Hybrid Weyrlinghood

Welcome to being a Weyrling!

To accelerate, or not to accelerate? The eternal weyrling question. Accelerated weyrlinghood makes it harder for weyrlings to interact with the rest of their Weyr, because time is running much faster for them than for the other residents. Extended weyrlinghood makes it harder for weyrlings to get out and interact with the rest of Pern, because they can't between.

So we looked at this, considered it from both sides, and said…

Why not both?

…we could make things hard both w- wait, no. Wrong both!

With hybrid weyrlinghood, we split it into two halves as with traditional weyrlinghood, and then we make it harder better faster stronger.

Junior Weyrlinghood is twelve weeks long, and by the end of it, you can between, have your own weyr, and are free of weyrling restrictions. IC time is slightly accelerated from the rest of the game, but it is significantly closer to the game's 4:1 speed, which will give you more time to explore, bond, and get to know your dragon and your fellow weyrlings both.

After your Junior Weyrlinghood, you get Senior Weyrlinghood! At this point, you can decide you're done with it and just go off to join a wing - but if you're enjoying growing and interacting with your classmates and dragon, you can stick around and have some extra time to decide while spending time practicing your skills and exploring different wings. ICly, you'd need approval to leave weyrlinghood and join a wing, and those who stay are more likely to get better postings… but, as always, we can talk and figure out what works!

Basic Outline

The focus on the first five months should be spent on your dragon being an adorable baby and the two of you learning about your new connection. You'll learn how to care for your quickly-growing dragon and focus on or block out your mindlink. By the sixth month, your dragon will be strong and swift enough to learn how to hunt prey on the ground.

In the next three months, your relationship with your dragon moves from caretaking to partnership. They learn to fly while you learn skills like diplomacy and self defense, and then you take to the skies together and learn together how to fly in formation and do sweeps.

The last two months extend your reach from your home weyr to the world beyond and teach you about the responsibilities of adulthood. You learn how to travel between, and about how mating flights affect dragons. At the end of the twelfth month, you and your dragon have received the full basic training for weyrlings.

Some pairs, at this point, are eager to join a wing. They can put in for a transfer, and it'll be processed just like any other request. Others are uncertain where they want to go, or feel there's still more to learn. For them, there's Senior Weyrling!

Senior Weyrlinghood focuses on each wing in turn, letting the weyrlings explore their options and gain additional training before they make a final decision.

The first month is spent on Comet. Weyrlings learn how to pack goods securely and practice with all sorts of between destinations. Even if you don't stay, it's great for having a long list of potential vacation spots for your free days!

The second month is spent on Asteroid. For those with a craft already, it's a chance to try out how it fits with your new lifemate. For those without, it's a chance to visit crafthalls and find out what interests you and what it might be like trying to learn those skills while already having a dragon.

The third month is for Galaxy. Weyrlings learn more about sweeps and rescue operations and get skills they may hope never to get the chance to use for real - but hey, if the situation comes up, better to know than not, right?

The fourth month of senior weyrlinghood is for Quasar. The policy and diplomacy wing is considered by many to be the most boring part. In theory it's about power, in practice it's a lot more about paperwork, and one of the first things those senior weyrlings learn is how to go over transfer forms for those of their former classmates who decided to skip out before the dull.

At least if you make it through, there's a graduation to celebrate! …followed by the need to pick a wing for real and settle down into life as a full rider.

Junior Weyrling Schedule

RL Week One

Congratulations on impressing!

This month, you're caring for your dragon and learning about your mindlink. Your dragon will not be allowed to leave the area of the barracks and training grounds for the first few weeks (until mid-week, OOC), and neither will you when your dragon is awake. The babies need you, and being without you will upset them. Meals and supplies will be delivered to the training grounds; only Pulsar wing and those approved by the WLM are allowed in the barracks - again, to avoid disturbing the young dragons. Strong emotions (fear, lust, anger, etc) are likely to upset your dragon, and should be avoided, as should alcohol. These are IC rules, and may be broken for IC consequence.

Scene Suggestions

Cutting meat and feeding your dragon.
Bathing and oiling your dragon.
Quick visits places while your dragon is asleep.
Meeting friends who want to see your dragon in the training grounds.
Being woken up by your dragon.
Trying to get your dragon to fall asleep at night.
Walking around the weyr with your dragon.
Dealing with your dragon falling asleep in an awkward place.
Comparing your dragon and those of other weyrlings.

RL Week Two

This month, you're continuing to care for your dragon while focusing on developing the mental bond between the two of you and starting your physical training. For the dragons, this begins as play; for you, there's laps to run and heavy things to lift. The young dragons develop their personalities further, and may be very inquisitive or argumentative. The terrible twos are real!

Scene Suggestions

Anything you didn't get to from the first month.
Trying to talk to your dragon silently, and miscommunications from that.
Asking your dragon to relay a message, and miscommunications from that.
Arguing with your dragon about something.
Jogging laps or lifting firestone sacks for physical training.
Your dragons playing tag or wrestling.

RL Week Three

Your dragons are growing and - in addition to mental stimulus - are likely in need of more strenuous physical work. This will serve to get - and keep - them in shape for things to come, as well as to tucker them out a little quicker. They will be encouraged to stretch everything - from wings to toe beans - and then assigned increasingly rigorous exercizes to prepare you for next week's obstacle course work. Human halves will be assigned light coursework to begin expanding understanding of their world and its working parts.

Scene Suggestions

Anything you didn't get to from month two.
Early week: daily stretches, walks, and wing flares become mandatory.
Late week: dragons should practice running to the end of the weyrling yard/beach and back to build leg muscles, and should practice extending, contracting, and fanning wings for similar purposes.
Sore muscles or minor injuries in you or your dragon.
Studies begin: Rider Etiquette & Pern Politics 101
Discuss learnings with your dragon & how it might (or might not) apply to them.

RL Week Four

Your dragons are becoming more independent, and their training is getting more serious. Feeding and oiling them are now familiar parts of life, and you're continuing to build and refine your mental link. It's now probably okay if you have a small amount of alcohol or get over-emotional about something, but your dragon is still likely to be jealous of your attention and may get upset and need you to drop whatever else to take care of them. The dragons will join you in running laps, and both of you will do obstacle courses and agility challenges. You'll also study dragon anatomy and the basics of first aid for your lifemate.

Scene Suggestions

Anything you didn't get to from month three.
Doing scene visualization and sharing with dragons.
Practicing for and doing an obstacle course.
Going out for drinks to celebrate the fact that you can.
Reading about dragons.
Reading to your dragon about some area of interest.
Your dragon trying to sneak off on their own.

RL Week Five

This month is one where it may seem your dragon is starting to really grow up. Dragonhealers will be giving in-depth physicals, clearing your lifemates for the more physically intensive (and potentially dangerous) training to come - or else figuring out what help they need to get there! There are ground hunting lessons, where your dragons learn how to feed themselves instead of relying on you. Your dragons are growing fast, and you can start to see their adult personalities and body shapes… though they're still definitely young, and there will be times when they demonstrate just how far they still are from actually being mature.

Scene Suggestions

Anything you didn't get from month four.
Your dragon's physical exam, or talking about the results of it.
Eating - or playing with, or being shocked at the idea of - an already-dead animal.
Early week: watching adult dragons hunt in preparation for the lesson, and practicing with dummies afterwards.
Late week: unmounted hunts will be conducted in the safety of the feeding pens.
Doing things your dragon is okay with now that they're weren't before. (Or still isn't! Every dragon's different…)
Talking about how your dragons have grown so far.

RL Week Six

This month is about introducing your dragons - and you - to part of what makes them dragons and not just carnivorous psychic horses. (Which, okay, would be pretty badass on its own.) You'll be introducing them to firestone, along with the history lessons about how it was used in the past and lectures about the rather reduced set of uses it has now. You'll be studying other history and theory as well, your dragons now mature enough - at least, in theory - to let you sit through more rigorous lessons without constant interruptions.

Scene Suggestions

Firestone chewing and flame belching! Dummies will be provided - please don't set the weyr on fire!
Gliding - or as some like to call it, falling with style! Dragons will leap into the air and coast to the ground.
History classes - a 101 level look at the history of Pern's weyrs, halls, and holds.

RL Week Seven

Your dragons are now mature enough to be ridden - at first with supervision, and then on their own as the week progresses. You'll be fitting them for weyrling riding straps, and once those are in place, you'll get to ride your dragon! It's only on the ground, for now - but it'll let both of you get familiar with the experience as they walk and run with you on their backs. You will be encouraged to ride together as often as possible in order for you both to adapt.

Scene Suggestions

Creating basic straps - and maintaining them!
Early week: mounted walks the yard and beach areas under supervision.
Late week: mounted walks everywhere you go.
Aches and pains - riding a dragon is no easier than riding a horse, it uses a lot of muscles you didn't know you had!
Advancement of coursework.
Continued gliding and wing-strengthening exercises.

RL Week Eight

Your dragons are now mature enough to spread their wings and take to the air - though in very short flights under supervision, at least at first! This will not be a pretty process; dragonhealer visits and lectures will be regular, and will break up the tedium of learning the details of Pernese politics and map-reading. Weyrlings will also begin to practice unmounted formations, and will need to get used to working together as a team, rather than a cluster of competing individuals.

Scene Suggestions

Strap maintenance - this should be regular and ongoing so you don't hurt your dragon or - worse - fall off!
Learning formation theory - how they work, standard formations, and why they're still in use.
Unmounted formations - formal weyrling excursions will now require you to travel in your pack. Leaders will rotate for the sake of practice and equality.
Dragonhealer lectures on advanced anatomy and basic wound treatment.
Unmounted flight with weyrlingmaster oversight.

RL Week Nine

Your dragons continue to grow and practice the skills they've learned. Their flying will improve from clumsy wingbeat jumps until they're capable of hunting from the air - or at least, to where the weyrling staff are willing to let them try it! They'll be working muscles until they're sore - it'll be up to you to make sure they're not over-working to injury - and growing stronger because of it. As your dragons get better at flying, aerial formations will become a must. You will also begin assisting the weyr during downtime. Make us proud!

Scene Suggestions

Early week: air hunting (feeding pens) and practice of aerial formations. Will be under supervision.
Late week: group excursions into the nearby wilds for hunting. Aerial formations are a requirement outside weyr airspace.
Weyrling chores: weyr guarding, night watch patrols, reading, writing, and executing paperwork, and reception of visitors and dignitaries.

RL Week Ten

This is it - this is when you get to put it all together and actually fly with your dragon! You'll be starting with short flights, but by the end of the week, you'll be capable of flying overland to nearby holds - though you're still not permitted out of the Weyr without competent wingrider supervision. Still, with the wind in your face and your dragonmate under you, it's a taste of freedom that you may have been sorely missing! With that capability to enter the wider world once more come lessons to make sure you can take care of yourself - you'll be studying the fundamentals of self defense, as well as basic disaster preparedness and first aid for both yourself and your dragon.

Scene Suggestions

Early week: mounted flight, keeping your seat when you're in the air, practice of mounted formations in the immediate weyr region.
Late week: expeditions into Xanadu's flight region, learning the basics of visualization theory, studying Xanadu from the sky to develop your own visual images of home.
Self defense lessons - basics for beginners, advanced courses for those with more practice.

RL Week Eleven

Are you going crazy stuck in the barracks with the rest of your clutchmates? Well, good news - you're about to move out! After a last bonding sesh, you'll start to get assignments to individual weyrs, and the ability to set them up to your personal liking - though you may still be getting visits from those meddlesome weyrling staff to make sure you're not living in squalor or subsisting on poptarts. Still, what you do in your weyr is your business, and there's at least no more restrictions about what sexiness may ensue. (Your dragon may or may not have their own opinions.) You'll also be getting freedom of another sort, as you and your dragon learn how to between. Of course, the restriction about competent supervision remains in effect - but now you've got the opportunity to take yourself across all of Pern… or at least, the parts of it you can image!

Scene Suggestions

Early week: a final camping expedition using a between location provided by weyrlingstaff. Spend several days hunting for yourselves (or pack some cupcakes, we're not your mom) and otherwise enjoying a last bit of bonding with your clutchmates.
Late week: between lessons and, on the last day, assignment of private weyrs.
Visiting with current riders and their dragons to learn of heretofore unknown and exciting visuals to learn to between to.

RL Week Twelve

This month is all about the supervised practice. You'll be flying and betweening, in formal lessons and outside of them, until the weyrling staff are confident (enough) that you won't be entombing yourself in rock or crashing into the ocean. It's like you're real dragonriders, with real dragons - though there's one more piece you need to know about your lifemates. They're definitely not babies anymore - they're adolescents, and that means you need to know about that mating urge. They may have already begun to notice flights - or not - but you'll be getting a lesson in just what flights mean and what to do about them. It will not adequately prepare you, but the weyrling staff has to at least try.

Scene Suggestions

Early week: flying, betweening, drilling formations and their maintenance until they are second nature, drilling etiquette and lessons until they are second nature, too.
Late week: mating flight lectures, the awkward encouragement to learn the human body (or don't!), final exams, and a couple of days off as a gift from the weyr to you to be spent as you wish - the real work is about to begin!

Graduate from Junior Weyrling to Senior Weyrling

After all that, you're ready. You know enough to be a halfway-competent dragonrider - at least, if you've passed all your tests - and you get to graduate. You'll be released from the close supervision, granted actual privacy in your homes, and permitted to travel without a chaperone. No more the trials and travails of being a Junior Weyrling! Now… you're a Senior Weyrling.

At this point - or at any time during Senior Weyrlinghood - it's also possible for you to leave weyrlinghood entirely and join a wing. It's likely to be discouraged fairly strongly by the weyrling staff; just because you know the basics doesn't mean you don't have a whole lot more to learn… but it's possible. You'll need approval from the Wingleader of the wing you want to join, and you can expect to be paired with an experienced rider in that wing for on-the-job training.

Either way, you're no longer under restrictions - at least, not besides the usual requirements of a rider to behave themselves and show up for work, but you're never getting free of those - and while your dragons aren't quite done growing, they too are considered capable enough to be treated as (young, inexperienced) adults.

Senior Weyrling Month-by-Month Schedule

Senior Weyrlinghood is structured as a walk through each of Xanadu's wings, focused on the core skills of that wing as well as interaction with the members of it. Since you're going to end up in one of them - probably, anyhow - this lets you learn the full scope of what it is a dragonrider could do and make a good decision about where you'd like to focus… as well as giving those in charge of those wings a better sense of whether or not they're willing to have you!

RL Week Thirteen

The first wing to get the focus is Comet - the transport and delivery wing. You'll be working with experienced Comet riders as well as weyrling staff, in pairs and small groups. The lessons will lean toward the practical - or, to put it another way, doing actual work - as you learn new between destinations and practice them… as well as how to load and unload various burdens from your dragon, how to help passengers mount and dismount, and just what to do when you show up in a snow-covered hold with nobody to meet you. It's a great time to visit new places, meet new people, and find new hot springs to relax your muscles after lifting all those heavy things.

RL Week Fourteen

Next up is Asteroid - the crafter wing. This is the wing for those riders who focus on their craft skills even after impressing. Various craft-riders will take the weyrlings through a day in their life and explain what it's like to combine their duties to Weyr and Hall. For weyrlings with a craft, it's an opportunity to learn about one of their options, and the weyrlingstaff will surely do their best to make sure there's at least someone whose experience is relevant to each of those new riders. Even if it's not personally relevant, there's value in learning about how various kinds of crafts interact with weyr-life at Xanadu.

RL Week Fifteen

After that, it's time to train with Galaxy! And we do mean train - the Search and Rescue wing is arguably the most physically intense, and you'll do exercises with the riders as well as learn more about how to observe and record during sweeps, discovery and extraction techniques for disasters of various sorts, first aid, predicting the weather… and so on. Expect a few staged 'disasters' to practice on - and if you're (un)lucky, maybe you'll even get to help out on a real one!

RL Week Sixteen

All those wings, all that Xanadu, and who is it that keeps them all coordinated and working together? That's right, it's time to study with Quasar and learn about the dark and terrible arts of Weyr Administration. Expect paperwork. Expect meetings. Expect to find out just what it is that the Weyrleadership does, how the command structure really works, and just how it is that they balance all the contradictory desires and demands of all those other wings - and the rest of the people of the Weyr.

Graduate from Senior Weyrling

That's it! You've completed the full course of studies. Now, you get to graduate and pick a wing… or else have one picked for you. Those riders who don't express a preference are likely to be placed into Asteroid - if they have a craft skill - or Comet… though if you'd like to be in a specific wing that your character wouldn't request, just let us know! And of course, it's always possible for riders to transfer between wings… but now, it's time for you and your dragonmate to spread yours and fly out into the wide, wide world of Pern!

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