bass. Risali is unaware of the look that Zaria grants her, grey eyes focused ahead - right up until Kera ruins all the fun and makes her get down. Risali flushes for a different reason now, but gives Kera a little salute before shifting to be lowered. There might be a whispered exchange on the way down that has Risa rudely shoulderbumping the bronzer's side, but… As soon as she's got her footing, the tiny woman is weaving through the amassed weyrlings to gently touch Bryn's shoulder and catch Zaria's hand. There is a squeeze and a smile, the kind that communicates excitement as she tries to herd the younger weyrling back towards D'lei. If she goes? Well, Risali will loop arms with D'lei and Zaria both while she waits, hugging their arms in against her sides as she listens to Kera and nods her head in acknowledgement. If Zaria doesn't come? Risali will give her a look of confusion and retreat to D'lei. Either way, her attention is on the AWLM. "Good morning, Kera," is breathed around a smile.

Zaria takes a deep breath and manages to keep her attention on the greenrider as she stands with her hand on Azrith's sky dappled shoulder. Her eyes flicker briefly over to Risa, but she silently scolds herself and sweeps her eyes back to the front taking another deep breath. Azrith turns his head to greet his clutchsister with a suave mindvoice rich in undulating colors «You are looking more radiant than ever dear.» But his head sweeps back to his rider, a hint of yellow worry in his green eyes, but Zaria waves him off. Until Risa decides to come over and drag her back towards the bronzerider, her eyes go wide and she drops the goldling's hand. "I-I need to pay attention Risa." she hisses back, with maybe more venom to her voice that she expected. Her cheeks are flushed bright red as she rushes to regain her position on the other side of Azrith than Risa, the hand that had been holding the other girl's bunched up into a fist which she is rubbing absently against the side of her leg. Her blue's eyes pick up speed and color before she rests her other hand on his shoulder and her eyes unfocus for a very private and brief conversation with her lifemate.

Kera grins at some of the reations over the young dragons getting to pounce the little critters. Another couple of pairs make their way towards the grounds, and she waves them a bit closer. "As I was saying, today the dragons will attempting their first hunts. I don't expect many will be very quick, or clean kills. Some may not have a successful hunt. But that's okay. They will each get better and better with each attempt." Kera gestures towards a couple of the herd pens scattered about. Each holding smaller beasties like recently sheared ovines and porcines. Her attention flicks among the crowd, and she singles out D'lei. "D'lei, could you have Garouth demonstrate to the younger dragons, a quick clean kill." Clean meaning don't make the little critter suffer needlessly. Fingers flick towards this pen or that one "Have him take his pick." Hert gaze begins scanning the group. "Everyone pay attention, particularly your dragons."

Bryn'jan finds a spot to settle in for the day's lesson. Sanarth settles in nearby, keeping an ever-watchful eye out for any sort of danger that might jump out and visit harm upon him or his rider. Bryn'jan glances around to those gathered, keeping his thoughts to himself (and his dragon). A stomach-rumble emanates from the brown dragon's corner of the room, followed by a glance by Bryn'jan. «Soon, Sanarth. Soon we shall hunt. It shall be glorious.»

Welp, that's one way to knock the smile right off of Risali's features. "I - okay." Brows furrow, grey eyes stray after Zaria as she retreats, and her attention is briefly on D'lei's face as she rejoins him, to link her arm through his. There's a silent question in her expression, and something more, something that is buried beneath the need to pay attention and keep Leirith from projecting her hurt to the entirety of the class as the chin rises just so with her determination and Kera is once more in her line of sight. She will pull Zaria aside later, if she can find her. « If I had eyes, Azrith, I am sure that you would look the same! I mean, not the same, but - » There Leirith goes, ending with. « - I'm sure you look badass! » But Risali is reigning in her attention as well, eyes seeking Garouth as Kera issues commands for D'lei to have the bronze hunt; Leirith depends on her, after all, to see.

D'lei does glance after Risali's attempt, with a tilt of his head for Zaria's reaction and expression somewhere between curiosity and a frown before… nope, he should be paying attention to Kera - though he does link arms with Risa, when she returns. Still paying attention to the AWLM, though! Not that he needs a lesson in hunting, exactly, but… well, he is here for a reason, presumably. And then she gets around to him! Pointing him out by name, and he perks to listen before… glancing to the dragon. Who speaks up, for the first time since his arrival, loud enough for all the dragons here to hear. « None of these are my choice. » It's a cold wind that blows to carry his thoughts, unwarmed by the spring that's slowly creeping over Xanadu. « They are pen-beasts. They do not live free. They do not have spirit. » A moment, and then he adds with a shift of shadows. « Besides. I am not hungry. » A rumble, and he lowers himself to lie on the ground as if that settles it and he's done here. What more does he need to say? "…yeees," D'lei says in response as he gives his bronze a look, "But they need an example. To learn from."

Nodding along with Kera, keeping her full attention on her, Zaria sighs slightly as the color risen to her cheeks slowly fades back to her normal skin tone. When the bronzerider is called out for an example, she only barely glances in his direction and quickly looks back as she sees how cozy Risa has gotten with him, their arms linked together. Stupid Zar, she should have known. «I will hunt?» Azrith inquires quietly, trying to get his lifemate's attention back as he sqings his sleek neck back to look at Leirith and her rider, «Why does she upset you? You are her friend aren't you? You sure think about her enough.» Azrith adds in his silken mindvoice, oblivious to how he's prohjecting, and here comes the blush again, as Zaria tightens up their mental communication again and gives him a stern reminder to pay attention at which he swings his neck back around to his rider and finally looks like he is taking this seriously now.

«FOOD.» Sanarth urges to Brynn'jan, flooding his mind with all manner of food, prepared to perfection and ready, begging, to be eaten. Brynn meanwhile tries his best to focus on Kera, and Garouth, and D'lei, being they're the present focus of the lesson.

Kera looks to D'lei, waiting for Garouth to pick a pen, then a brow arches and her attention cants to Moncerath for a moment. When her attention lands on the visiting Monacoan, she doesn't bother to hide an annoyed eyeroll. "So glad you're enjoying your vacation to Xanadu D'lei, will you be returning home soon? How long do you think it will take to float such a lazy dragon there by ship?" Clearly disappointed in what Monaco has to offer lately, Kera turns her attention back to the weyrlings as Moncerath shakes off the flitter perched on her neck, moving around the pen. "Mon will demonstrate for you. No fancy moves. Simply waiting to pick the right moment." As the green dragon creeps along hte outer fence, she seems to choose her target, singling out one careless beastly wandering a bit further away from the rest. In a suddenly fluffy of movement, Moncerath leaps up, front paws perching and bracing on the top rail as she bunches her muscles and leaps towards the suddenly panicked ovine. The older green pounces the poor breasty soundly, killing it instantly by the suddenly weight breajking it's back, but green muzzle opens wide and latch teeth around the limp creatures neck. Moncerath drags her kill to the side and tears into her feast. Kera nods approvingly and peers around to the young riders, grinning. "So! Who's first?" Eyes flicker from pair to pair before pointing towards Sanarth and Bryn'jan. "Think Sanarth is ready to catch food for himself?" She gives an amused wink "More importantly, are YOU ready to give up your promising career as a butcher?" Kera chuckles at that and gestures towards the pens. "Zaria, you and Azrith pay attention. You're next. Risali, We'll have Leirith try after him." She then counts off the remaining weyrling pairs in the order they will make attempts before turning her attention to the pens.

There are just a whole bunch of dragon voices filtering through Risali's head today - though, one is being pulsated into her own head by Leirith's relay of Garouth's words. Risali's eyes move from Kera then, back to D'lei as if she can find an answer for the bronze's reluctance there, even as Leirith booms her upbeat rhythms in curiosity. A series of things happen then: Azrith, whose voice draws Risali's attention back to Zaria with a quickness to try and understand, but before she can make sense of that outburst - Kera. The weyrling's attention snaps back towards the Assistant Weyrlingmaster and - oh. Those lips draw down and then tight, brows descending into an honest to Faranth scowl that she only manages to school because this is not the time, this is not the place, and there are little dragons who need to learn how to hunt about. Instead, she will force her attention onto Moncerath and her own breathing, the arm looped through D'lei's descending so that she can interdigitate her fingers with his if he will allow and squeeze his hand in a silent show of support. Leirith, for once, is distracted enough by her lifemate's sight to keep quiet, excitement the only thing cascaded to all minds because this is going to be GREAT. Bryn is selected next, and Risali awaits, rewarding Kera with a curiously soft, "Ma'am," in acknowledgement of her own position in the line. It's polite enough, but there's something unpleasant about the way she forms the word in lieu of Kera's name.

D'lei blinks at Kera, and then… just stares at her for a moment. He's… surprised, really. "He… was going to do it." Indeed, Garouth had risen to his feet again, persuaded by D'lei's statement and the force of will behind it… only to have Kera and Moncerath interrupt them. D'lei gives Risa's hand a soft squeeze back… then removes it to tuck them both behind him as he stands up a bit straighter, amber gaze steady on the AWLM. "But, I'm sorry to hear you're disappointed." His voice sounds calm, almost absent of any emotion. "When we're done here, I will ask the weyrlingmaster how soon I may be transferred away and stop troubling you." And so he stands, parade rest and gaze steady on Kera as she goes on to address the actual weyrlings and… the lesson continues.

Zaria stifles a snicker as Kera gives that bronzerider and his dragon a verbal dressing down. A smug little smile stretches her lips, looseling up her severe visage a tad. Crossing her arms over her chest, she watches carefully as Moncerath does her thing, taking careful note of when the green breaks the beast's neck. Shooting a look at Azrith to make sure he is paying attention, she is proud to see that his eyes are glued on the adult green's form and her chest puffs out with a little pride until Azrith remarks, publicly, «You are dazzling in your ferocity. You could pounce on me any day» he says with a mental purr that reaches out to caress, as Zaria's palm meets her forehead at her dragon's innapropriate timing. She lets her hand drop again and is about to scold her blue when she is snapped back to attention by Kera calling their names. "Yes Ma'am." she says respecfully and shoots a look at Azrith who is actually paying attention so she can't really fault him there.

Mid- mental conversation with his brown companion, Brynn just barely manages to catch the facepalm out of the corner of his vision, raising an eyebrow in curiosity. Meanwhile, it's evident that Brynn — and by extension Sanarth — is ready for something to hunt and eat. Both remain quiet, however, instead channeling their energy and focus into the task at hand.

Jaicoureth makes his way to the feeding pens with a slow steady waddle. He is late to the lesson, but appears to have gotten here in time to see the begining of the young dragons doing their work. Though his attention is immediately drawn by the young blue, « Your focus is best on your lesson. » he says with disappointment creeping into his tone. He'll move to the edge of the fence but won't enter, though it does give him a good vantage point to see what is going on. He'll turn his gaze to Moncerath, « Hello. » he says warmly to her, « I thought I would come to see how the weyrlings were progressing in their lessons. »

Moncerath has picked over the remains of her meager morsal, her bloodied muzzle snuffling at a bit of crimson fluff for one last juicy bit when her head whips around to Azrith, a bloody, pointy toothed snarl directed towards the young blue « Worry about pouncing some food first! » The green proceeds to daintly lick at her paws and muzzle a moment before climbing back over the fence with a wing assist. Kera simply arches abrow at her dragonmate's behavior and seems to be coming to some sorta comclusions. Scrubbing a hand through her hair and face a time or two, she shakes it off and turns a smile to the weyrling, attention on Bryn'jan and Sanarth. "When he's ready Bryn." The green rider looks towards those going next with an excited grin for the young dragons. "And after everyone has had a chance, you can each try again." Jaicourath's arrival is noted as Moncerath waddles over to the older blue, still wearing part of her kill. Kera remembers an important fact "And when their bellies are full, head to the beach and get them scrubbed up. Best to wash the blood off before they sleep off thei meal."

MEAN-MUGGIN' GREEN, LOOK OUT! Leirith seems to be amused at the reprimanding her brother earns - though it's not malicious in intent; in fact, the little queen is booming out, « I guess she doesn't see how much of a badass you are yet, » to her brother, while Risali focuses her eyes on the massacre. Leirith wuffles for Jaicoureth in greeting, once more reigned in by Risali who brings her arms around herself at in the absence of a hand to hold and moves just a little closer to the bronzerider - close enough for her presence to be realized without physical contact because she is here. But those grey eyes are focused on Bryn'jan and Sanarth, so that Leirith can learn what it is that she needs to do.

D'lei just remains in his upright posture, unmoving in either body or expression… well, save for the little things like breathing. Other than that, he simply continues to stare at Kera attentively. Maybe his eyes will turn into laser beams if he keeps at it! But… they haven't yet. Garouth is similar, though his ambered eyes are on the pens. His mental shadows are drawn back to the size of his body, though; a patch of cold and dark amid the slow advance of spring, with no words are feelings shared beyond his own hide. Nothing to see here! The two of them are just here to… do not much, apparently? Or at least, that seems to be one theory of it, and at least at the current moment, it might even be close to true. Neither of them is moving… and if they're talking, it's on a tight band between their minds that leaks nothing outside the stealthy connection… which, maybe they are. After all, they've had more time than the younger ones to practice their inside-their-heads voices.

Azrith gets scolded by not only the green, but by the older blue as well, but he doesn't seem too phased by it, he shrugs a shoulder in their direction as if nothing had happened and then turns to look at his 'mate with a twinkle of mischief in his swirling blue/green eyes. «I got this.» he says with a tone of bravado that Zaria is not sure is warranted just yet, although Leirith did call him a badass, but she has learned that there is nothing doing for it when he gets like this. But that definitely does not prepare her for his next act of rebellion, because Azrith decides that turns are for the weak and since his brown brother was taking too much time, he hops lithely onto the fence around the pen, flapping his wings to keep his balance as he spies a large porcine sow and before Zaria can even call him back, he has pounced. His aim is off and he catches the beast with a back claw in her whithers which makes her sueel ferociously. He tries to replicate what the green did and lands on it to try to break it neck, but his grip is wrong and the thing just squeals louder. Zaria is watching white-knuckled as she winces as Azrith's troubles. Finally, in an act of desperation, Azrith wraps his jaws around the sow's throat and with a shake of his head rips out it's throat, sending a spray of blood over the blue's muzzle. Zaria turns a lovely shade of green at witnessing that.

Sanarth takes his position, and then hops into the pen, selecting a nice-sized example of prey. He attacks with decisive speed and agility, taking out the nearest target in a quick, clean kill. No flash, no excessive movement, just in, kill, and out, in one fell swoop. «And that's how it's done. No muss, no fuss.» Sanarth's chest appears to puff out as he carries his food off for a proper meal, leaving Brynn to be something of a proud father watching his son take his first steps.
Jaicoureth knows full well that Moncerath doesn't take any guff in her lessons with the young dragons. She wants them to do well and so focusing on what is being taught is important. He'll lean over to gently nudge the green as she comes close, « I can see that there is still work to be done. » He is trying to be charitable with the young dragons and knows full well mistakes will be made. Though his attention is soon drawn by the blue, again, as he jumps is turn to try to take a shot at hunting. His level of precision is wanting, but does finally manage to pull it off, « He seems to need a great deal more work. » Though all things come with practice. He'll send a major scale done on the guitar as a greeting for the young gold. Though he intends his greeting to be of the non-distracting sort since he wants her focused. As the brown makes a quick job of it he'll offer some words of encouragement, « Good job. Very well done. »

Kera leans against the railing , gaze drifting from the young brown to the milling beasties shuffling around in the pen. Someone's nerves must have snapped though, cause suddenly, there is a flurry of blue, then lots of scrambling and squealing, causing most everyone nearby to wince at the noise. Even Kera's fingers reach for her ears as "Okay, not so quick and not so clean." And finally the noise stops and she looks to Zaria with an approving nod anyway. "But he was successful in his first kill. Skill will come with time and practice. Good job Azrith. Next time though, try not to disrupt your fellow dragons turns, okay?" A gentle little reminder for the young dragon, and to Zaria, a sympathetic little smile. "That queasy stomach will pass eventually." At least Zaria better hope it does. Moncerath pauses in tending her claws and sweeps her gaze over the successful dragons « He will get better. » Then she gives her paws a couple more wet swipes before sinking down to her belly and watching the young dragons pounce. Then Sanarth makes his choice, tackling his meal and making quick work of it, earning an enthusiastic clap from the awlm. "Well done. Guess your meat slicing days are over for sure Bryn'jan." Kera turns her smile to D'lei and Risali, gesturing for the goldling to send Leirith forward. "I hope she's hungry. I bet she shows up all the dragons here. Even Sanarth"

Risali's eyes jump to Azrith when he takes command of the lesson, wincing at the screams and the gore that follow his not-quite-accomplished pounce so that Leirith can hopefully learn what not to do. And there goes Sanarth, the picture perfect version of what Leirith should do but - definitely doesn't do. Risali's hand is on D'lei's arm when Lerith's turn is up - not because she intends to disrupt his manner, but because she needs the support in a failing moment of weakness; she wants Leirith to succeed, she wants her little gold to have sight, and there's an almost crippling moment that she keeps at bay with the contact because how could she possibly doubt? And Leirith goes forward, eager despite her handicap, the drums of her mindvoice moving to a primal beat, a tempo that speaks of finesse and the hunt as she tries to (clumsily) mimic her blue brother and - and okay. So maybe she runs into a thing here and a THING THERE but, look at that. She manages her way on the fence and Risali is letting go of D'lei to move forward and give Leirith a better advantage with her sight. They pick a target together, Risali's nails biting into the arms of her jacket and turning her knuckles white as - SHE LEAPS! LEIRITH HAS TOTALLY GOT THIS! SHE. TOTALLY. DOES NOT GOT THIS. The queen lands too far to the right, scaring away the beast she was aiming for as she scrambles with lacking grace and takes off in a merry chase. « AHAHAHA. DO NOT RUN! I WANT TO BE FRIENDS! And maybe taste you a little bit. OKAY I WANT TO KILL YOU, BUT COME BACK! » You know, the kind of friends that murder each other. "Leirith, get back here!" But no, she's uh… she's intent on downing the damn thing (and failing REALLY HARD). Risali would spare a helpless look for some intervention, but she's trying to keep Leirith from running into something and hurting herself, or another.

Yep, those are some hunting weyrling dragons! Doing so with rather variable success, though at least for the first two everything looks to be on an upward slope. Acceptable, and then up to good! Garouth can watch that part, observing the motion of blue, then brown… to be followed by gold. If the pattern holds, Leirith should have a kill before she even enters the pen! For her attempt there's at least a faint rumble from him… or maybe it's just a cart moving on the path through the forest, carried by some stray gust of wind. Whatever the source of the sound, Garouth just stands here. Like D'lei! Though, the human is staring at Kera still instead of the pens. No answering smile from him, but then, this is all about Leirith really! …and, thus, Risali. That smile from Kera is surely meant for her, because it's her turn to see (ha!) what she and her dragon can do about this hunting thing. D'lei… okay, he technically moves a muscle, but not very much. Just enough shift of his arm to make it a better surface for the contact of Risali's hand, a slight lean toward it before… she's gone again, the better to see, and his arm subsides that fraction of an inch once more. The leap, and… D'lei barely manages to have his gaze not flicker. The failure, and… okay that's an actual wince, D'lei has also failed the not-moving. But then again, Garouth… fails at silence, his mind reaching out with a sharp gust of wind that tosses dry leaves in front of Leirith from… a tree? No. A coat-rack, swaying toward her. At least he didn't use words, that gets him half credit for quietness… right?

Azrith drags his first kill proudly over to the fence nearest where his lifemate is. He gives her a toothy, bloodly, draconic grin that makes her swallow hard at the lump that seems to have taken up residence in her throat. Zaria gives him a tighly-lipped smile and a feeble thumbs-up sign. Azrith digs into the porcine, back talons ripping through it's rotund abdomen and spilling the snake-like intestines on the ground by Zaria's feet. Oh dear, that seems to be the final straw and having only enough forethought to turn away from everyone present and then she gets to revisit her breakfast. In between heaves, Zaria whimpers plaintively, "This is nothing like gutting fish." she says to Kera as the AWLM tried to reassure her it would pass. Azrith looks concerned as he digs his maw deeper into the body cavity of the sow sending blood and vicera flying. "I will be ok. I am just going to head down to the beach and get stuff ready for your bath. Come join me when you are done your breakfast ok?" She takes a couple of deep breaths, watches the goldling take her first attempt and looks torn about something before she shakes her head resolutely and then heads off towards the beach, stopping to empty her stomach a few times on the way, how much did she eat this morning?

Kera watches Zaria head off to 'prepare' for Azrith's bath, the greeny wincing at the noises coming from the retreating weyrling. Now it's Leirith's turn and Kera watches the the young queenling aproach. A confident grin sent to Risali and D'lei, One can hope for success, right? But things go down hill quickly, the missed attempt startling the small herd to scatter, then bolt as the chase around the pen begins. Some of the little beasties trip and go down in the stampede, some of them getting their hooves back under them and darting off quick as they can. There's one though that can't quite manage his back legs..surely and easier kill for the rampaging young queen. Kera shakes her head when the all the surrounding pens sound of panic and looks to Risali, no longer confident and smiling, now she's most definitely concerned "Make her stop Risali. Before she hurts herself!! Now. Make her STOP!" Moncerath is up on her feet, a warble of concern at the flailing young dragon « Watch out Leirith! Stop! Get the injured ovine to your right. »

Jaicoureth can only wince as Leirith makes her attempt. He had suspected with her vision issue that that wouldn't go all that well, he too will rise to his feet and ready to help the young queen if the situation is not brought under control. Though he doesn't move in just yet, not wanting to be premature.

It starts softly enough: "I'm trying," Risali tells Kera, the AWLM's panic giving rise to her own until - maybe it's her own mounting panic for Leirith, or hearing Zaria be sick and not being able to do anything about it; maybe it's Risali's frustrations for words exchanged between Kera and D'lei earlier, or her own temper breaking through, or a combination of everything rearing its ugly head. Whatever it is, Risali snaps. "I AM TRYING, KERA. Do NOT yell at me!" Ohp. But there is time for chagrin later, as Risali is trying to reign in her rampant gold while Moncerath aims to do the same and Garouth joins in and - it works. The little queen scrambles to keep from barreling through a sudden onslaught of track-stopping leaves and - there she goes! Leirith scrambles to the right, losing her own hind legs in the twist of momentum that leaves her hide on the ground for seconds as she corrects and… WUMP! Right onto that baby beastie! She has all of the gusto and none of the finesse, missing her first attempt to dig maw into the felled baby's neck and getting it on the second grab, increasing pressure until…! Yep, there she goes, rending flesh, and muscle, and all the icky things in a spray of blood. « I DID IT! MINION! DID YOU SEE? » Pretty much like nothing happened. Ladies and gents? Leirith. Risali? She's letting her legs do what they've been wanting to: give up, so that she can sink to a kneel on the ground, leaning forward with palms pressed into the dirt as she tries to keep her own nausea at bay - though for different reasons than Zaria. "I'm sorry," she breathes to Kera, catching a breath she never realized she was holding, trying to will her heart to calm down. "Thank you." To everybody, though she's looking at nobody. Just the ground. Very interesting. Leirith's GOT THIS. « You can SMELL THE SADNESS ON IT, RISALI! »

D'lei's turned toward the pens, not that anyone's paying attention to him, with a tensing of muscles and a frown, a slight lowering of his head as he takes a step closer and… stops again, not yet there to join Risali and Kera. Maybe he doesn't want to get any closer to that acid smell of Zaria's stomach-upset, or… maybe there's just not time, because Leirith is all in and all ahead even as she changes out what she's in for, turning to make this all about the one that can't run away and thus managing to bring more sadness to that tragic crippled life. Garouth rumbles softly, a murmur as his thoughts recede and he settles back a bit, releasing the tension in muscles as Leirith Enjoys Her Kill. D'lei… lets out a breath and takes another step forward, though… he still seems hesitant to come too close, a deep frown having replaced the previous lack of expression.

Kera doesn't seem at all concerned that Risali yelled at her, the concern of the moment being the vertically challenged queenling. But thankfully, with the other dragon's encouragement and support, the little queen tears into her first kill. No more flailing about, just a hungry little queen, excited over what she accomplished. Kera lets out her own breath and crouches down next to the over whelmed weyrling, quickly waving off the appology. "Think nothing of it, Leirith was in trouble. Now take a few breathes, calm down. Nothing bad happened," The awlm gestures over to where the young gold is already sampling her meal and learning how to best make it disappear. "See, she's happy. Just as you should be. She's successfully completed her first hunt?" The greeny flashes a grin and reaches towards the weyrlings shoulder as if to give it an understanding squeeze. "Remember, she feels everything you do. Don't confuse her by overthinking this. She's happy. And her next hunt will be better." Spotting D'lei hovering closer, she gives him a tip of her head, perhaps he heard her words to Risali. "Don't you agree D'lei. First hunt under her wing now, she'll get better with practice." Kera gestures for the bronzer to help Risali if he's of a mind to and gives the girl an encouraging smile then standing again. Her attention sweeping over the pairs. "Alright, anyone wanting to make another attempt feel free to do so. Afterwards, head towards the beach and get them scrubbed up before they conk out." She snaps her fingers suddenly. "OH, and later this evening, you've a lesson with WLM G'rath. I suggest a quick review before then, he may have mention something about a quiz." Ignoring the disgruntled looks about a quiz, Kera turns her attention back to watching the weyrlings pairs make more pouncing attempts til all bellies are full.

Jaicoureth sees there is no reason to be concerned any longer and settles down once more to watch the aftermath of the lesson. It seems that the official part is over, but there will be lingering meals, « You did very well Leirith. » he will say encouragingly. Considering her disability she did very well! He won't linger beyond the fence any longer and will hop up and over with a quick flap of wings so that he can get closer to the young dragons, « Catching your own meals for the first time is very exciting. It means you are that much closer to being independant. » In a relative sense anyway. Garouth will get a head bob in greeting as well. No one will get left out!

Pretty words! And… true. "Thank you," is all she manages to breathe again for the AWLM, because as much as she would love to be stoic to emotion, she is certainly not immune. And Leirith, who doesn't understand, pauses in her feast to lift her head. Because… HEY. WHY HAS HER VISION GONE BLURRY? And what's all this - Jaicoureth! « You should have seen the one time when I pounced Garouth's tail and - » Don't mind her, she is just going to regale the blue with the impression of a memory as Risali gets herself together, gaining her feet with trembling limbs so that she can turn to face D'lei and - she is totally crying. But worry not, Risali pushes at the tears as if they are something of inconvenience, nothing to be acknowledged, and then she's sparing the bronzerider a glance. One, then another, and then she's reaching out to apply her hand to his chest and give a gentle push - though she doesn't break the contact. "Shut up, D'lei," she breathes. « - so it was easy. And anyway, my seeing-eye minion did a good job! Didn't she, Garouth? » Because she is either unaware or unimpeded by the mood of the bronze, sweeping through his mind with much gusto. « Speaking of minions! Mine hasn't - » Here Risali goes, closing her eyes, drawing strength from D'lei through minimal contact, and when grey eyes open again they are determined despite the suspicious wetness still about them. And she smiles. "You did good, Leirith. Though next time, how about a little less everywhere and a little more listen to me? Eat, so we can get you cleaned up." NO SECOND SHOTS FOR LEIRITH.

D'lei ducks his head slightly as Kera calls on him, shoulders shifting a bit, and neither confirms nor denies anything… though once Kera is stepping back, he does go forward. Just… on the other side from where Kera is as she addresses the rest of the weyrlings. His eyes meet hers, with an inflection of that frown that turns one corner of it, just so, and… shoved. He shuts up, not that he moves back in the slightest… or was saying anything… and there's another flex of his mouth that puts it to a halfway-between tangled-up sort of place. He reaches up, his fingers curled on her arm, just past the elbow, where he could totally push her arm away except for the fact that he doesn't in the slightest, just resting them there as he continues to shut up from all his not saying anything. Garouth… well, he hasn't been very sayish either, but those thoughts sweep through his readily enough. Without impediment, even! « Yes. » Or argument, apparently. The bronze agrees, for whatever his to-be-shipped-by-sea opinion counts for around here. Or to Leirith, which… may be something else entirely. Still! The bronze settles down to sit (outside the fence) as the lesson ends, a slight acknowledgment to Jaicoureth for his greeting. D'lei's fingers press just a touch more firmly as Risali closes her eyes, there on her arm, and he nods, just a little, as she speaks to her dragon after. WELL SAID.

Jaicoureth will listen to every word the young gold says about pouncing Garouth's tail, with a few glances sent Garouth's way for good measure, « That was a very nice story Leirith. » he says at the end of the long winded explaination. He'll spare a glance to the humans too. There are emotions here. The crying, the stoicism the everything really. He turns his blue eyes toward the humans to watch them closely for a few passing moments. He cranes his neck to look over to Garouth, « You seem quiet. » Thank you captain obvious dragon.

« I thought so! » Leirith tells Jaicoureth brightly, and then she's - pausing in the midsts of her feast, again. That little golden nose lifts in the air, her little wonky-knobs shifting as if pinpointing a location that she cannot see, and while Risali's fingers curl in the fabric of D'lei's shirt, the weyrling turns to face her lifemate again. "Leirith, that is not a good idea." « Of course it is! » And there the little gold goes, doing what she wants, consequences be damned. She's catching what's left of the carcass from her kill and pulling it blindly passed Jaicoureth and right over to the edge of the pen. And then the queen is climbing over it, because she is bigger than the adult dragons with respect to Garouth, okay, and she uses that to bring herself down, Risali's eyes mapping her path (though it was a BAD IDEA, BUT SHUT UP) to Garouth. Wump. The little queen rests, setting her kill beside him. And then she noooooses it towards him, crawlingcrawling a little closer until - thump - she flops beside him and lowers her head. « Don't worry, Garouth. We can't all be fierce every day. » So, today? She will be fierce for him, and share her food. Leirith occupied once more, Risali is blinking up at D'lei and brows furrow for a moment and then she just steps right into his space. Yep. There she goes, RULES BE DAMNED, tucking in against his chest and pulling him into a hug whether he wants it or not. She needs it, and anyway, Leirith knows that this is FRIENDSHIP. LIKE WHEN SHE CUDDLES UP TO GAROUTH. LOVE FOR EVERYBODY. "Thank you." So what if her voice is shaky? YOUR voice is shaky. Leirith will let the men dragons talk.

Good ideas, bad ideas, they're Leirith's ideas. And that's… uhm… well, it's a thing. Definitely a thing. Like the trail of blood and viscera bits she leaves along the ground in the pen… over the fence… and on the ground outside. That's a thing! Quite possibly one some unfortunate visitor will discover when they arrive at the pens in a swirl of mating-flight passion and go to lean against the fence only to find… squishy bits! But hey, it might be okay. Maybe the stray firelizards will eat it first. Garouth watches this progress, though he hears Jaicoureth well enough. « Yes. » It is a true statement that is true! The obvious has been spoken, though… he does go on. « It seemed unwise to speak. » Hey, at least he seems to be saying more now! It's progress, of a sort. Like Leirith's slow progress that ends up against him, and Garouth rumbles softly as he lowers his head to nuzzle at her back. « I am not hungry. » Simple truth, there. His health meter is full! « But thank you. » Another nuzzle, and… as Risali turns back to D'lei he's already shifting, his other arm coming up as the first one slips away - but not for long - and goes around her. Here is this hug. It is the one with the hug and the squeeze and his head tucked over her and his arms around her in a tight grasp of hug where there are clearly no emotions because how could there be emotions, you can't even see Risali's face and so clearly there are no emotions on it. "Yeah," he says quietly to her thanks, and follows it with a soft, "…I'm sorry."

« I have found many occasions where it is unwise to speak. » Jaicoureth agrees with the bronze. He's never been 'normal' in his thoughts, feelings, words, actions, any of it. When you are like that you learn the value of keeping some things to yourself and shutting up (not D'lei) sometimes. Though now that the feeding pens have quieted and all is more or less right with the world, « It seems more possible to speak now. » The liklihood of offense being taken or problems being made seems low. He glances once more at the human beings there hugging. HUGGING. If he approves or not he doesn't give any indication, « It seems to me you have lots to say. »

And If Garouth's refusal to dine STINGS AT ALL (it doesn't), Leirith is pleasant about the whole thing: the gold leans her maw into the bronze, blind because her lifemate's face is in his lifemate's chest, and unimpeded by her own failings. Leirith paints Garouth in grisly reds without realizing that she's doing it, smearing the mess on her face against his hide like he's an honest-to-Faranth warrior and all that blood is war-paint when she returns each nuzzle and croons. THIS IS A SACRIFICIAL RITE TO RENDER TRUTH. Unintentionally, of course. She can't see. « Always! » she tells him, and she means it, digging into her kill without a mind to pay for the conversation between adults. OR MAYBE SHE IS NOT INCLUDED! It doesn't matter; she has Garouth and dead things. She is content. « Let me know if you change your mind! Or, I could always get you another one. » She is just so proud of what she's done, ready to (literally) tackle the task again. But back to Risali, tucked away in the shelter of D'lei's body and observed by one not-commenting-on-it blue, the tiny woman's fingers fist in the fabric of D'lei's jacket and, as soon as he says he's sorry, the tiny woman starts to shake again. And maybe that was a gentle thump against his chest before her hand retreated around his middle again. WHAT'S IT TO YOU? And for a moment, Risali makes no sound, hiding from the world, using Leirith's distraction to her advantage much like she uses D'lei's person, and then holding on just a little longer until finally - finally - she pulls away. "We're not going to talk about it. Needle." An attempt at humor, that falls flat (or maybe a threat). HER EYES ARE NOT RED. YOURS ARE. Whatever the state of her face (and the lacking hilarity of her attempt at funny), she's on the tips of her toes and grabbing D'lei's face between her hands, pushing thumbs against the give of his cheeks as grey eyes jump between amber. "I'm sorry. You didn't deserve that. You…" And fingers are trailing along his jaw, where grey eyes follow, until her arms are pushing over his shoulders and locking behind them so that she can pull him in for another hug - this time with her face buried halfway in his hair, and halfway in his shoulder. This time, she will let him pull away. HELLO WORLD. NOTHING TO SEE HERE. Just, you know, human comfort in action.

Peace and quiet! There's just the sound of young dragons eating, the calm of things having gone… okay, maybe not entirely according to plan, but better than they could have. Which, admittedly, is a low bar, but still. There is, for now, peace and quiet, and if there ceases to be then Garouth will be suitably adorned in his primal war-paint to be a fierce warrior of nature and destroy all in his way. Because Leirith is helpful, and he rumbles to her with affection as she nuzzles in with those smears of red. « I will. » But he does not hunger. At least, not for meat. Any other hungers are metaphorical, to greater or lesser extent. Urges! So many of them. Like the urge to say things, and the bronze spares a glance for the blue. « Perhaps. » He concedes that much, though his gaze returns to watch Leirith as she eats… and when he speaks again, his thoughts are about that. « Why do they not watch the hunt many times before they try? » he asks… or perhaps simply states, given how he doesn't actually wait for an answer. « They should know how we hunt from hunger, not merely have some… example. » There's a certain distaste there, though how much if that is for the process in general and how much is just his experience of it today… well, who knows? D'lei, probably, but he's busy with this thing called hug. And thump, yes, but his arms do not withdraw. Not until Risali draws back, anyhow, and the corner of his mouth shifts in what would be about a quarter of a smile if not for the concern on the rest of his face. Risali: funny, or just funny looking? The world may never know. "…but you did it," he murmurs, ever so softly, before he gives a nod whose head-tilt has his face caught, held in her hands as amber eyes hold grey. His mouth shifts again, that lifted corner drawn inward. "Things happen." Deservingness or no, but… his arms move around her again, and he leans in with a tilt of his head toward hers and a slow breath out - a squeeze - and then a draw of it in again. There's a few more breaths in there, amidst the hug. One of them even comes with words, there to her ear and quiet enough to go no further. "…still fucking hurts, though." And then a few more breaths, another squeeze, and he'll actually draw back from the hug. For now, anyhow. Who knows what these crazy kids may get up to next?

Leirith is always included! Because Jai believes in inclusiveness and stuff. Though for the moment the young gold seems occupied with changing Garouth from a bronze dragon to a Red Dragon. There will be no fava beans with a nice chianti though. Thankfully. « I suspect they wish them to be dispassionate and thoughtful the first time. That way their minds are engaged not just their stomachs. Hunting from hunger will come in time. » He isn't an official weyrlingmaster though. Not anymore. It was probably crazy he was at all to begin with. Filling the young dragons heads with his strange thoughts. He never could spout a party line, « In time you will be able to teach her how to hunt yourself. Much becomes possible later. » He'll steal a glance back at the humans, yeah. He's got this whole thing figured out.

Yeah, the little queen, despite the inclusiveness, is not listening. They are talking about boring adult dragon things, and Leirith is enjoying her first kill because she knows that, « I was a badass! Did you see me? » It comes in the middle of all that discontent, pulsating, pleased, announced as if she snuffed her prey like Sanarth as opposed to… well… herself. The important part is that she's distracted enough to pay little mind to Risali and D'lei. Risali who is DEFINITELY funny looking and who gives D'lei a quietly muted smile in return before they are hugging again. His whispered words earn him a tighter squeeze, Risali breathing, "I'm sorry, D'lei. I'm here," back against his ear. And she is; the goldling remains pressed tight to D'lei for as long as the bronzerider needs her there, drawing as much strength from him as she returns and trying to give him even more. She holds on until he's drawing away, and then Risali releases D'lei as well, sinking back from the tips of her toes to level ground and dragging her hands down his arms as she retreats until both of his hands are in her own. But grey holds amber, jumping between his eyes as if she might find something there and then dropping her gaze to their hands as she gives his a squeeze. One, two, three, and Risali draws in a breath, squeezing harder before letting one hand go while the fingers of her other tangle in his. To pull him along behind her of course, as all the fierce gusto of that Half-Moonian-turned-Xanaduian comes back. "Alright, Leirith. Get up, stop making a mess out of Garouth." And she's at the gold and the bronze both, one hand on the bronze's shoulder if he will allow, the other leaving D'lei's so she can touch Leirith's funny head-knob. "Now he needs a bath. You made him less handsome." But there's no apology from Leirith, as she sees Garouth through Risa's eyes. « He looks fierce! » she disagrees, but she rises as she's commanded. RISALI WILL TOTALLY COME BACK TO CLEAN UP THE KILL LATER. Or whatever. For now? For now she's trying to direct Leirith to a bath - and D'lei and Garouth if they will allow the bossy little once-Harper tell them what to do. « Jaicoureth, come! » But they are going regardless. BECAUSE RISALI SAID SO.

« Hunger sharpens the mind to hunt. » Or so Garouth thinks, though he doesn't seem to have been at all upset by Jaicoureth's opinions. He listened to them, considered them, and now he's saying his own opinions in turn. It's like a conversation is a free and open sharing of ideas… or something. Something boring, at least if you're Leirith and basking in the warm glow of beast-guts… er… accomplishment! The warm glow of accomplishment. « I saw. » Garouth confirms to the little gold, and bumps his muzzle to her to apply some of those blood-smears back to her. Sharing is caring, right? « In time… » There will be so many things. Possibly even boring adult dragon things, but then again, that might be going too far. « She will learn many things. » Garouth looks to Leirith, and rumbles with a trace of amusement in the dapple of his shadows. « Perhaps even from me. » Who knows? Stranger things have happened! And… will again, most likely. That hug is… maybe not so strange after all. It's touch and understanding and the feeling of not being alone in a way that only another human can provide, the mutual perspective that their dragons - for all they are entwined to their riders - can't actually provide because they're just too different in how they live and feel and are. So they hug, and it doesn't make everything okay (because really, how could it?) but it makes things better because they're not alone. Even when they part, arms uncurling and sliding back along each other, they're still not alone. Their hands are together, and their eyes that say … something; there is a feeling in amber eyes that hold to grey, a thing that cannot be said with words because D'lei does not have the words for it but it is there even so. Even if he doesn't say it, because… well. Maybe Risali knows why. Or maybe she doesn't. His eyes still see hers, and as hers lower to their hands, his lift up to see the top of her head. His mouth shifts, a lift this time of both corners in a small smile there… even if his eyes are slow to catch up to the new state of expression. Still, they get it as he squeezes back her hands with his - then relaxes them to let her fingers crush his a moment before the one falls away and the other tangles. Off they go to their dragons, hand in hand, and then it's Garouth getting a Risali-touch (along with Leirith) as D'lei just stands there. « Too fierce for parties. » There must be balance to the essential forces of the universe! « I will bathe. » And so Garouth rises to his feet, ready to face the water (and clean his face). Because RISALI HAS SPOKEN… and, well, even if they're done with hugs, that doesn't mean D'lei doesn't want more human contact. And dragon contact, too! Because scrubbing off blood can be therapeutic. Or something. The point is, they're off to bath-time, and after that… maybe some human lunch, to go with the human contact? Or maybe just studying for tests. Who knows? Much is possible, even now, and in time.. even more will be!

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