The dragons have grown considerably, and while a few might have been able to sneak into the inner weyr caverns in the months after hatching, they’ll now be too big to do much more than try to stick their heads in, something that is both highly discouraged and apt to get you extra chores. You will need to work on controlling such impulses as your dragon for such activities can be harmful, and first and foremost, even if they don’t appreciate the fact, your job as a rider is to keep them safe as well as happy and healthy. Their growth does have its benefits and they no longer need food brought to the barracks and you no longer pamper them at all in their meal preparations. It’s time for them to be hunting on their own and the feeding grounds is plenty big for them to both get exercise, work on their coordination and hunting skills from the ground.
When you’re not observing their bathing / oiling their growing lengths of hide, or getting them to hunt from the ground in the feeding pens, or continuing the various exercises, you’ll have your own lessons to consider. Mental strength remains as important as the physical and so you’ll set to understanding the broad history of Pern, of memorizing the names of all the Weyrleaders, Lord and Lady Holders, and Craftmasters, of interpreting, using and understanding maps, as well as a little basic first aid for humans, wing formations and weather issues. Not that the physical will be ignored, no you’ll have plenty of ‘fun’ and ‘games’ in a few rounds of sack toss … who knows it may even be filled with actual firestone. Once the entire class is riding on the ground we will also be beginning ground drills on the various formations you’ve covered earlier in the classroom.
Your Life This Week (Briefly)
What's happening with your dragon this week:
Lots of itchy skin, oil everywhere – which will be becoming more and more of a task, given that rapidly expanding hide! Your dragons won't be flying yet, but they'll be starting to stretch out their wings when they're outside, perhaps wave them around gently. It's up to you to make sure they don't do anything to overstrain themselves, as this could result in a weakness that will last throughout their lives.
You'll be making riding straps: You'll be making your first set of straps. They won't be fancy, since your dragon will outgrow them soon enough, but this is a skill each dragonrider needs to master for themselves, as repairs will be ongoing for the rest of your riding lives.
Education, education, education: Lots of it. For those of you who might ICly be a little weak in the reading or writing departments, remedial lessons will be beginning. The Xanadu Weyrling staff is rather into the development of the person as a whole, rather than just a dragonrider, and believes that education is important in representing your weyr properly. Further, weyrlings will be learning all about the politics of Pern. Major imports and exports of each area, names of Lords, Ladies, Weyrleaders, Weyrwomen, histories of the Holds, the works.
Fitness: Things have been easy so far, but this week the fitness regime starts properly! Weyrlings will be doing runs each morning, obstacle courses twice a week, and if your character is unfit, they can expect to be doing extra workouts.
Hunting: Your lifemates are finally starting to be large enough to take down a full animal without too much fear of injury. While the initial attempts will take place with a small group of animals specially selected for their small size, with practice your lifemates will soon be hunting like a regular dragon - thank goodness for not having to chop anymore meat!
Formations: Formations will be practiced both on on foot with your fellow weyrlings, and once your straps are completed and you have some practice being astride your lifemate, upon dragonback - though still firmly on the ground. Formations are a good way to bond with your fellow wingmembers as well as to build concentration.
- - There will be tests taking place for all your politics lessons, and this will probably cause a pretty similar situation to that you've experienced at school – a whole stack of weyrlings cramming material for their quiz, then forgetting it straight after. You might want to RP suffering over your books, quizzing each other or taking breaks from study.
- Making riding straps is long and time consuming. Wielding those enormous needles and huge lengths of leather is going to be hard work, so your characters will be spending plenty of time doing that. Making them will involve lots of fittings and require cooperation from your lifemates.
- The dragons will now be at the stage where a little more outside interaction is possible for you people – they're no longer going to want you to come back outside and be with them every ten seconds, and their emotions won't be as overwhelming. They're still babies, but now might be a good time for characters to sit back, relax a little (in between studying!) and perhaps talk with some riders about what being life might be like after graduation.
- Washing is now a far more comprehensive task, and your dragon'll need a scrub on a very regular basis. You can now go and wash your dragons unsupervised.
- The straps probably have suggested to you that you're going to be mounted up soon. At the rate your dragons are growing, the very thought of climbing up on their backs might be a bit overwhelming. There's fun RP to be had from sneaking off and learning to mount your dragon when nobody's looking.
- Hunting! Feel free to play the various aspects - fear of attempting it the first time, or perhaps being a bit too overzealous in a hunting attempt.