A Different Sort of Teacher

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.

While the first hints of spring have begun to work their way through the cold and ice of the weyr, a chill wind blows on this particular morning. It's early, arse-crack of dawn early, and long before even the earliest of most weyrlings are up. R'owan is up though, woken by accidentally rolling onto his injured hand. So, both rider and dragon make an early start on the day, walking in silence across the weyrling grounds. "It barely hurts anymore." He tries to reassure the bronze, who has seemed a little off-color in the day or so since he had inadvertently caused his rider's hand to slip while working on straps. « I will run. » Nyunath's mind thunders, as if by being loud he could drown out the other thoughts twittering like tiny pipeflutes and threatening to overwhelm his thoughts. "You do that." Ro' relies, shoving his hands into his pockets.

Seryth reclines, just spending time with some of the younger dragons and by the looks of things they've been discussing something. As Nyunath enters the grounds several heads turn in his direction, Seryth's among them. She rumbles a greeting to the young bronze, her voicemind soothing drops of mist «Running does not please you enough, does it young one?»

R'owan lingers back a ways, leaning against one of the stone walls of the weyrling grounds. He flexes his finger once, and then lets his arms fold across his chest, watching as the bronze starts to run around the length of the field. At first, he's so caught up in his own thoughts that he doesn't notice Seryth's presence, or the others. Then, his head lifts as mist flutters into it. « It is all I can do. » The bronze replies, his mind pulsing with every beat of his heart. The image that follows shows he and his rider returning just in time to see the last of the weyrlings taking their fledgling flight.

Seryth lowers her head, resting it on the ground, her eyes following Nyunath in a whirl of slow blue. As she picks up is picture, her voicemind laughs, a wind that promises change with a questioning note that eddies as down puffs in spring, « Is it really young one? You are not injured. » Her wings flutterjust at the tips almost teasingly.

Nyunath's path around the grounds slows as his mind seems to come to grips with what the gold is telling him. « No. I am not injured. » He affirms this much, the drumbeats increasing like hail hitting against hard-packed earth. His own whirling eyes turn towards the small shape of his rider as he seems to consider this. The mental image of his rider's wounded hand, and a guilty feeling play out in a basal oboe sound, wrapping somber notes. « I made us miss the lesson. » He slows again to a walk, flexing his wings slightly as his eyes lift towards Seryth.

Seryth stretches lazily, rolling onto her side, chuffing through her nostrils as if that is of little consequence, « He will survive and you are strong already in spirit.» There's a pause, as if somewhere a hint of an idea buds and grows, pushing up through the fertile soil of an overactive mind, «You are strong enough do do three wingbeats. I have flown. I could teach you.»

Excitement shows in the slight flick of the small bronze's wings, but his mind seems more cautious, laid with a nervous twittering of a pan-flute played above a deep and longing thumping. « You… could teach me. » He hesitantly looks towards his rider. R'owan, for the most part, just raises one eyebrow. He's too far away to really say anything, so the dragon has to be the go-between. « Mine wishes to know if such a thing is allowed? He does not wish to upset V'dim. » A vision of a riding crop coming down near M'nol follows, and then a slightly more aggitated drumming. « But I wish to try. » The bronze stands up straiter, to his full height.

Seryth seems to ponder this, her head cocks back at R'owan. Her tail flicks the concern away, her voice is the rising wind before a squall, «You know your wing stretches and have practiced the beats? It is little more than that.» She rolls back gains her feet and walks towards Nyunath, the current of her thoughts quickening, a swirl of anticipation, «I could do them with you?» She stretches her wings the way she was taught in weyrlinghood.

R'owan simply shrugs towards both dragons, lifting his hands up as if leaving it to their disgression. « I know my lessons well. » One hard thump affirms this fact within the bronze mind. « I have practiced more than Faraeth. » Below the surface a bit of jealousy lingers, the musical quality of his voice taking on a badly tuned tennor. Stepping up beside the older dragon, he slowly extends his wings, following the same motion but watching carefully to make sure that his movements match her own. « Like this. » His head bobs once, a nod like his human uses at times. « I am strong enough. »

Into the Training Grounds walks a familiar figure. It is none other than the dreaded V'dim. Nothing seems amiss, that crop he's usually carrying is strangely absent today. He pauses by R'owan. "Weyrling." It's a gruff-voiced greeting from unsmiling lips. He doesn't appear grouchy or annoyed. Stern might be a better word. He eyes the dragons out on the grounds, the one large gold and the smaller bronze. "Like to see that." He observes mildly, "Dedication. Doing his exercises." He watches the stretching for a beat before asking, "Why hasn't he flown yet?" He knows without asking who has and who hasn't. He is V'dim, after all.

Seryth warbles brightly to V'dim. Nothing to see here, move along, move along. She chuffs delight at Nyunath and continues with the stretches. Her mindvoice is a bright rain-fed stream, bubbling over rocks, « You have practiced the beats. I will do those with you too. » And her wings lift. Her downsweeps are not as strong as they might be, perhaps she preferrs not to blow the youngling over.

R'owan's eyes linger on the dragons, as if he were trying very hard to focus on containing his dragon's excitement over the idea of working through these exercises with Seryth. So, it's a bit of a surprise when the gruff voice of V'dim sounds nearby. He's practiced enough that he looks over without showing -too- much surprise. "Nyunath's pretty stubborn about it. He wants to be the best." The boy notes, his voice sounding with his own sort of pride, but then it falters a little. Lifting his right hand, bandaged finger and all, he looks a bit chargrined. "Missed the lesson with the others. Healers had me most of the afternoon."

Nyunath doesn't even seem to notice V'dim, even when Seryth warbles. Intent, perhaps single-mindedly so, he holds his wings out, watching her wingbeat first before copying the motion. « This is right? » He asks, questioning as his head tilts slightly to the side. « My wings are strong. I should have flown first. » That pride lingers into his thoughts again.

Seryth just continues her encouragement. She's having fun! Her voice laughs a dry leaves rattled by sudden rain. «We did this when we first flew!» And she takes a few running steps, three wingbeats that have her rising slightly over the grounds, gliding a tiny ways before she lands with a few running steps.

V'dim just nods, glancing at R'owan's fingers. He's not one given to many words, apparently. His eyes lift calculatingly towards Nyunath, "Not a bad trait to have." He watches the exercises for a long minute before, asking, "Is he warmed up?" He doesn't look back down at the weyrling, but likely by the way his lips quirk in the barest of mild humor, he's expecting some sort of reaction, having seen so many take their first flights over the Turns. He points to Seryth, "Have him do what she just did. No more." His voice is firm, he expects compliance. "He will glide much better that the queen since he's lighter." A finger tests the currents. "Move him over to the south side, let the breeze help his glide better."

R'owan lifts one eyebrow before nodding his head slightly. "He's warmed up." The boy affirms, his eyes going unfocused for a moment as something passes between rider and dragon. "He claims if he were any warmer, he'd be back on the hatching sands." Still, he nods just once, his face a mixture of emotions. Of course, there's pride in being allowed to have his dragon take this step, but also uncertainty for what will come.

As if on some unspoken command or communication, Nyunath shifts himself southward, although his neck does crane around to continue watching the golden dragon. His wings flex a bit, drawing back against himself as he gallops into motion. Unlike some dragons who are ungainly on the ground, Nyunath seems to move easily, and takes a bit longer running than the larger dragon. When his wings finally do beat, the first brings him up off the ground and the feeling nearly has him forgetting that this is an exercise. Something brings him down though, and he flaps his wings just the two more allowed times before letting his wings hold the motion to glide groundward. His landing isn't perfect, front paws touching down before the back ones and making him look like he's oddly cartwheeling. Then, he lands fully with a fwhump. Raising his head proudly. « I could have gone longer. »

V'dim nods approval as Nyunath lands, "Just have him to remember to land with a bit of a running stride. Keep the wear and tear on the back legs less when he lands." He turns to look at R'owan then, the deep blue in his eyes hold the merest hint of a twinkle, "He flew after Faraeth, but by my estimation, he flew further." His gaze returns to the young bronze, "Do that every day, a little further every day, to build the muscles slowly." He turns to head off, looks back at the lad with a slight smile on his usually stiff lips, "I know the Assistants have given the warnings about overdoing and mounting and I trust you to keep to that." He nods and off he goes.

Seryth watches Nyunath run, leap flap and glide. While he is airborne, she warbles sweetly. Her mindvoice is the light drumming of rapid rain upon the canopy of lush leaves, «You flew! You flew and soon you will chase the wind until you outfly it and it must follow you!» The last bit is exultant joy mingled with a present thunder rumbling at a fast pace.

For the entire time of the flight, R'owan's attention is completely on his dragon. It certainly takes quite a bit of control to keep the young bronze from not continuing to flap his way upward, and the strain momentarily shows on his face. However, it quickly passes as he's forced to laugh a bit, shaking his head at his dragon's idea of a landing. "I'll try to remind him." Try is the correct word, as it's clear all too soon that the dragon is going to be entranced with flight and won't really be thinking about those ladings. His mouth does curve up slightly, seeming boyishly proud that his dragon might have gone a bit further than his nearest competitor. "We will sir." He nods once, still standing stiffly until he's sure the back of the weyrlingmaster is turned. Then, of course, he's pumping a hand in the air, showing his own silent cheering for the bronze.

Nyunath flexes his wings, turning around just once to see how far his path had taken him. His mind is a thunderous rush of instruments as if a thousand emotions were trying to break free all at once. Oh for his poor fellow weyrlings, as any dragons who were probably asleep just got one hell of a wake up call. « I flew! » He chimes in after the gold, whatever lack of color he might have had due to his rider's injury long gone and his hide gleaming in the first rays of morning. « Soon I will fly more. Soon the clouds will be mine. I will taste them. » Apparently this has been his goal for a while now, and he eyes a particular patch of white and snaps his jaws at it.

Seryth warbles once again, her thoughts coming as a downpour of monsoon rains, «And you will capture the clouds as well, young one. But first you must gain strength. You are not strong enough to do that yet.» The rumble of thunder in the tone hints that she knows how hard it will be for him to wait. She settles herself with the other dragonets, snuggling with some of them as she curls and her lids close slowly. Her parting voicemind is sleepy, a retreating curtain of dwindling showers, «This sort of flying makes one very hungry for herdbeasts. And yet another flying makes one hungry for something else.» Her lids close completely and poor R'owan will be stuck answering whatever questions -that- last statement brings.

« I will be strong enough. » Nyunath's mind thumps with determination. Still, the patience of his rider wins out and his wings fold backwards slightly. At first, it seems that the gold's sleepiness might infect him, but then the idea of food comes into sharp focus against the stormy deserts of his mind. « I will hunt. » R'owan takes a few steps forward, meeting his dragon's approach as he places an affectionate hand on the bronze nose. "You did good. Go hunt a big one for me, okay?" The image of a particular bovine he's been eyeing for a while pops into mind. "I'm going to go grab a few more minutes of shut-eye before we have morning lessons." R'owan stiffles his own yawn, waving his uninjured hand infront of his mouth, turning back towards the barracks. Reluctantly, Nyunath watches him go, and then his stomach rumbles. So, the small bronze walks off towards the feeding grounds, flexing his wings now and again as if trying to sneak in some extra exercises when no one is looking.

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