Fort Weyr - Training Complex
The remnants of a historic collapse are apparent here, as the slope face of the bowl has a predominant downward curvature. It's likely long ago, that a cavern larger than any Fort currently has was where the training complex currently is. A probable cave in triggered a fissure on the bowl wall which lead to a great chunk of it dislodging, thus creating the rounded slope.
Yet, many centuries later, all that remains to give evidence is the pocket made into the bowl wall. It seems that the inhabitants of Fort Weyr have made best of the created space. Rock on the ground proper has long since cleared, but pebbles and loose shale are constantly underfoot. Still, the sprig of some green leafed vegetation isn't too out of the ordinary in these parts, as long as it doesn't get trampled by the comings and goings.
It's clear that this area has been designated for the training of young minds, whether human or dragon. Surrounded by rock on all side, it's like a personal weyr bowl for the youngsters to minimize distraction and danger. The candidate barracks have been built across from the Weyrling barracks, so that one group can educate the next. Finally, placed in the centre of the two entrances of the opposing barracks, near the rock face, is a statue with a memorial plaque.

While it's no longer well below freezing, Fort is still well into the winter months and despite this, certain routines must carry on. Especially for training! Snow or freezing cold won't keep the Weyrlingmaster and his Assistants from turfing the Weyrlings from the warmth of the barracks. At least this time M'icha let them enjoy some breakfast (for those lucky enough to get to the caverns and back in time — others might have to eat on the go!) before rounding everyone up through Aycheth. « All of you to the training fields! Dress warmly and bring your straps! You are to line up and have the straps set and buckled for examination. » Crisp orders from the blue and he'll be watching to be sure they're followed. The Weyrlings have already had weeks to practice making their straps, as M'icha has put them through their paces even with that and by now most can probably build a set with their eyes closed (or so he says, anyways). Today he's going to be inspecting their work and depending on who is cleared and who is not, the Weyrlings will be split into groups… no pressure, right?

It's totally his guard training that gives A'ster the advantage, here: he's used to eating on the go, and has managed to cram the majority of his breakfast into a burrito-like construct, which he's still working on eating his way through as they line up. Akleteyth's straps are on the solidly dependable end of weyrling-made, because even without M'icha putting them through their paces, 'kle has been putting A'ster through his. (He still probably couldn't sew a robe; straps, though, he can do. Now). Akleteyth is hard-pressed to inspect his straps himself, though that doesn't stop him from trying to shove his blunt muzzle into his rider's business (and, more importantly, in the way). "No, look, stop, 's not like you can see that far 'round yourself anyway," A'ster says around a mouthful of eggs, some meat thing, and fingerroot hash, "how am I supposed to make sure this is tight if you keep twisting around like that? Look," he glances around at the other assembled weyrlings, manages another bite (but swallows this time) before totally emotionally manipulating his lifemate into behaving with a, "you need to set a good example, right?" that gets Akleteyth to stop hands-on supervising. A'ster, therefore, is free to one-hand check the straps, tightening here and adjusting there, while he eats.

Xianeth wanders out into the frigid weather, icy air attempting to place icecicles on her nose. She flops a wingtip over the lower part of her face to give it a quick warm-up. Following beside her is B'yrl, wrapped up in his warmest winter attire. A wrap filled with various breakfast foods is getting stuffed in his mouth with a hand (messily), and a neat strip of cloth with a sewn figure of, what appears rather to be like, Xia off-center, is wrapped around his head, keeping his eyes hidden. Due to certain issues with the 'seeing through others eyes' exercise, he and Xia have been practicing daily to perfect it, blindfolding both on, then the other, for different daily tasks. Apparently it's the human's turn to play the blind. In the other hand he holds a small bucket of meats, from which Xia snags a bite from time to time. The straps are fairly proper, but unlike many of his affects by now, it contains no sewn figures (yet). A testiment to B'yrl's focus on function rather then asthetics for strap training.

Aycheth shows more interest in Akelteyth's hands-on supervising as the brown is manipulated by his weyrling. There is a low rumble spared but it's difficult to tell if the blue is amused or annoyed. M'icha on the other hand, is making his rounds and clearly in a surly mood this morning as he ousts one Weyrling almost immediately. "Told you before those wouldn't work, Ig'an and until you get that head of yours pulled out of your—" Yeah, one can guess what was said, despite the Weyrlingmasters words dipping to a growled mutter as he finishes his inspection of Jivahath's straps. "Out. Both of you! You're staying back with Am'ry for refreshers. Don't you sass me, kid!" Seriously, don't. M'icha isn't one to cross! Glaring at the back of the retreating blue pair, he turns then to see B'yrl and Xianeth approaching. He sighs, "B'yrl — points on ya for practicing but you can ditch the blindfold and it's well past feeding time. She should be full by now, or have you forgot your lessons on overfeeding? Put that meat back inside and get into line." he chides while gesturing for him to hurry up. On to his next victim! Which is (not so) lucky A'ster. "Well. At least one of you can follow simple orders." M'icha grumbles. "You've done your stretches?" He means for both and he'll go right on ahead with his inspection. By now it's just generally known that the Weyrlingmaster will get right into their dragon's personal space and on occasion touch.

"Don't you even eye that, you already had yours twice," A'ster is stern, okay, that is totally stern and not mildly queasy face as he considers his dragon's contemplation of elevensies. (Everyone knows about second breakfast, by now.) "Sir, yes sir," he answers M'icha, a chipmunk-cheeked grin around his current bite of burrito ruining the precision of the moment. "He's still indisputably sanguine about whether or not he'll actually make it into the air, but that doesn't mean that we could actively consider not doing them." They're both good at simple orders, clearly. Akleteyth is perfectly happy to have his space gotten all up into, and to let M'icha move him (well, most likely his wings) around as he inspects not just their gear, but the pair of them together. A'ster, at least, manages to eat without getting food on himself, and looks relatively smart in his weyrling uniform as he presents himself for inspection.

Xianeth is about to take yet another bite when M'icha says something about overeating. Her? Overeat? Never! She looks for the bucket, only to find it now on the far side of B'yrl, hiding from her. B'yrl removes his blindfold. "Appologies Weyrlingmaster. I shall retire the blindfold posthaste." He turns, and with bucket, rushes back into the barracks. Xia huffs lightly, then spots Akleteyth and his straps. « Why do humans like the cold so much? » she asks the other weyrling's dragon, shifting from one foot to the other in a little dance that, on another warmer day, may be have been considered one of merriment. As it is, « It's cold! I want to fly! » Yes, the contradiction comes across quite clear. And deliberate. B'yrl returns but a moment later, getting back in line alongside Xia for proper inspection.

M'icha mutters under his breath to himself while A'ster prattles on, most of his attention on the brown than the Weyrling. He'll pretend he doesn't notice that he's still scarfing down food himself as well. Those wings of Akleteyth's are given the usual cursory inspection and though the Weyrlingmaster frowns (when isn't he?), there isn't the dreaded "bad news" speech hidden in his voice. "All seems in order. Yer not flying anyways yet. Not for another month." Okay, now there's a hidden IF and MAYBE to that but who knows if he means it just to the dragon's readiness or the rider or both. "Straps look good and he looks… fit." Ahem. "Should be fine for the exercise we're about to do. Now… while I go check on the others, you're to mount up." Seems simple, doesn't it? "And wait on my orders." He's got another inspection to do! « You will not be flying yet. I'd not recommend trying. » Aycheth's voice speaks not only to Xianeth but to the others as well. « Some have before. The consequences are not pretty. » They've been warned! M'icha huffs as he approaches B'yrl, "You shouldn't let her eat so much, unless she is genuinely hungry." he chides again, though the Weyrlingmaster is beginning to wonder given Xianeth's tiny stature. Moving on, he'll begin his inspection, starting with the straps and then to her wings, muttering to himself under his breath as he had done with A'ster.

That's generally the best approach to A'ster, unless he's actively doing something he's really good at: only pay attention to half of what he's saying, carry on. "He looks," he says on a half-sigh, "yeah, fit. Fit's good." The junior brownrider manages to finish the last of his breakfast burrito thing without incident, while Akleteyth tells Xianeth, « A'ster says this is normal, » although his tone is faintly skeptical. What isn't skeptical is his, « We're fine here, good on the ground, » returned to Aycheth. WILL THEY FLY (he doesn't care). While this conversation goes on, A'ster — now with both hands free — haul-climbs his way up onto his lifemate's back, and grunts as he does his best to find a comfortable position. (Akleteyth: not built for the comfort of his passengers.)

Xianeth gives an exasperated blast of air out of her nose at the mention she shouldn't fly, but at the strong hint that it may not go very well, she decides not to persue such. She shifts her wings and wiggles a bit as M'icha looks her over, getting within B'yrl distance at times. Her human is the only one she doesn't mind breaking personal space like this. 'Let's show him how well we did the straps, and how ready you are in them.' comes a private message from B'yrl's thoughts. She glances at him, then sits up straight, giving ease (or perhaps less difficulty) to the inspection, her pride reining her fidgiting in. "Her size is in conflict with her proclaimed appetite." B'yrl says to M'icha, though an answer strictly wasn't asked for. "Perhaps her perceieved hunger is of want rather then need." he muses. "I shall trim the excess from her feeding." This gets a movement of Xia's head toward B'yrl (at just the wrong time to whack M'icha with her muzzle). And is that a slight pout, or something of annoyance? One is hard pressed to tell.

Lucy's made it to the training grounds in time, but just barely. Her one weaverly talent comes in handy this time of year; hands and neck are cozily adorned with intricately patterned fingerless gloves and scarf, and the bright tops of warm socks peek out the top of her boots. Fetching up by the others, the greenrider clutches a biscuit in one hand while throwing the straps over Hallenayth's broad shoulders, shoving the last crumbly bite of her breakfast-to-go in her mouth before doing up the buckles. Between the green's obsession with correctness and lots of practice on Lucy's part, the (current) final product is awfully plain but functional. While Lucy bustles, lost in the daze of the non-morning person, the green issues a subdued greeting to her clutchmates.

"Keep her still!" M'icha can be heard growling in complain when Xianeth shifts and Turns of being a Weyrlingmaster have left him with some reflexes left. So he won't get brained by the tiny green's muzzle on this day, though he'll put his hand up regardless to ward it off. "And watch it. Y'won't be getting out of this by knocking me senseless." Has someone tried before? Who knows. "We'll keep an eye on it. For now, minimize the snacking. She's good to go though 'n so are your straps. You can mount up and join A'ster and Akleteyth." Busy as he is, he won't linger, leaving B'yrl to figure out how to mount up on his own. "On second thought " Uh oh. " A'ster, B'yrl, practice mount and dismount while we wait." And don't stop until Simon Says. "Now let's see how you fare," M'icha drawls as he finally makes his way to Lucy. To other Weyrlings along the way get the cut and are sent back to the same fate as Ig'an. It won't take him long and barring any sudden movements or attempts to knock him over, the Weyrlingmaster will give Lucy the same green-light. "Straps are good and she's good. So you can join the others. Mount up!" And down again and pardon M'icha while he takes his sweet, sweet time to walk far enough out to face them (yes, he's watching!) all while uncapping a hidden flask from within his thick jacket and taking a quick swig.

A'ster maybe, totally, definitely groans a little bit at the change in plans, but if anything Akleteyth seems more pleased. Rather than continuing to get comfortable, A'ster and his cold hands (in gloves, now, but still cold) dismount. There's a little more of a scramble in the down than there is in the up, but that's mostly due to Akleteyth's unusual conformation and the temperature than it is lack of skill on A'ster's part. "Hey, Luce," he offers mid-scramble as she's waved on to join them, but whether it's his guard-given ability to put his head down and get to the grunt work or Akleteyth's insistence, he doesn't actually stop to say it.

Xianeth gives a visible (but quite momentary) wince (or dragon equivalent) at the prospect of constant on-off-on-again. Perhaps though it won't be so bad. She watches the others, and B'yrl does the same for a moment, then he carefully scrambles up to her back. Nope, it's worse. Small dragon! Though she does her best to hold still for the mounting. She can be every bit as good as the others! She does manage to send a hearty « Morning! » to the other green, before the weight upon her back is suddenly, and loudly, lightened. Loud for the flop B'yrl makes as his leg catches the strap the wrong way, on the wrong way down. B'yrl, meet ground. For a brief second there's a feeling of deja vu, as if fate were playing back an embarrasement of the past. B'yrl pushes himself up, offers Lucy a warm welcome of a smile, brushes off his clothing properly, and does the sequence over again (this next time replacing a rather ungraceful dismount with a better one.) He finds it a curiosity that it seems a bit more difficult to get a proper seating before realizing the other dragons have scales that can be shifted on and against to hold a bit better. « You said this was normal! » Xia tells Akleteyth. « Normal is lumpy and weird! » "I am not lumpy." B'yrl mutters. And yet, upon touching ground yet again, he sees to straightening out anything that might lump.

Hallenayth would never, though she does arch her neck with pride when the weyrlingmaster lets them continue. « Aren't you glad I had you resew the seams last night? » the green can be overheard, and Lucy's expression is a distinct 'nope'. The slim girl scrambles up Hallenayth's patient neck with all the ladylike grace of a drunken wherry. Mid-heave she wheezes what might be a friendly "Hi Al," to A'ster before getting one leg firmly over the green's shoulders and hauling herself upright. Hally then lumbers towards Akleteyth and Xianeth, extending her blocky muzzle in greeting. Watching B'ryls dismount, there's an artful pause while Lucy tries to calculate if she can get away with not doing one of her own.

One by one, the Weyrlings are observed while M'icha tucks that flask away and pretends it never existed in the first place. "You can stop, A'ster, on your last mount up." he calls out gruffly and a few minutes pass before he gives the same order to Lucy. "Well done. Both of you, buckle in and have your lifemates walk out to the bowl. You're to do a lap around. At a lively walk and nothing more." Or less. He'll make sure to give them the LOOK too. No shenanigans! Never mind that someone made sure the drudges left all the cleared snow from the middle of the bowl to the sides where the Weyrlings should go to stay out of other people's way… M'icha never said the course would be flat and easy. "B'yrl…" He saw all that floundering! "Do her straps not sit correctly?" There should be no lumps! He frowns, eyeing Xianeth's smooth hide and the straps again before staring down at the green weyrling. Well?

"You hear that? Lively." A'ster could be talking to Akleteyth. A'ster could be talking to Lucy. A'ster isn't being really clear in a directional sort of sense. (He's also wincing sympathetically for B'yrl's difficulties.) He manages the final upward haul-climb and straps himself in place before leaning down to thump and encouraging fist on Akleteyth's shoulder, signaling the brown that he should go. Which he, you know, totally does. His gait's better than most, but a ground-bound dragon still isn't the most comfortable method of convenace, and there's definitely some grimacing from A'ster's direction as they thump their way into that first lap.

B'yrl goes immediately to checking over the straps (after finishing his current dismount. This time with more landing and less flopping). "It was of the best belief that their adjustment was true, Weyrlingmaster." he tells M'icha. He attempts to test the straps, and to his rather visible dismay, they slip a little. "Perchance my understanding of scaleless strappings is less then satisfactory." he states, resigning himself to his own claim. Both he and Xia were hoping to have this completed today. Xia looks back at B'yrl and head-bumps his side lightly.

Lucy buckles up before M'icha changes his mind and crinkles her nose a little at A'ster's comment, a tacit agreement whether it was directed at her or not. She clutches her straps as Hallenayth lollops complacently after her brother, keeping up easily like a little tank engine. « This is inefficient, » the green comments as she comes up to the first pile of snow chunks in her path and scrambles over. Her rider might emit a strangled squeak at the jostling but would never, ever admit to it.

It's true! Dragons are not meant for walking on the ground, no matter how well built. There will be some sore Weyrlings tomorrow. Not that M'icha will hold an ounce of sympathy for them. Aycheth will lumber out to keep an eye on those who get to move ahead into the bowl while the Weyrlingmaster remains with B'yrl and Xianeth. "Don't know if that's the only cause." he mutters while reaching out to examine the straps again. He'll give a good tug, simulating weight and when they shift, he clicks his tongue. "Either you make it so they can buckle tighter or you adjust the thickness of the padding layers. I'd say try adding another notch to the leather and see if a bit of tightening won't do the trick. Go on," B'yrl should know which tools to use and where to find them in the barracks. If he's smart and quick about it, he'll be able to finish the other portion of the lesson.

"Over the snow, over the snnnnn- augh," comes from A'ster, heard but less easily seen as instead of scaling a particularly loose-packed hillock of snow, Akleteyth opts for just plowing on through it. "Fffff- augh." From his thrashing when they're seen above the rise again, there is now snow not only on the rider, but down in his clothes.

B'yrl says not a word, but only nods to M'icha before rushing into the barracks. A few moments later has him showing up again. He attempts to find a better position for the next hole, and once done (here's hoping), he takes the hole punch and adds another to the strap. He adjusts the straps and attempts to get back on. This time without slippage. Xia holds herself proudly (despite gravity being her mortal enemy at the moment. Added mass just doesn't sit well with the longer dragon at her current size). B'yrl shifts a bit on her back. The first couple of shifts with slight nervousness, the next without. He gains a satisfying grin, and carefully dismounts. Less slip of the straps means less slip of his balance, and upon the ground he alights correctly. "It is as you said, weyrlingmaster."

Hallenayth fits nicely through the Akleteyth-hole in the snowbank ahead, but Lucy lets go of the straps long enough to wrap her scarf more tightly around her neck as a precaution. "Think warm thoughts," she calls ahead to A'ster. "Maybe like hot toddies." That's almost certainly not going to help at all, and duther suggestions devolve into a wheeze as Hallenayth's scramble over another large hummock knocks the wind out of her a bit. Maybe it's karma.

M'icha has been waiting while B'yrl corrects his straps, keeping tabs on the others through Aycheth. Akleteyth's ploughing through some of the snow was noted and that might be why the Weyrlingmaster starts to snicker and then covers it as a cough. No one saw that! Could be some of his amusement is for Lucy's possible run in with karma too. « If you are not tired, you may continue. » Aycheth informs the two of them. « But do not push yourselves. »// As for Xianeth's fate, M'icha isn't taking any chances. He'll check those straps again despite B'yrl's success before he finally gives the go-ahead. "Go on. Mount up and join the others out in the bowl."

B'yrl awaits M'icha's final inspections, then mounts Xia once again. Xia heads out, certain that she's going to have a sore belly from rubbing it into the snow with the extra weight. But she finds it's easier then she thought. Her long, smaller frame makes less crashing through the snow and more weaving over mounds of powdered cold. Her spirits are elated as she discovers this new talent in giving B'yrl a ride, and zips across the snow (though not so fast it'll cause M'icha to bark at her). With the other two dragons plowing through the white, she doesn't take long to pass them. //« Let's play race later! » she invites both dragons.

"It's not the cold, it's the wet," A'ster laments as the snow melts and starts seeping down his shirt, inside his jacket. Then he's not saying anything, because a harder-packed hill has him gritting his teeth on the climb up and yelping on the way down. Apparently, steep downward angles and Akleteyth's neckridges leave little room for either dignity or (dragon-) Jesus.

Hallenayth tanks through another drift, then waits for Xia to catch up (not that she needs it). « You would win, » she states to her sister without a trace of rancor, then galumphs over a smooth patch until she loses her footing and sort of skids a few feet, long broad wings aflap and wuffing with dismay. "Whoa, Hally, whoa," Lucy shouts, clinging to the straps until the green regains her footing. The weyrling rider scrabbles at a few icy chunks that are threatening to journey down into her own clothing. "Bloody…"

Generally if there is a wipeout or two (or a dozen), M'icha calls that a GOOD lesson. It means he's done right by not making it easy for them and so long as it'll be more the human counterparts who deal with the aches and pains come morning. He'll stand by the mouth of the training complex, watching as they make their first trips around. "Told you not to get too lively!" he calls out to Lucy and ending with a warning look to both A'ster and B'yrl. Not that he steps in to do anything. Nope. He'll just watch and observe from the sidelines until the last of them tires and then bring them back in. Dragons will get to rest. Weyrlings? Nope. There's more to do in a day, including studying and there's many, many old dusty hides and scrolls for them to pour over while they thaw out later. All about formations and Faranth knows what else. Yawn?

By the time they stop, there's a definite path plowed through a number of snowbank-hills; Akleteyth's sisters adore him. Akleteyth's rider, less of a fan. "I wish you were crap at straps," he tells Lucy as they're finally released, and the dragons themselves given leave to frolick (or stolidly observe the frolicking while attempts are made to cajole him into joining, in a certain someone's case) while their riders trudge back inside for clean, dry clothes. "Then I could offer non-shit straps skills in exchange for knitwear, because someone insists that through is just as good if not better than over." He includes B'yrl in this with some am-I-right-or-am-I-right eyebrows as they go.

Lucy is in better shape than A'ster, but is certainly not unscathed by the snowplowing and more than grateful for the indoors and dry clothing. Hallenayth is left to 'frolic', such as she does, with her siblings. Lucy rubs her hands vigorously along her arms to restore the circulation. "Sorry to disappoint, but Hally refuses to let me be crap at anything." Much as she would like to be. "I don't know though, I could probably whip you something up so long as you don't want anything fancy." A wee smirk. "Or pink."

"I have absolutely no idea what that's like," A'ster deadpans, because Akleteyth and Hallenayth are of similar, stubborn minds about things like that. "I don't care about complicated!" he affirms, "…or pink, that's low, I totally deserved that. I just," he gestures, then actually unfastens and takes off his jacket so he can demonstrate, "if this is going to be his thing, I don't want to end up wet along with cold." The collar and cuffs and more than a little ways down the back of his shirt are demonstratably damp (and rapidly cooling, if his hissed intake of breath once the air hits him is any indication). "Seriously."

"It's been so long since the Hatching, I would hate for anyone to forget," Lucy explains her pink remark ever so sweetly while unwinding her scarf and peeling out of her own jacket. There's a genuinely sympathetic "Yeeeeeah," at the revelation of the state of A'ster's clothing. "I can you make some things with thick yarn, that's easy and won't take long. Then…let's say there's something in the future that I am crap at, you can owe me one. You're going to catch a cold if you're not careful." She wrinkles the bridge of her nose and adds, "I sound like my mother."

"With you here to remind them, there's no way anyone is going to forget," A'ster answers back while making a totally super-mature face; he ruins the effort by grinning, and making short work of getting out of his shirt, too. "You're on, though, because this is apparently just going to keep happening, and a high collar," he mimes turning one up so it protects his neck, which is just as ridiculous as it seems given that he's a) shirtless and b) just built enough that he flexes when he gestures, "can only go so far." He sniffs experimentally, but all is still clear on the nasal passages front, so he shrugs and grins and ducks into Akleteyth's couch to find a dry shirt. "Worse things you could sound like! I think, maybe. I've never met your mother, but you also sounded a bit like mine."

Lucy just jumps straight to the grinning, completely unapologetic. "I guess we all have our roles in this class. You know, I bet M'icha ran us through all that snow on purpose." She taps a fingertip against her chin speculatively and watches A'ster pop his imaginary collar. "What color? I can get just about anything from the Hall. Or I could surprise you." She's totally not checking him out a little, honest. "Everyone's mother sounds the same. I wonder if that's even true? The catching cold thing." Despite the dampness of her own shirt, hypocrite that she is, she is not taking it off in front of everyone.

There may be more to this log! If someone has it, please feel free to edit!

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