Weyrlinghood: Week Six

Main Tasks Of The Week:

Tasks Carried On From Previous Weeks:


This is a completely optional subject for the weyrling riders. They can choose to learn this or not since it is no longer needed in today's Pern. The weyrlingmaster staff will be delighted to show any interested weyrling pairs how to flame if they so wish it. Gold pairs are the only exception - they will not learn since they cannot have their dragon chew firestone.

Firestone Chewing - Weyrling riders will get the opportunity to get their dragons to chew firestone. However, this means, that weyrling riders will be bagging replacement firestone for whatever they use, since stock of firestone these days are not what they used to be. Weyrling riders will be told the importance of having their dragons chew the rock slowly, so as not to bite their tongue. Any experienced dragon will be on hand to guide the younger dragons through the process of keeping the rock in their second stomache. Once the amount of rock is successfully broken down, the weyrling dragons will likely feel the urge to belch, which is in fact the gas building up from chewing the rock. The weyrling riders must encourage their dragons to move into an open area and or the target practice area as quickly as possible if not already there.

Grounded Target Practice - Dragons will simply chew stone on a field and after they've prepared it, the dragons will take aim at targets set up on a clear section of land, likely outside of the Weyr with bails of straw acting as the targets. Riders will have to work with their dragons to aim at the targets they are supposed to get, since the targets will be flagged with a colour matching one of the tags in which a weyrling rider picks out of a hat. Basically it will be made into a game that will introduce weyrling dragons to producing flame and controlling it.

Aerial Target Practice - Once a weyrling dragon has proven that they can strike targets on the ground, the weyrling pair will be allowed to try hitting targets from the air. This either means that one of the weyrlingmaster staff will be dropping targets or that the weyrling pair will be required to strike ground targets from within the air. Essentially it becomes about coordination and control.

Traditional Aerial Thread-Char Games - To keep the spirit of their history alive, weyrling riders will be offered a chance to play some games that in the past helped riders prepare for the ominous presence of Thread. Now just a distant memory of the old, a tale passed on through the ages, Thread no longer threatens Pern. In the place of Thread, white strings will be thrown out of baskets from experienced riders, while weyrling riders have to go through the motions of feeding their dragons firestone and attacking the painted strings. The games will be split up into individual trials, pair trials, and a wing trial where the whole group will participate together. For fun and for sport, there's not always a reward for winning, but it can be assumed the weyrlingstaff will come up with something.


Basic Lessons - Dancing is an important part of Pern's society. Therefore, in attempts to prepare dragonriders for social outtings and formal functions, weyrling riders will be taught the basics which will introduce them to a variety of common dances. Being labelled a rider of Half Moon Bay, weyrling riders must at least perform well during these lessons before they are allowed to take on a wing rider knot in the following months to come. Only the basic level of dancing is required of weyrling riders. Weyr Harpers are often used to teach, if not, then a harper is hired for the task.

Advanced Dance Lessons - For those more astute to the world of music and the flurry of dancing, advanced lessons are offered. The teaching harper will be the one to decide if weyrling riders are capable of taking these more advanced lessons. However, if a weyrling rider does take them, by the end of the lessons they will be able to impress the best.


Traditional Drum Code - Since Pern has long since moved on from using drum beats as a way of communication, the weyrling riders will typically only learn in theory of how they worked and try their hand at a simple beat on a small drum in which would be brought in from the demonstration. It's a fun lesson to those who would be interested in learning a piece of history, despite of which, all weyrling riders will have to perform the beat for 'SOS' before they can leave the class. In case of emergency situations, banging out this beat will attract attention and potentially lead to rescue if someone couldn't communicate via any other means.

Modern Day Phones - Obviously, dragons are the first line of communication for dragon riders. However, should for whatever reason, a dragon fail at passing a message or under the circumstances not able to, the use of phones comes in handy for corresponding drills, missions, etc. A good opportunity to use a phone over a dragon would be in situations where dragonriders are in direct communication with ground crews from Holds or Halls. Nevertheless, the use of the phone devices will be taught to the weyrling riders as a fail safe and a practical procedure in contacting a person somewhere else on Pern.

Modern Day Computers - Now with the advancement of technology, weyrling riders will be introduced to computers despite if they have used them in the past. All that is required of the weyrlings is that they learn basic skills of using a computer, from how to turn one on to how to get applications open. It's a very minimalist course, only available to introduce a rider to technology. Otherwise, it is up to the rider to continue developing skills in this department.

Flight Lecture

The Female Lifemate Side of Flights - Typically a rider of a green or gold lifemate will come in and share what precisely happens to the riders of these dragons during flights. There are many stories that can be shared to weyrling riders to open their eyes about flights. The basics of what they will be told is generally how a dragon goes through stages of proddiness, to how they blood (which was taught earlier in weyrlinghood), to how to control one's lifemate, to the final selection and the physical connection riders may have with the winning suitor's rider. There will also be in depth explanation of how to go about finding a stand-in, in case a rider of a female dragon would rather not rely on their life mate's random selection. Individual talks can be arranged with a green or gold rider if needed.

The Male Lifemate Side of Flights - Typically a rider of a blue, brown, or bronze will come in and share their experiences during flights where their life mates chase. It can be a frustrating experience for riders of male dragons 90% of the time due to the fact that there is likely to be only one female dragon proddy at the same time. The weyrling riders will be told how they can deal with the outcome of losing and winning a flight, and how to deal with the physical end of it if they are not prepared for it. Individual talks can be arranged with any rider of a blue/brown/bronze if so needed.

Private Weyrs

Moving Out Of The Barracks - By this point, the dragons are far too big to live in the barracks any more. It will take weyrling pairs a couple days to get settled into new accommodations. The weyrlingmasters will decide who is to move first, depending on not the size of a weyrling's dragon, but on how well the weyrling rider has done throughout weyrlinghood. It is a little bonus that the best of the class are the first to move out. Weyrlings will usually move out on seperate days, so there's only one or two moving out on the same day.

Current Available Weyr Locations - Currently, the population of the Weyr is low enough that there still remains available Weyrs in all areas of the bowl - from the east, west, and central locations, and from all altitudes. It's generally up to the rider to put in a bid for an empty Weyr and at this time they're likely to get what they desire, if not, their second choice.

Physical Strength Training

Flying - Weyrlings riders should encourage their dragons to fly daily, though the dragons most likely will do so now without the encouragement.

Wing Flares - As a good pre-flight stretch, a weyrling rider must have their dragon do a series of wing flares to prep the wing joints before flight.

Stretching - Both rider and dragon need to stretch. Weyrling riders have to make sure at the beginning and end of the day, that they are doing stretches. The current physical requirements will test the body, so it is required that each rider stretches.

Jogging/Running - If there is time during the day, weyrling riders are encouraged to go running or jogging together in groups. Also, this exercise prepares the lungs for the months ahead.

Arm Strength Training - The traditional way to strengthen one's arms is firestone sacking, which is, filling a bag full of firestone. In the case that Weyrs now treat firestone as rare, due to the lack of thread, rocks can be used in the stead of firestone. Other techniques of arm strength training is encouraged. Heavy objects can be used as dumb-bells. One's dragon can now be used to practice pull ups and chin-ups.

Dragon Care

Feeding - Dragons hunt for themselves now. Yet, it is still assumed the rider will always make sure the dragon is not over eating.

Oiling - Weyrling riders must keep up with oiling.

Defecation - Once dragons can go between, riders no longer have to worry about their lifemate's defecation. It will be a glorious day that the weyrling rider no longer has to follow his/her dragon around with a shovel and a pail.

Sleeping - Sleeping is not necessarily an issue anymore. Dragons will find an appropriate time to sleep, usually at night when their rider does. They sleep as long as they need to. Weyrlings don't have to worry about this task anymore, since their lifemate is mature enough to manage on their own.

Strap Making

Maintenance - General maintenance is required of all equipment. Straps will have to be re-made constantly depending on the growth rate of one's dragon. Straps will also be checked for safety before and after mounted drills.

History and Current Events

Stay Involved - Weyrling riders are expected to stay involved in current news, while studying or learning about history. It is a task that is to fill one's spare time though current news and or events will be important to the daily life of any dragonrider and therefore the weyrling riders will be tested.

Aerial Formations

Group Work - For those who have achieved this stage of progress during weyrlinghood, it is important for them to learn to organize themselves into a functional group. Aerial formations with fellow weyrling pairs are strongly recommended. Working in a Weyr requires team work, therefore this task emphasises it and the fact that weyrlings are now capable of leading themselves. A ranked member of the Islet wing is no longer required. Weyrling riders can establish who is to lead these aerial formations between themselves.

Extended Flights

Endurance - Riders should continue to participate in extended flights to strengthen their lifemates wings and increase the aerial stamina that a dragon has. It is beneficial for the pairs that they extend their flights further out, especially while learning land marks and locations - for endurance is something that a dragon gains by physically flying. It is important for them if they want to win mating flights.

Going Between

Jumps - Once a weyrling dragon has proven themselves at going Between, they will be encouraged to do it as often as they can without wearing themselves out or their dragon. Usually a rider will become aware of his or her own fatigue during these drills and limit the jumps per day to what they can physically and mentally handle. As long as the weyrling riders inform the Weyrling staff of where they are going, weyrling riders are allowed to do these jumps on their own or in groups.

Visiting Pern

Experience Life - Weyrling riders at this point are nearing the end of their training, therefore it is encouraged that they spend their free time exploring Pern and experiencing life as it were. Weyrling riders only have minimal duties now, which will change in a couple sevendays once they are tapped into a wing. It's possibly the one reward that they receive before they are charged with Weyr wing duties. It's a moment for the weyrling riders to relax and have fun. Most if not all weyrling riders at this point are allowed to drink, due to the fact that they are likely going to be involved in mating flights (especially if visiting other Weyrs, since it's common for one or two greens to be proddy at a time). Common sense would tell most riders the limits and prevent them from flying after drinking. Also, since the older weyrlings now all have their own private weyrs, sexual relations are no longer prohibited (yet they remain so within the barracks - always).

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