Thunderbird, much like Haast and Phoenix, is a Wing comprised of two divisions: Search and Rescue and Policing. It has one Wingleader to oversee all Wing duties, drills and training, but two Wingseconds who overlook and “run” the two divisions. Drills are conducted as a whole, as often this Wing responds as a whole unit to a vast array of situations. It is a very strenuous and physical Wing to be a part of and often times difficult on many levels.

Search and Rescue is responsible for searching for missing persons and conduct regular sweeps of Fort’s coverage area in rotating shifts. They also deal with all manners of rescue work, from avalanches, blizzards, severe storms and firefighting. There are also the rare calls for sea rescue from the holds closer to the coast, such as Fort Sea Hold.

Policing is responsible for investigating crimes, searching for accused and/or escaped persons and the security of the Weyr. They are heavily coordinated with the Guard contingent housed in the Weyr and are often trained with the Guards so that both riders and Guards are comfortable with working in close proximity.

All Wingriders of Thunderbird Wing are trained and expected to continue to attend regular weapons and self defence training. While all riders have a general understanding, because of the potentially hazardous nature of this Wing, they need to remain fit and trained.

Name Origin: Named for the legendary Thunderbird that came on lightning wings through hell and high water, swiftly and decisively, the emergency response wing combines S&R with policing. Formerly this wing was two separate wings, Emerald and Ruby Wings.

Wing Badge: Fort Weyr's diamond-shaped badge is a black fort on a brown background, with a lightning fork symbol set just above the battlements of the fort.

Function

Because Thunderbird is largely and primarily considered an emergency response Wing, it is the first to respond with aid to those in distress be it natural and/or man-made calamity or to the purpose of Guard work. Disaster relief and public service are what these Wingriders specialize in, be they part of the S&R division or Policing division.

S&R duties can vary and while major emergencies certainly don’t happen everyday, most Wingriders are constantly kept busy with further training and drills. This is not a Wing that ever sits idle and it takes a certain Wingrider pair to be tapped into it. They can do anything from finding lost people and rescuing them, to larger scale emergencies such as fire fighting, unearthing victims of landslides, mudslides or avalanche, sea or water rescue, evacuation and high altitude/mountain rescue. Holder, Crafter or Weyr resident or rider, it does not matter who is in distress or of what rank (or lack thereof), a Thunderbird Wingrider must act.
Policing focuses more on keeping the peace within the Weyr and, to a lesser degree, outside of it. All Wingriders are constantly reminded that the Weyr cannot get too involved in Holder affairs or the Halls and that if mediating disputes cannot be resolved by basic means, they are to be turned over to the appropriate ranking individuals of whomever the accused or aggressors belong to. Holdless or Renegades on Weyr territory fall under Weyr jurisdiction. Traders can be Weyr or Hold specific.

This division of the Wing has a strong Guard-Rider component, with Wingriders who were either Guards before Impression, or have skills that best suit this line of work. This Wing provides security for the Weyr and its Holds and cotholds, including but not limited to helping the Harpers during high profile trials, transport of prisoners and basic security during events.

Training

“The Wing that never sleeps” is often a title pinned to any Thunderbird Wingrider — and it holds some truth. Emergencies hold no schedule and so Wingriders, be they S&R or Policing orientated, are always on rotating shifts of drills and training. Never idle, most Wingriders in this Wing don’t expect to see many rest days though a few are scheduled when needed (such as after a large scale emergency).

Drills and exercises are composed of ground-types and aerial-types, as well as air-to-ground (and vice versa). These are practiced and conducted under various weather conditions, be it mild or severe and at all hours of the day, no matter what time of the season. Other lessons include diplomacy and etiquette, with a particular focus on high stress management techniques to better help one handle the unruly or panic stricken.

Policing Wingriders often have drills and training that goes hand in hand with the Guards. Usually with the Guard Captain or one of his officers present, Wingriders and Guards will practice certain team orientated drills and exercises to familiarize both to each other. Guards will learn how to correctly mount up and dismount a dragon and it is not unusual for “teams” to form, though generally it’s not encouraged (it’s never known for certain who may be available when an alarm sounds).

Wingriders in both S&R and Policing are taught to respond in different ways to various emergency situations, including self-defense and knife-fighting with the Guards. While not expected to be pursued further by S&R orientated Wingriders, those who choose to be in the Policing division are often heavily trained and more or less specialize in a type of weapon. It must be stressed that regardless of a Policing Wingrider’s training or any Wingrider’s training, no dragonrider fights for the pure sake of fighting. Even in high tension situations or all out conflict (such as the confrontations between Laric and his holdless men), Wingriders fight defensively, leaving most of the front-line fighting to the Guards if at all possible. Their purpose is always to attempt to defuse the situation WITHOUT bloodshed. Fighting is the utmost and (often grieved and undesirable) last resort, even in duelling.

Every effort is taken to prepare Thunderbird Wingriders to maintain control under extreme duress and often under the worst possible circumstances. The ability to operate on one’s own, as well as cooperate with every other rider in the Wing are essential and an enormous amount of time and energy is spent running single and collaborative team drills, making sure each individual is capable of such flexibility.

Daily Routines

Thunderbird’s Wingleader generally holds a meeting with their Wingseconds at dawn and again at nightfall, depending on shift rotation. The Wingleader will also meet with the Weyrleader or Weysecond, depending on time and availability. Most Wingriders will be called in for debriefing meetings held by the Wingseconds, usually to set up sweep patterns among the S&R and Policing divisions. Wingriders who are not actively out on sweeps or answering an emergency are either put on stand-by or sent to drill and/or train. If no Wingsecond is available to oversee training, they will often select a mature, experienced Wingrider to ‘lead’ a drill. This is very much a team orientated Wing and all must do their part.

Injuries

Thunderbird Wing is a high risk Wing and injuries to both dragon and humans are common. Some of these injuries are but are not limited to:

  • broken bones
  • burns
  • lacerations
  • wrenched and sprained muscles
  • torn ligaments
  • talon loss and wing strain
  • assault and battery to riders
  • bruises, cuts and scrapes
  • stabbing/fight-related injuries
  • specific emergency related injuries (i.e. drowning, hypothermia, smoke inhalation, various traumas)
  • mental stress (rider)

RP Tips

  • Search and rescue. Large plots need to be cleared with Staff first, but small things can be RP'd whenever you’d like
  • Police work, such as transporting prisoners, investigating small crimes, or running sweeps
  • Drills. Lots and lots of drills.
  • Weapons practice/sparring
  • Keep in mind that any major injuries or deaths MUST be cleared with Staff

NPC Roster

Below is a list of NPC dragonriders tied to Thunderbird Wing that can be used for RP purposes by any player or can be requested as puppets by any available Staff member. Pages can be created for these NPCs, to help keep details straight and for log purposes for references! *s indicate riders that are also in Kimmila’s cothold wing rotation.

Name Position Divison Dragon Name Position Divison Dragon
As’trix Wingrider Policing Blue Obelizkth Antyna Wingrider S&R Blue Ropienenth
B’nar Wingrider Policing Bronze Daimaokupath B’an Wingrider S&R Blue Sirrobith
C’or Wingrider Policing Green Aravith Chi Wingrider S&R Green Ojoazuth
F’rari Wingrider Policing Green Kedizeth *Kara Wingrider S&R Green Zratavath
L’da Wingrider Policing Blue Enoth K’rius Wingrider S&R Brown Kilaneth
*Lin Wingrider Policing Green Vyovioth *N’an Wingrider S&R Blue Zleeth
*M’ao Wingrider Policing Bronze Zohenth Nishka Wingrider S&R Brown Azath
R’oh Wingrider Policing Blue Venohenth S’ki Wingrider S&R Blue Jadzeth