Weyrlinghood: Week Three

Main Tasks Of The Week:

Tasks Carried On From Previous Weeks:

Unmanned Flight

Take Offs and Touch Downs - Riders of weyrling dragons must enforce repetitions of takes offs and touch downs. It is required that a dragon graduate from this step before moving into further unmanned flight. The simple way for a dragon to take off is to lope as they flap and after they get into the air, they are expected to immediately descend and land. To graduate a dragon must do these repetitions at least five times each without sustaining injury or strain before they can move on. If a dragon gets a wing strain, joint strain, or injury, they will be called down and held back for a day or two until the injury heals. Safety is first and is key. If a dragon is reckless, it is likely that they will continue to be held back until the rider gains control. See authority challenges for more information.

Two Minute Flights- Once a dragon has successfully completed take-offs and touch-downs, they will be moving onto what is called a two-minute flight. In this stage, the dragon will take off and flight for approximately two minutes and climb to an altitude just below the rim of the bowl. Gliding and wing beats are encouraged. Then the dragon must be called down to land and rest. This step is repeated as much as ten times a day, or until the dragon comes under strain.

Extended Air Time- After a dragon has shown that they are capable of flying without strain during the above two minute flights, they are allowed to extend the time that they are in the air. Usually this means that they can climb to an altitude above the Weyr bowl. Riders have to ensure their dragons /remain/ within Half Moon Bay’s immediate air space. How long a dragon stays within flight depends on the weyrling rider and dragon. It is up to the rider to make sure their dragon doesn’t get strained. If a dragon encounters strain during an extended flight, the rider and dragon will be grounded. No ifs ands and butts. It is up to the rider to be responsible for their life mate.

Dragon's Hunt

Ground Hunting - Now that a weyrling rider's dragon can fly, it means that the dragons are capable of feeding themselves. Luckily for the riders, it means they no longer have to cut up meat for their dragon. However, the first hunt is advisable from the ground. Until a dragon gets used to killing a beast from the ground, it is suggested they do not fly. Ground hunting is necessary for the dragons to learn angles of approach, stealth, and to learn which areas of the beast are vital to make a kill and take them down safely.

Aerial Hunting - Once a dragon can take down a beast from the ground, the element of air can be added to the hunt. A young dragon may have more difficulty catching on their first attempt or they may injure themselves. Riders must be in attendance on the first aerial hunt to help their dragon walk away from the experience without injury. Riders are to encourage their dragons to hunt for their meals and at the same time riders must keep control over their lifemate to prevent over eating.

Blooding - As the dragons learn to hunt, weyrling riders will be coached on the difference between a dragon blooding vs consuming the meat. Blooding is an experience where the dragon kills but consumes only the blood of the animal. It takes a lot of patience and practice to get a dragon to figure out how to blood, but once they do, they'll be ready for the future when Flights are a topic. At this stage of the game, riders will practice encouraging their dragons to blood a kill. It will likely be a battle of wills, since the weyrlingmaster staff will encourage their riders to do this at a time when their lifemates are hungry.

Dragon Healing

Basics - Dragon Healing is a craft all on it's own. However, as a rider, the basics are taught in case of emergency when there is no Dragon Healer to attend. Wing mending is not something practiced at all unless one was a Dragon Healer. The only thing covered in basics is how to clog incor, how to keep broken bones still, and how to keep control of an injured dragon. The weyrlings will be shown the procedure of how to care for one's dragon until a Dragon Healer can arrive.

Dragon Healing Classes - Although a weyrling may be too busy to concentrate on anything other than the lessons learned within weyrlinghood, it is now an option to those who are going to be serious students of the craft to start participating in a dragon healing apprenticeship. It is up to the weyrling rider to request permission to attend classes, from both the weyrlingmaster staff and the current Dragon Healer.

Authority Challenges

Of Control - This isn't so much as a task as it is a test of will and strength of bond. From this point on if the weyrling rider does not have control of their lifemate, the outcome for them surviving isn't favourable. Much depends on the rider assuming control over their dragon at this stage, since it is key that they keep their dragon from injury despite some dragon's reckless desire to carry on when they physically shouldn't. Other times it is simply important to keep control, for instance, later on in weyrlinghood it is key for *betweening* that the rider have control of their destination, for any interruptions such as the dragon disagreeing or not waiting for the authority to proceed may put the rider in extreme danger. It is therefore the task of the rider to make sure their dragon isn't acting as the leader but instead as the partner. The first test will be the unmanned two minute flights where the riders will have to call the dragons down. Should a rider fail at this, it is to be assumed that they will be held back until they can gain the restraint on their lifemate they will need to have to become a successful dragon rider.

Of Leadership - Depending on the dragon, sometimes it is key that the rider push their dragon or assume a position of leadership, otherwise the dragon will not listen/be to afraid/ignore the rider completely. Dragons are of their own minds after all, so riders are encouraged to practice drills of leadership, such as setting their dragon to a task of moving a rock. Any minimal task can be made into a game of leadership, so the rider can ensure that he or she is in fact the rider of the relationship.

Physical Strength Training

Walking - Weyrlings riders should encourage their dragons to walk with them aboard. Look above in mounted exercises for more information. Otherwise, weyrling riders should continue to ensure their lifemate gets the proper exercise daily.

Wing Flares - It is now more vital than ever before to make sure a dragon is doing their wing flares and flaps. In the following sevendays, a dragon will be required to fly. It is therefore encouraged that the rider, while mounted, now gets their dragon to flap and flare their wings.

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 physical requirements of the upcoming sevendays 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 - Weyrling riders will continue to cut meat, though larger pieces do make it easier. They are expected to clean up after themsevles as per usual and ensure their dragon is not eating too much or too little.

Oiling - Weyrling riders must keep up with oiling.

Defecation - Weyrling riders continue to clean up after their dragon, no matter where the dragon is at the time of defecation.

Sleeping - Most dragons by this stage have become accustomed to sleeping patterns and the weyrling rider may or may not sleep when their dragon does. Weyrling riders have to ensure they get enough sleep to focus on the tasks ahead of them.

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.

Continue Reading: Week Four
Go Back: Week Two

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