Weyrling Lesson - Manned Flight

Xanadu Weyr – Beach


The unerring range of subdued white rises and falls in a multitude of sandy dunes, creating an endless amount of tiny valleys constantly demolished and rebuilt by the frequent arrival or departure of a dragon. Smoothing out as it slopes gently to the edge of the deep blue water, the sand darkens and a shell here and there stands out for children to collect. The beach itself is set along a low cliff - the height lessoning as one heads eastwards, blocking a portion of the beach from direct access.

The wide wide stretch of water opens up to the east, the far distant shore way beyond the horizon and the beach curves ever so slowly round to east and west, distant arms of land embracing the wind-ruffled Caspian Lake. East leads up to the mouth of the Rubicon River, where the protecting cliff is merely an arms length higher then the sand, and beyond that, a winding road leading out of Xanadu's territory. Westwards, the beach narrows as the cliff swings out, leaving a path wide enough for dragons in single file before cutting in to the sheltered cove designated the Weyrling Beach. However, cut in the cliff face to the north are a variety of rough, wide staircases, providing access to the clearing and to the meadow.

It is one of those fine, clear spring days where Rukbat shines from a cloudless sky, a stiff breeze blows straight up the beach, ruffling the waters of the lake into fleecy whitecaps that dance endlessly to the far horizon. V'dim has scrambled the Weyrlings to the Main Beach for a full inspection, which means dress leathers, flying gear for the Weyrlings as well as spotless dragons properly buckled into riding straps. The Weyrling Master paces the beach as he waits for them to assemble and form ranks.

Keziah is tugging at her flight jacket a bit and wrinkling nose a bit. "Still not quite broken in properly." she murmurs to herself as she follows along behind Alosynth who is shining like a properly well washed green. Alosynth herself is actually taking her time to walk and not bounding through the sand, no matter how fun it looks. The little tomboy is learning some decorum? Still her tail is twitching in anticipation as she arrives up upon the Weyrling Master. She chuffs lightly and then there's a KEziah standing next to her. "'member, behave."

Thea has heard, likely from Seryth about what's going on down at the beach. How the queen knew? Likely heard the chatter from the Weyr's youngest dragons. She's making her way down to the beach, landing off to one side and churruping encouragement to the younglings. Thea follows at a more sedate pace, although she's a bit breathless. "Could've waited to give me a ride." It's a soft growl, not really angry is she. Instead, she leans against one of the gold's forelegs casually. She'll watch.

As usual, R'owan isn't the first to arrive. Although he may ride bronze, he's making no outward show of tyring to be a leader among weyrlings. He lags to the middle, doing one last check of Nyunath's straps as he walks, tugging them against the pale hide. The dragon, on the other hand, seems his usual calm self, wings folded, walking casually at the boy's side. "Can you check the other side?" He asks the bronze, who swivels his head around to look. « All is well. » Satisfied by this, Ro' buttons up his riding leathers and tightens the last few cinches at his wrists, trying to look more prepared than he actually is.

M'nol unusually arrives late, rubbing his eyes and with an extra flit in tow to explain his tardiness. His riding straps are still somewhat plain and his leathers are stiff, making him look all the more tired in comparison. Faraeth gives a soft wuffle, « You worry too much… » causing M'nol to mutter back, "What if he doesn't let me fly because you keep trying to make me do it early?"

V'dim has Isobeth off to one side all harnessed and waiting. She's demurely and patiently waiting, happy with the way Rukabat plays across her hide. If a dragon could bat its eyes perhaps she would be doing it. Her manner seems to say, 'Aren't I pretty?' V'dim himself is all business as he notes who the late-comers are. M'nol gets a stare and that whip is leveled at him. But all he says is, "Don't make it a habit." The man pivots on one foot to tread the line, stopping to eye each Weyrling from head to toe, looking for spot, smudges or wrinkles. Their lifemates are next and he's checking the straps, tugging here, rattling buckles there before stepping back and addressing the group sternly, "Today you will fly with your dragons. Afterwards, you will all have your hair cut to within a few inches of your scalp." His whip idly points to helmets they've got dangling. "Want those to fit well."

Alosynth glances over at Faraeth even as Keziah glances over at M'nol. "You know, if you kept better con…" she stops mid-word and then is looking at Alosynth who has turned her attention onto Keziah. The two seemt to having a mental sparring and then the Kezi just blinks a moment, frowns somewhat, snorts and rolls her eyes and then she's all smiles and her attention is back onto V'dim. Not, however with a look towards Thea. An audience? Oh dear. And then there's the mention of cutting hair. Huh? There's a blink and another blink and then Alosynth is whuffling her hair and making her laugh "Hey! That tickles!"

Thea's snickering over there by Seryth, "Oh, do I remember the haircut dilemma." There's a snort from Seryth and a response from her Rider, "Not much good a helmet would do me if I fell. Shardin useless things." Not said quite loudly enough to carry to V'dim, hopefully. Her pale eyes flicker over the assembled Weyrlings assessingly and her lips quirk just a wee bit as she catches their excitement.

Nyunath rumbles a little as the buckles on his straps are rattled, looking down at the weyrlingmaster, tail twitching. R'owan attempts to stand strait, but as usual he's got a sort of relaxed way about him and one arm stays on his dragon's foreleg. "Haircuts…" He doesn't seem too enthuastic about the idea, having avoided needing one thus-far. However, his poor rat-tail braid is bound to be sacrificed this time. So, to save himself the trouble later, he pulls his belt knife and cuts the braid off while V'dim's attention is -hopefully- elsewhere. Then, he tucks it into his pocket. As he looks up, he notices Thea, and lifts a hand to wave towards her before the harsh voice of the weyrlingmaster draws his attention back.

M'nol runs his fingers through his already short, but not quite that short, hair, contemplating how it would feel even shorter, then with a sudden exclamation, he gives Faraeth a soft whap on the neck, "Stop that!" Faraeth had been eyeing Isobeth in ways that made M'nol very uncomfortable. After a short mental beratting of the brown, M'nol turned back to V'dim and did his best to look attentive and as if he hadn't just been telling his dragon a very stern warning.

"People get your dragons in hand! This is no time for silly fooling around!" It's a command and V'dim is using his 'outside voice'. His stare is directed at Alosynth as he says it, before cool blue eyes sweep the group. "Flying is wonderful, flying is fun. But it can get you killed, so pay attention." His attention is elsewhere as R'own cut his braid, but the flash of sunlight on something has him darting a glace the young man's way. There's a slight squint from them before he's back to lecture mode, his arms cross as he speaks, feet braced apart in the sand. "You'll do exactly as I do today and in the following days a little more each day. Do not leave the Weyr's airspace until you have been cleared to do so. Do not carry passengers until cleared to do so." There's a significant pause as again his eyes sweep the faces before him. "Absolutely no trying to *Between*." M'nol gets an oddly unreadable look - the man misses not one thing. "Alright. Mount up and buckle in."

Thea lifts a hand to wave to R'owan, M'nol, Keziah…some of the others that she knows. She's got a sudden urge to cough for some reason right about the time Ro whips out a knife and scalps his own hair. Wouldn't do to have V'dim wonder what she's laughing about, now would it.

Keziah makes her face go blank and then chews on her lip a little. So much for not looking nervous? She's nodding with each and every point, her hand reaching out to lay upon Alosynth's side. There is also a look of anticipation about her. She looks over at Alosynth who is also nearly vibrating as well. The green isn't so nervous however and is excited. « It will be good to carry you and others. To be useful…»> The green rumbles low in her throat as Kezi starts to climb up, offering her foreleg. It certainly helps to be in shape and she's up and settling in. She's murmuring to herself as she notes the straps and buckles each on. "This is it." she murmurs and then she catches Thea's wave and she's smiling and about to wave as well until she catches herself and turns serious attention back onto V'dim.

With a quick motion, R'owan shoves his belt knife back in, and then runs a hand through the rest of his hair. Hopefully no one notices the missing braid. The rest can get cut normally. Nyunath's wings shift as he seems to catch some edge of excitement. Flying with his rider is a good thing, a great thing! "Easy Nyu." Ro' says with a laugh, patting the bronze on the foreleg as he listens, not exactly worried about all the 'dangers' of flight. "We'll be fine." « We will be together. » Nodding once, the boy tenses a little bit as he puts a hand on the leathers of his riding straps, waiting for the instruction to mount.

M'nol nods carefully, listening to each step as V'dim mentions it. Trying like cracked shells to not get yelled at by V'dim again. Even though V'dim did a check of the straps, he does a second himself, carefully tugging each buckle before he would even consider allowing his lifemate to fly them both. He didn't want to lose Faraeth, after all. Faraeth blinks at him, « I am here and no where else. » M'nol pats his nose gently then, hands on straps, turns to V'dim, awaiting further barked instruction.

"Mount up!" V'dim repeats and he walks the ranks once more as the Weyrlings do so, eyeing their straps and their buckling in, determining that all is as it should be before he turns to mount Isobeth. From the green's back, he calls, "You'll do exactly what I do one at a time." The green launches, flaps her wings until she is but a dragonslength above the sand, allowing the oncoming wind to help her glide to the far end of the beach. She's light, only needing an occasional flap to keep her course and altitude. As she reaches the far end she lightly touches down, then turns so V'dim can clearly see the Weyrlings.

F'yr sits in her wallow near the eggs, blue eyes on the proceedings with a sad tired look to her eyes. "It ain't really that difficult, if you only give it a try," she mumbles to the big dark bulk of Zaruath behind her. The dragon doesn't watch the weyrlings, content to just curl up on the sands, flightless.

Alosynth is watching Isobeth and then she's lifting her muzzle a bit and catching the breeze. There's a glance back at Keziah. Keziah gives a little nod and a pat on the back. She's still nervous, but she's excited and then the green is tensing and the two are up in the air as the green launches herself gracefully into the sky. Keziah's eyes widen a moment as she is thrust a bit backwards by the momentum and then she's leaning forward her smiling growing as the green continues to flap until she's at hieght and then she glides towards Isobeth, wings outstretched with a few flaps and then she's landing with just a few movements forwards to ease the impact. "Wooot!"

Thea watches the Weyrlings, a soft, half-sad smile on her lips as now and then her eyes drift off towards that faint blue smudged line across the lake. The sound of flapping draws her attention back to the beach and the here and now. She can't help but grin a bit at Keziah's cry, her eyes drift back towards the waiting Weyrlings. "He'll fly again, though?" A soft question F'yr's way.

R'owan has one of the longer climbs up onto his dragon's back, settling himself there as if the bronze were just a very wide runnerbeast. Maybe he won't look at Rhasmir's fondness for the larger draftbeasts with such curiousity anymore. Buckling himself in, he tugs the straps tight, and then flexes to see just how it feels. Nyunath swivels his head around, tryign to watch the antics of his rider, but then his eyes are on Isobeth. "Just like that. Little at a time, and soon we'll be free." R'owan pats at his dragon's hide, nodding his head as if he were talking more to himself than he is towards the dragon. The bronze bobs his head, briefly, and then flaps his twilight wings to beat himself and his rider skyward. He has to get a bit higher than the others, and it's hard for him to stay so close to the ground as he glides across to the end of the beach. Two heavy backwings bring him to land, his mind bugling out triumph, even as R'owan is jolted forward a bit, laughing at the success.

F'yr draws her knees up to herself as she leans more heavily against her dragon's side, sighing heavily. It's only her watching each of the weyrlings take off, face growing more drawn at each expression. But the question seems to turn her attention away, giving Thea a nervous look and then her surroundings. Seeing no one else she answers with a quiet, "Dunno, ma'am."

M'nol's climb up is a long one for his short stature, but he manages, with some tilting help from his dragon, to settle himself in Faraeth's neckridges. He checks the straps once more, then buckles himself in, pulling them tight and checking them as well. He watches as first Alosynth, then Nyunath take their flights, glad that Faraeth and Alosynth hadn't continued competing for firstsies. Once the way was clear, he stroked Faraeth's neck softly, and the dragon bound forward. Two swift steps, then a death-defying jump. He nearly misses the critical downbeat, but manages it, then another as M'nol gives out a hearty whoop and Faraeth projects a bit too loudly, « yeeeeeee-hhaaaaaaaaaaaaaawww » They glide distance, then land in the sand near the others, sending up a spray as they land a tad too hard, but the grin on M'nol's face belies any thought of him being upset about it.

V'dim nods his solemn approval after each short flight, "Over the next two sevendays I'll want their muscles hardened. You're to avoid heights, but may fly just above treetop level." His arm sweeps out towards the lake, "Let's do some real flying now, but we'll keep it low and in the formations we've practiced on the ground." Isobeth launches, her green wings sweep to carry her up and out over the water, her happy trill a clarion call to the young dragons to follow. This time she moves with a swift forward movement, her wings working now. She'll have the Weyrlings stretching their wings but good before this exercise it done.

Keziah is grinning brightly while Alosynth is bugling. The two of them seem quite pleased with each other. She listens to V'dim and nods at his words and then looks up towards the trees. Not so high in some ways, but still so much higher than being stuck on the ground. She runs her hand along Alo's neck and smiles as Isobeth takes off "Just like training." she murmurs and then green is up in the air again, stretching her wings and then working them as she takes off after the other green.

Thea is enjoying this, at least as much as she can be given her circumstances. It is when Nyunath flies that her grin falters just a little as her eyes follow his course down the beach. "Sometimes hope is all we have." She murmurs to F'yr, her eyes once again drifting towards the far distant shore, past the group of dragons headed in the direction of Black Rock Hold. "Our dragonhealers are the best."

If it had been anything other than a clear day, Nyunath may have taken some offense at being restricted to low flying. He still has it set in his mind to taste some clouds. As it is, his mind is bustling with sound, pride foremost at having his rider with him. R'owan adjusts himself a little, and then leans low over the bronze's neck. "That was… that was amazing." He whispers, eyes wide, not about to let anyone know just how much more fantastic than riding runners it just might have been. "You know what to do, not too high." Nyunath snorts, not liking the height restriction, but he takes two big steps and propells himself skyward, beating his wings to join the greens in the air. The motion knocks Ro' back against the straps slightly, and he clings to them to keep his balance.

Faraeth gives a booming draconic chuckle as M'nol catches his breath and re-seats himself, still grinning hugely, as is his dragon. He manages to sober enough to cast a sad look to F'yr and her grounded brown before saluting both her and Thea as Faraeth gives another rumble and takes to the air after V'dim and Isobeth, « We will fly above the trees in no time. Before long no thing will stop us."

F'yr curls an arm loosely around her legs, nodding her head slowly but otherwise stays silent for the moment. Zaruath gives a low grunt from what appears to be some silent communication, though he doesn't move away at all from his curled position, eyes still tightly closed. No watching weyrlings flying for him. Fy lifts her hand briefly to wave after M'nol's salute, her face still looking drawn downwards. Another nervous glance is spared to the goldrider's way. "They've done a good job," she answers softly, nodding once more.

The winds are stronger here out over the open waters, sweeping up strongly under them and buoying them but also slowing their forward progress as they are flying straight into it. The lake shimmers but a dragon's length below, the whitecaps dance inviting a plunge. But today it is not to be. Isobeth streaks ahead, straight as an arrow, warbling her joy to those behind as their shadows follow in rippling fashion below them. The surface of the lake is broken suddenly by a pod of shipfish, who manage to keep pace for several wingbeats, leaping and squeeing their greetings.

Alosynth soars after Isobeth, there's a glance for the waters shimmering below, and even Keziah is eyeing the way the sun shimmers off the surface. "What would it be like to skim it?" she murmurs outloud, though the wind rips it from her lips. Alosynth bugles and then as a gust hits them, she rises up a little with it and then almost seems to slide down off of it as she tips just a little. Thoughts of skimming are swept from Keziah's mind as she holds on tightly. "AhhHhh!" and then there's a "Wheee!"

Thea salutes the Weyrlings in a jaunty manner, although it's a smile that fades to nothing as soon as the Weyrlings are headed away. "Yeah," it's a muttered word full of empathy to F'yr. There's no false words of comfort, "Hard to go through some of the things life deals sometimes." Her eyes leave that line on the horizon with a thoughtful frown, her lips sad as she's somewhere off in her own mind. "You take care, yeah? If you need anything-" She leaves the rest unsaid, gives Seryth a light pat and turns, "Back to work for me." And she's off in the direction of the Weyr, wiping at her eyes.

Almost as if echoing Keziah's thoughts, Nyunath looks down towards his reflection in the water, his wings dipping slightly as if he intended on trying to find the answer to that question. Luckily, R'owan is paying enough attention to give the bronze a good whump to his hide. "Later. When we aren't in drills?" He reminds the bronze, who lifts his head again, just in time to catch a bit of a draft which lifts him back into proper position in the formation. "This is fast…" Ro' comments, watching the water zip by underneath him, apparently a bit dazed by it. It's different on someone else's dragon than on the back of your own. « Shipfish! » Oh no. Nyunath seems enthralled as he spots the pod, « Cidheoth will be jealous. I saw them first. I will not eat them though. »

Faraeth bugles as M'nol thumps his hide, The feeling of flying drills was so different from walking them he couldn't express his glee. Faraeth, too, eyes the shimmering shipfish for a moment, but he stays focused, whether it's on the drill or the greens ahead of him remains to be seen.

F'yr's blue eyes are drawn away from the flying weyrlings so that she can frown at the goldrider for a thoughtful moment. "Yeah, I know," she answers in an almost too-quiet voice, full of deeper meaning. Her hand starts up a nervous rubbing at her wrist as she nods after the Weyrwoman. "Bye, ma'am." And then it's back to watching weyrlings quietly.

Isobeth now beat upwards, gaining altitude. V'dim, turns to watch the Weyrlings, making sure they follow her up high. It is really only several dragon's lengths this time, but it is higher than they've flown yet. The green tilts slowly on one wingtip in a gentle, curving bank to head them back towards the beach, Rukbat's now gilding her underside as her own wing's shadow moves across her back, darkening V'dim briefly as he keeps his eye back there the entire time noting how each dragon handles itself and how the turn is executed. The shipfish are left behind, but they seem to know the dragons will be back, so they turn and race for shore along the path the Weyrlings will follow, clicking and chirping. Head start? Well, yes, but there are no rules, right?

Alosynth follows still, her wings beating, each stroke bringing her higher and higher and then she's watching Isobeth, her whirling eyes taking in the turn and then she's tilting to one side "Woah…" Keziah clings tighter again, it is certainly a different matter of riding yourself than riding passenger. « You are safe. I will not let you fall. » comes Alosynth soft touch in her mind. Though it's perhaps not quite as skillfully down, but it is still gracefull and soon find themselves heading back to shore and Alosynth now seems to take in account the shipfish, course, it could have been her brothers bringing them to her attention as well and then she's off after them or so it seems.

Still fascinated by the shipfish, Nyunath nearly misses Isobeth's climb upward. Once more, it becomes R'owan's job to drag his dragon from his curiousity and settle him back on task. "Eyes on the green, remember?" Snorting, the dragon rumbles a greetin at the pod before lifting his head and beating upwards, a bit late, but at least he's managing not to miss the queues totally. Flexing one hand, Ro' has to shift his grip in the straps as he's thrown a bit backwards by the climb. Leaning into the turn, he looks down at the water below and lets out an appreciative whistle. "Wow, long way down." « You will not fall. » As he wings behind the others in the path towards the shore, the bronze seems quite at ease.

M'nol leans forward against Faraeth's neck as the brown beats his wings, angling upwards to follow the green. When it becomes time to turn, it quickly becomes clear that Faraeth is patently incapable of turning as tightly and daintily as Isobeth, turning instead in a much larger curve, continuing to follow the greens, occasionally sparing a glance for the shipfish below

Isobeth finishes her turn, folds her wings just enough to drop in a dizzying swoop back down towards the water before leveling out once more. With the wind now at their backs, the trip towards shore is much faster, but the wingbeats required to stay aloft must come more often. The shipfish are easily overtaken, passed by in a flash as the disappointed, but good-natured squeals fade behind them. The beach seems to be rushing towards them, the silvery waters almost a blur. Isobeth flares her wings just offshore to slow her pace, drops lightly to the sands in a running stride that also makes way for the ones behind her to land. V'dim is once again turning to watch, careful eyes judge the landings as well as the condition of the newly flown pairs.

Alosynth watches the shipfish as they pass over them and then her attention is back on the other green and then the beach is there all too soon, though she is also almost a little pleased at coming in as well. Flying over the water with her own is different then flying after a meal. She lets herself slow to a glide and starts coming in and then she back wings just a bit for even more slowing and lands lightly and settles down fairly quickly. Keziah is silent for a bit as she communicates with Alosynth and then nods al ittle as she leans forward on her neck. "Wonderful."

Relishing in the wind, the speed, and the quickness of wingbeats, Nyunath propells himself towards the shore, skimming low along the surface as his pale hide reflects upwards towards him. He watches the shipfish as they fade again into the background, tail waving behind him with each wingbeat. "Easy, slow up." R'owan reminds him as they near the shore, and it takes a few wingbeats for him to slow enough to actually make a decent. His landing is more graceful this time than on the slow glide, and it doesn't jar R'owan nearly as much. However, he does leave his wings flared for a moment longer than necessary, pride taking over his generally good-natured attitude. "Alright. That wasn't so bad." Ro' chuckles to himself, and then look at the white strips on his hands where he'd been gripping the riding straps too hard.

M'nol leans back with a hearty woah as Faraeth enters the dive, causing his own dragon to tease him mentally. Faraeth dives low enough that his front claws momentarily skim the water before, with a great wingbeat, he pulls his bulk back up to the level they're supposed to be on. For all the dive terrified M'nol for a moment, he's grinning again. What would he do without Faraeth? Faraeth landed, still a little hard due to his bulk, giving M'nol a slight joke.

V'dim seems satisfied for he voices not one word of criticism after all have landed. He doesn't lavish anyone with praise, either, but that is V'dim. In a voice intended to carry he says, "Remember, a little more each day. Might need to rub the wing muscles with oil and numbweed tonight." His eyes are on the larger dragons as he says that. He touches his helmet with the tip of his riding crop, Isobeth prepares to launch herself, but before she goes, the Weyrling Manager turns towards Rogawani and says dryly, "Keep that tail, might be able to tie it back in after you graduate." Is that a glimmer of humor in those blue eyes? His face gives nothing away as his green springs up, flaps a few times and circles towards their Weyr.

Nyunath, Alosynth and Faraeth sense that Seryth speaks with the sound of dancing raindrops, a light patter laced with joy and humor, « And now young ones, you know the second way to fly. The other two ways will wait until you are older. » Her mind recedes as a vapor will disappear with the rising sun that leaves behind a kiss of warmth, « Perhaps I shall fly with you all soon. »

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