Random Log: The Experience of Weyrlinghood

Xanadu Weyr - Clearing
A wide clearing stretches from east to west, the ground packed hard although grass grows across most of it. Trees are strictly forbidden in this space, their danger to the constant draconic traffic reason enough to banish them to the forest that creates a this and sharp border to the north. Where the ground is less trampled, tiny flowers poke their delicate heads out from their shaded hiding places with upturned petals to wave to whoever may be looking.
The cliff looms imposingly on three sides, stretching upwards all the way up the side of the mountain where, high above, Xanadu's Star Stones and the ever present watchdragon sit on a lonely peak. Directly south is a massive tunnel, fully wide enough for even the largest dragon to fly down. Southeast are wide steps leading up to the Caverns and eastwards is the large entrance to the Infirmary. Somewhat north of the Infirmary is a human sized archway that has a frequent quantity of traffic — it leads to the Tavern. Southwest lies the low ledges currently belonging to Xanadu's queens while north and west a broad path cut by the side of the cliff leads to the Feeding Grounds and due north is the spacious trail that leads to the rest of the Weyr.

Kamari is sitting in the middle of the clearing, watching traffic move around the Weyr, sketching with her tablet and pen, humming softly to herself.

Z'kiel strides across the clearing from the direction of the forest, seeming to be moving toward the tavern. He looks relaxed, and not in any great hurry despite his striding.

Kamari seems to be scanning the clearing for something, not just idly sketching, and her face brightens as she recognizes riding leathers, then takes a closer look at the tall man who is heading towards the Tavern. "Excuse me sir…" she says, standing and walking over to intercept him, as he doesn't look particularly busy. "Do you mind a little company?" an unorthodox request, possibly, but her green eyes sparkle kindly.

"No, I guess I can cope with company." Z'kiel replies with a brief nod. It's not exactly overjoyed, but nor is it unfriendly either. "Are you actually allowed in there, though? While you're a Candidate, I mean. Or you hoping for another destination?"

Kamari frowns and thinks, then shrugs. "I think so long as I don't drink anything, I'll be ok…" she says, then grins widely. "I'm mostly just looking for conversation…" she pauses, then adds. "If you think I'll get in trouble though, we could head to the caverns, but I don't want to be a bother."
Kamari adds, "I'm Kamari, by the way.." as an afterthought, with one of her frequent blushes.

"Z'kiel." Z'kiel replies with a brief smile. "Rider of bronze Kunaseth, Galaxy Wing." There's a thoughtful pause then. "Well, let's go to the caverns. Better to be safe than sorry, and I don't recall off the top of my head."

Kamari smiles at Z'kiel and nods. "Probably so…" she says with a shrug and heads towards the caverns. "I'm a little peckish anyways.." she says with a grin as she walks. "Thanks for humoring me, by the way, Z'kiel sir…"

Xanadu Weyr - Caverns(#8800RJs)
A massive cavern in it's own right, this one has been skillfully adapted for human habitation. The high ceilings have been painted a light, soft ivory, as are the walls where numerous tapestries hang to provide brilliant color and insulation from the stone. The floor has been left in its natural state, pale pink granite speckled through with glittering mica and dark flecks of basalt, leveled carefully but kept sufficiently rough to avoid slips.
The cavern itself is loosely divided into areas, each one set up to be suitable for some segment of the Weyr's population. The most frequently occupied area, however, is the one near the Kitchens where tables of varying sizes provide a place to sit down and eat or chat and a buffet of consumables is almost always kept stocked. Its plain that on most days, this area wouldn't accommodate anywhere near the full population of the Weyr and equally plain that on such occasions when a formal meal is laid out, tables are appropriated from all the other areas.
A big fireplace is set into the wall near the Kitchens as well, several comfortable chairs nearby providing haunts for elderly residents or riders who like a good view of all that happens. Rugs cover the floor in strategic spots, all of them abstract or geometric in design and most in the softly neutral colors of undyed wool.

"You're welcome." Z'kiel says to Kamari as they walk, hands folding behind his back. "May I ask why exactly it was you were looking for company?"

Kamari smiles at Z'kiel as they enter the cavern. "I had some questions that I wanted to ask…" she starts shyly, then stops and waves at the other people in the cavern. "Good day.." she says shyly.

K'vin is currently reading a pile of papers, some are still spread about on the table. He smiles and he waves at the newcomers. "Greetings." He says simply.

"Some questions, hmm?" Z'kiel considers this for a moment. "Questions about being a rider?" He hazards after a moment, nodding to the others present. "Shall we find a seat?"

Kamari nods to Z'kiel and looks around, selecting a table a little to one side, giving a wave to the other people in the room. "More about Weyrlinghood, to be specific…" she says with a grin as she sits. "I keep hearing all sorts of rumors, and I was wondering what to actually expect."

K'vin goes back to reading his papers, looking a bit absorbed by it all. He doesn't really pay anymore attention to the rider

Z'kiel slides into his own seat, considering this for a time. "Well, do you have specific questions you'd like to ask or do you just want me to ramble on about it?" There's a pause. "The first might be more productive."

Kamari smiles at Z'kiel and blushes again. "I was wondering about…well, they say that you can't distinguish yourself from your dragon at first…is that true?" she starts, fiddling with her pendant.

"Not exactly in the way it might sound." Z'kiel muses thoughtfully after a moment. "They feel hungry, you feel hungry. They're tired, you're tired. So sometimes you'll not realize you're hungry, because you assume it's their hunger, for example. It takes time to learn to seperate it out, certainly, but it's not quite as…extreme as it sounds."

Kamari nods, looking thoughtful. "One of the candidates was talking about people getting odd…urges for foods they normally wouldn't like; rare herdbeast and the like. Were they just being foolish or?" she seems genuinely interested in the possibility of preferences changing.

Z'kiel chuckles softly at that. "Well, it was more that they are misunderstanding something related to the above. You literally get their feelings mixed in with your own. And of course dragons eat raw meat. So quite often eating rare herdbeast, for example, is a safe way to help ease that within yourself."

Kamari grins. "That does make sense.." she says and thinks. "Changing veins, what is Weyrlinghood like as far as the training? Do you get time alone to bond with your dragon, or is it all exercises all day long or?" Full of questions this one is!

"Well, that depends on your Weyrlingmasters. The current Co-Weyrlingmasters are both clutchmates of mine, so I'm not familiar with how they do things." Z'kiel explains. "That said, there's definitely periods of time for bonding with your dragon. Indeed, that is almost entirely the focus of Weyrlinghood at first."

"Good!" Kamari says with a chuckle. "I have to admit, the way some of the people were talking, I was having a hard time figuring out when we're supposed to bond.." she blushes again. "We, as in if we impress of course.." she adds hastily, then hmmms. "What was your favorite part about being a weyrling?" she asks curiously.

Z'kiel smiles wryly. "Well you have to remember, exercises and drills can be a bonding experience when done with your dragon. My favorite part? When Kunaseth was still small!" There's a self-indulgent chuckle then, and he shakes his head. "I don't actually know. I'd have to think about it a bit."

Kamari chuckles at that bit. "How fast do they grow? Do they grow proportionally, or does one leg get longer quicker or?" she blushes and explains, "Asymmetry is interesting to an author."

"It depends on the dragon." Z'kiel muses. "Mostly they grow proportionally, but sometimes they grow a little too fast…well, like people really, and get clumsy."

Kamari nods at the clumsy bit. "I had a spell when I was younger where I felt like one walking bruise, from all my falls.." she says with a grin, then hmms. "Did you ever have a bad experience in Weyrlinghood? I've heard of people getting injured before…?"

Z'kiel considers the question. "Well, nothing so bad that it sticks in my memory. But there were plenty of bits that were hard, and of course you end up aching and with bruises. But nothing terrible, no."

Kamari smiles and nods. "That's a relief…" she says with a bit of a grin. "I think those were the biggest questions that I had…" she says with a smile. "Do you have any advice for new weyrlings?"

"Do what you're told." Z'kiel replies with a smile. "It doesn't matter who you are before Impression, or what you think you know…nothing can prepare you for what's to come, and it's a formative time for both you and your lifemate. Concentrate on learning, and doing what you're told. Understand why, by all means, but do it."

Kamari smiles at the rider. "Thank you for your time!" she says with a grin and stands, grabbing a roll on her way out of the caverns, with lots to think about.

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