Weyrling Lesson - Betweening

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.

V'dim stands near Isobeth, dressed in his flight leathers today, helmet, gloves and goggles dangle from his hand. He's sent word for the Weyrlings to harness their dragons, dress themselves for flying and that can only mean one thing. "Weyrlings!" His voice booms across the field as he beckons with a hand. "Gather in close please and listen up!" As per usual, his face is without a smile, but today his face is grave. As the Weyrlings still trickle in, he says, "Today's lesson is going to be the hardest one you've faced so far, but I'm sure it's one many of you have looked forward to." Pale eyes light on M'nol briefly. How did he hear? Ah that is his secret.

M'nol nods, his own riding leathers pulled tight around him. The boy had grown very little in the last year and a half as a weyrling, which was a blessing and a curse. For once, Faraeth is just as attentive as M'nol, not casting eyes on any of the green. M'nol does blush briefly when V'dim acknowledges his desires to be at the healer hall more than anything else just now, but he does his best to focus. It wouldn't do him any good to be lost /between/ except to still his aching heart.

Keziah arrives with Alosynth in tow. She's dressed to impress. Oh wait, she's already done that. A hand caresses against Alo's soft green hide and then she fiddles with the jacket and gloves. Gotta make sure they're fitting just right. Alosynth herself is sporting some new straps, well cleaned, well oiled and fitting nicely and accentuated with decorative straps that have been carefully and painstakenly sewn with creative symmetrical designs. Kezi stands ready, they've been practicing visualizations until her shins stopped hurting from hitting things. She gives a nod to V'dim and listens.

R'owan steps forward, dressed in his own set of riding leathers which are accented by the worn jacket he's alawys had even before his weyrling days. Pushing the somewhat oversized set of goggles up on his forehead, the young rider glances once over his shoulder at his dragon, and then back towards the weyrlingmaster. Still, it's hard to keep the grin off of his face, a grin that probably has to do with a certain necklace and ring combo he'd given to a certain bluerider. In any case, he nods his head once, and then does a quick tug on his dragon's flight straps, double checking them.

Vivian is here as well, wandering out casually after an excitably bouncing Kelioth. "Will all our dreams come true with the culmination of this lesson." She mutters under her breath as she steps elegantly over to join Kelioth, a hand running down the greens neck until she reaches the head with a light pat of her hand.

V'dim paces before the Weyrlings, making eye contact with them in what could only be described as a piercing stare. "Pay attention! Your life and your dragon's life will depend on it!" He pauses, adding, "If you've been *Between* before, you know what it is like. For those of you who haven't, I'll describe it. It's cold. And it's black. And it's empty. And you don't want to be stuck there for more than a few moments because you'll die. There's no air there. The longer you stay there, the easier it is to become confused and lost there." He stops and lets that sink in for a few beats. "Betweening is also the quickest way to get around." Again his eyes rest on M'nol briefly, this time perhaps the merest twinkle therein. He continues, "coming out of *Between* is dangerous. If you do not clearly visualize your re-entry point in clear air, you can easily pop out of between inside a rock, or a cliff, or something equally as horrible. That's why we've had you do all those imaging exercises." He walks the ranks as he talks, inspecting straps, tugging her, jerking there. "Alright, mount up We'll be visualizing first and your dragons will be getting that from Isobeth. Then we'll fly away a bit, and between back to that spot." As he climbs up the green's side and swings aboard, his voice carries, "Never, ever *Between* from or back to the ground! We don't want you betweening into someone else!" He waits until all have mounted, then as they have been trained, he waits until all eyes are upon him, then commands crisply, "In the sky, take your assigned formations please." He gives the signal to rise.

M'nol listens intently, nodding occasionally. He knew most of this, but it never hurt to listen. The faintest hint of a smile crosses his face, then he turns, running one last check of Faraeth's riding straps, Phylicia's image foremost in his mind, though he knew he couldn't keep it there for too much longer. With a growing ease, he reaches up and grabs the riding straps, pulling himself into place amongst Faraeth's neck ridges with only the barest grunt. He leans forward, stroking the brown's neck gently, before strapping himself in. At V'dim's command the brown pushes off strongly from the ground, needing only a few wingbeats to settle into his proper place in the formation.

Keziah listens to the instructions carefully. Sure, she's been Between before, but she's sure it's gotta be much different doing it yourself than having someone take you. She's nudged a little by Alosynth and she nods "Good point. We have each other and we have been practicing. Confidence." she notes as she climbs quickly up onto Alosynth and settles herself in while securely strapping herself in as well. "This is it." she notes softly as she runs her hand along Alo's hide. "Wonder if father would be terribly upset if he showed up and frightened the herds?" she murmurs and then grins. "Just wait Alosynth, the world is a beautiful place." — No wouldn't want to keep Phy in mind too much. Would be a bad thing to end up stuck in the Healer Hall…

"Like in the cave at survival camp." R'owan says in an undertone, inwardly shivering at the image of the long dead weyrling encased in stone. For a moment, that thought drops the grin from his features, not wanting to be a 'lesson' for some future weyrling class due to that sort of mistake. When the command is given, he scales the bronze's riding straps and then swings himself into place between the twilight neckridges with a practiced ease. Straps are laced, tightened, double checked, and then the boy gives his bronze an affectionate slap on the shoulder. "Let's do this. No mistakes." The bronze rumbles his own sort of response… as if he would -ever- make a mistake. Not Nyunath. He's far too good for that. "And no thinking about shipfish when you're betweening." The bronze snorts, and then Ro manages a small smirk as the bronze leaps into the air, circling just once to gain altitude before falling into his place in formation.

Vivian listens intently to the instructions, of all the lectures and classes they've had this is perhaps the only one that has made any kind of impression of seriousness on Vivian herself. After V'dim has finished she turns on her heel and mounts up onto Kelioth, quick and graceful as she goes, and strapping herself in, before pulling on her riding helmet and gloves, ready for flight.


Xanadu Weyr - Lake Sky

Looking out across the Caspian Lake, this is indeed a prime location. A sheer cliff to the southwest meets the deep water of the lake and following that cliff north a little leads you to the main beach and docks. The air here tends to be a little cooler than inside the sheltered valley but the northeast aspect of the weyrs scattered over the cliff face makes up for it.

Below you, the water of the lake shimmers blue or grey, depending on the weather and one can usually see the fishing fleet of Xanadu out on the lake or traders ships are often visible on their way across.

V'dim waits until all the formation is complete before adding, "After today you'll no longer have to shovel out your dragon couches." A knowing smirk forms on his lips as he says that before continuing, "Memorize this sky, this is a place your dragons know best! So this will be a good place to *Between* Home to. Before we fly away, take one last long look at the world around you. Make sure both you and your dragons can visualize this place clearly." He waits for a few long minutes, then leads them to fly out over the lake. As they glide out over the shimmering lake waters, he calls, "You'll need to have them pick up the weyrling sky image from Isobeth, but you'll need to reinforce that by sending them the image as well. Ready? His hand pumps once. He and Isobeth disappear.

M'nol listens, staring at the lake before him, solidifying the image in his mind and sharing with Faraeth what they each see. Faraeth glides after Isobeth, accepting the image from her mind and sharing it with his rider. M'nol is momentarily startled with Isobeth disappears /between/, but he refocuses all the more on the image in his mind's eye, sharing it with his dragon as they too disappear with a tiny *pop*.

Keziah looks around the sky, placing into her mind the details of the lake, the cliff to the southwest, the docks toward the north and color of the lake itself. She closes her eyes a moment and fixes it into her minds eye as she continue out over the lake. She watches V'dim and then her attention is on Alosynth as she directs the green to collect the image from the older green even as she overlaps her own image from memory, nodding a little. She watches as V'dim disappears with Isobeth. "This is it." she notes and sure in the visuals of the weyrling sky the two of them disappear Between. There they were, and there they went.

R'owan strains over the beating of wings, leaning forward to catch the words of the weyrlingmaster as his eyes sweep around the area. Familiar skylines, familiar clouds, the exact position of the weyr below. Little details get locked away in his mind in hopes of not making this particular exercise his last. Nyunath wings along in the formation, following at the slightly higher hight of the bigger dragons. Then, Isobeth's image is passed through and he adjusts it with his own perceptions, focusing a little away from the green's initial location as to not collide with anyone else. "Alright." He takes a deep breath, remembering the feeling of the cold even before he and his bronze disappear *between*.

Kelioth wings her way up into the formation, taking her spot with precision and no fuss at all. She's been up here with Vivian on many an occasion flying around the local area memorising everything, so it's with a big sigh from Vivian and a little croon from Kelioth that they ready themselves


Xanadu Weyr - Weyrling Sky

A pocket of calmer air, this patch of airspace is dangerous for a very different reason: the presence of Weyrlings whose flying ability is exceedingly unpredictable.

V'dim pops back into the sky above the Weyrling grounds, then turns to watch the others and it is with visible relief that he counts all Weyrlings with a successful re-entry. He waits until their initial reaction from their first solo *Between* trip dies away before calling, "We'll be doing one more and this time it will be to a place you've never been to. Remember that Trust Game we played? This is where it will come into play. Your dragon will get the next reference from Isobeth. You will in turn, pick it up from your dragon. Keep the picture clearly in mind." His sharp eyes rake the faces before him, determining that they are mentally ready for this before once again his hand rises and falls. They disappear…

M'nol's heart is in his throat even as Faraeth gives a triumphant bugle. It takes a few more deep breaths for the lad to slow his racing heart and re-focus his mind. The feeling of freedom that courses through him is intoxicating, luckily the fear of being stuck in that blackness is sobering, so it evens out. He takes two more deep, slow breaths just to be safe as Faraeth receives the image from Isobeth, they share the image for a moment, then Faraeth takes another great sweep of wings, M'nol determined to excel at this exercise, and disappears /between/.

Alosynth is a shimmer of green as she bursts out of between with Kezi still attached and taking in deep breaths. "Definantly different on your own." she gasps out a bit, but then she's grinning. They've made it through to the other side and their not inside out or anything. She then is turning her attention back to V'dim and she nods a little. She runs her hands along Alosynth who warbles brightly and then there's the image and there they go!

R'owan lets out a breath when he and his dragon emerge from the darkness, and his heart stops thumping quite so loudly in his chest, drowned out again by the sound of air rushing by. His mouth quirks slightly into a half-grin, thumping the big bronze on the neck with a congratulatory gesture. "That's the way." Nyunath warbles in a sing-songy tone, pleased with himself as he backwings a little and shifts himself into formation once again. This second challenge, however, has Ro' back to his normal determined expression. "Make sure you focus on the details." He reminds the bronze, who snorts. As if he wasn't always looking for the details anyways. As the image appears in his mind, Ro' latches on to it, trying to focus his own mind around it. The bronze starts a little tuneless croon as he wings once, and then disappears, perhaps to test if his voice will really be silenced in the darkness only to emerge again unbroken on the other side.

Away from Isobeth, Kelioth comes out of between, she wasn't worried about a thing as she sweeps into formation with a happy warble and feelings of congratulations going out to all her clutch siblings. Vivian on the other hand, although used to going between is doing it for the first time on her own and it shows slightly in the release of tension from her face and body. Following along in formation the messages are passed along and she nods, V'dim at least she trusts, his life and career hinge on Vivian managing this in one piece, others perhaps not quite so much, but she does ready herself for the next jump.

Western Weyr - Eastern Bowl

The eastern end of the crater that forms the Weyr. The cliffs rise to the east, north and south of you, small openings in the face are individual weyrs of dragons and their riders. To the north is the large ledge and cave mouth of the Queen's weyr, with a wide ramp and stairs made by skilled stone masons providing access to the bowl floor. To the east is the Weyrling training area and the barracks, where young riders and dragons learn to work together. You can easily detect the weyr kitchen cavern entrance to the south, thanks to the aromas of fine western cooking.

Electric lights light the entrances as those on night duty come out to take over, moving quietly in the night so as not to disturb those sleeping about the Weyr.Winter has descended once again upon the Western island, though those from the north would never be able to tell it, but the short days and the cooler nights are painfully obvious to those born here.

As the dragons all re-enter from *Between* once again, V'dim has a palpable relief showing on his face. He gestures downwards, indicating the formation to follow him down to land in the bowl. He slides down, striding a little ways off, watching the Weyrlings land.

Jessamin ambles along through the Bowl, her steps leading towards the hot springs for the moment. That is, until the sound of dragon wings beating the air stops her in her tracks. She looks up to see some familiar dragons winging their way downwards, and she smiles brightly, waving to those yet above.

M'nol gives a would-be-audible-if-not-for-the-wind sigh as Faraeth emerges from /between/. The brown is most of teh way to the ground behind Isobeth before M'nol even realizes where they are, then he spots Jessamin and he actually smiles. Faraeth lands not quite as neatly as would have been best, but without stumbling or spraying dust everywhere. M'nol unstraps himself quickly and slides down his brown's side, waving, "Jess!"

Aww, he's actually relieved about something concerning the weyrlings? As Alosynth lands, Keziah is looking around a look of wonder on her face, it's been a long time since she's been to Western and then there's a waving figure on the ground. As Alosynth drifts further downward that figure turns into a familiar one. "Jessa!" Keziah calls out cheerfully and waves in return and then Alosynth gracefully lands, though that graceful look is gone when she near sprawls even as Keziah is unstrapping herself and sliding off quickly. Ain't nothin' real feminine about the pair really, aside from Alo's grace. Kezi has none as she promptly shows by stumbling to a halt. Least she didn't fall flat on her face.

Nyunath backwings with powerful sweeping gusts until he drops the last few feet onto the ground with a huff. Then, he folds the colorful membranes behind him, looking around as if this were a particularly interesting new place. "Don't get too comfy." R'owan warns with an amused chuckle, unstrapping himself and sliding down the straps to land with a thump of his own booted feet. "Hey there, Jess. Long time, no see." He calls, as if this wasn't a weyrling exercise and they'd all just randomly decided to drop ni for a visit. He takes a few steps away from his dragon, seeming quite pleased with this first forray into their growing draconic freedom.

A'ven arrives, peering around at all the young dragons in the bowl, "Feels like I just stepped through a time warp. Western has a clutch hardening. For a moment there I thought it was a few sevendays later and they all hatched out and grew up. Welcome, Xanadu… Weyrlings and their 'Masters." "Be at ease, you're among friends."

Jessamin runs over to the riders just stumbling to the ground, her arms open wide for a great big hug. "Shards, it's good to see you! You are all a sight for sore eyes!" She laughs, worry lines faded from her face for the moment. Her skin is not near as pale as they likely remember it, a nice, light tan lending a healthy glow to her countenance. "I can't believe it… you're actually here!" Though she -does- take a moment to offer V'dim a salute, and a sheepish grin. "Western's duties, Weyrlingmaster… sorry I got a little overexcited at seeing some old friends."

Only because he'd get skinned alive by Niva, it's not good to lose weyrlings in his job. Kelioth reappears with a warbled welcome to one and all as she sweeps into formation then breaks away again, flying round the bowl before dropping down to land with her usual grace and elegance. Vivian unbuckles and pats a gloved hand to the greens neck, a genuine smile on her face for now as she peels her helmet and gloves off, tucking them into their place on the straps before she slides down the greens side to land easily on the ground, pretty much ignoring the others.

T'burk coves over from his duties in the infirmary. He smiles to see all the visitors from Xanadu. "Western's duty to Xanadu and her Queens!" He strides up to the WeyrlingMaster to meet him and shake his hand. "Greetings, sir!"

V'dim strides forward, hand extended as A'ven walks up. His voice is warm, although his face is stern, perhaps frozen that way after years of dealing with Turn after Turn of Weyrings, "Xanadu's greetings. Health to Western's queens and their clutches!" He gives T'burk and Jessamin gets a frosty nod, not unfriendly, but that is V'dim. He addresses the Weyrlings one last time, "Congratulations, Weyrlings. You are now cleared to go *Between* wherever you wish," he holds up a forefinger with a stern stipulation, "with proper visualizations from another dragon of course, to the places you haven't been." He adds a dry chuckle, "And keep up with your chores."

A'ven takes the offered hand warmly. "Welcome… welcome! If your dragons are hungry they may eat here. I understand your supplies may still be low because of the flood." "That goes for all of you as well, there's food inside if you like."

M'nol runs up to Jessa, gratefully taking part in the proffered and much needed hug, then he glances at V'dim… ooops… right… still in class. He nods to A'ven and mutters an echo of V'dim's words, listening carefully to V'dim before turning back to Jessamin, "How has Western been treating you? Well, besides the sunburn."

Vaine heard there was visitor's and he heard right. He walks over to the group giving a friendly wave to both the visitor's and his friends. He comes to a stop near T'burk "So where are they from?" He quietly asks he smiles to the visitors "Nice you meet you. My name is Vaine." He extends a hand toward's the group.

T'burk leans over to Vaine and says, "Xanadu Weyr."

Chores? He would have to add that in. Specially while in front of…Keziah blinks a little and then she's peering a little closer at A'ven and well his knot. That would figure that V'dim would do that to them. "Thank you, sir and yes, sir." she does say. She ain't gonna argue the point at all. Alosynth is whuffling at Jessa and then Kezi is taken aback a bit by A'vens words, her eyes widening. "Our thanks, sir." she says and then grins at Alosynth. "Certainly a better reception then Ista would likely -" she cuts herself off as she bites her tongue and then glances around at the others that are gathering and keeps her mouth shut for the moment.

R'owan is one of those who comes out to meet Jessamin, although it's a somewhat bittersweet sort of reuinion between friends. "They treating you okay here?" He asks, lifting his eyebrows as if he might just have to have a word with someone if it were not the case. "You look good." He notes, accepting the hug with a bit of a boyish sort of smile on his face. "Can't stay too long though. Need to track down Rhasmir and that trader crew of his, see about a few things for my weyr." He smirks, patting a small pouch at his side which seems to have already been lightened significantly by the repairs needed to his new home. He pauses to listen to the instructions from V'dim, nodding firmly once as he takes a step back from the others, tossing a bit of a salute towards the Westerners. "Xanadu's duties to you all. And see you later Jess. Take care." He offers, and then stalks towards his bronze, who seems to be intently sniffing the ground.

V'dim nods as he returns that handshake firmly, "The supplies are down, yes We'd appreciate it." His voice rumbles as he says it and he flicks a quick eye over the young dragons, noting their color. "Weyrlings, if your dragon's look off-color to you, they may need to eat. Keep it to one, please." Back to A'ven, "All of our crops were wiped out, so we've nothing fresh. And the fence went, so the beasts took off. We've hunted some. And we've dry stores." He reaches to shake Viane's hand, then T'burk's. "Well-met." To the both of them, before his eyes slide over towards Keziah sharply. Something from Isobeth has him muttering a quick, "Scuse me," and striding her way.

Jessamin bursts out laughing as Alosynth whuffles at her, reaching up to offer the pretty green dragon scritches. "Long time no see there, hmmm? Been keeping Keziah out of trouble?" To the rest, she grins, taking a moment to answer R'owan. "Yes, being treated very well here. You'll all have to come visit more often, now that you're cleared to. Should be a nice bit of breakfast in the Living Caverns just coming out right about now. Oh!" She shakes her head, grinning a bit sheepishly. "That reminds me, got to pull a few things out of cold storage to send on back to Xanadu. But that can hold. For now… won't you come inside?"

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