Fort Weyr - Feeding Grounds
Milling herdbeasts dot this lightly grassy section of the southern end of the bowl. Fences keep them neatly secured on all sides, even extending into the lake, allowing the beasts ample drinking water without granting them an escape. Dragons young and old come here to hunt on a fairly regular basis, though not all come at once of course. From here you can easily make out the entirety of the Weyr's lake as it spreads out south and southwest to the tumbled rubble of the far shore, while the rest of the bowl lies beyond the fences to the southeast, east and northeast.

How fitting with spring now here that the Weyrlings finally begin to emerge from the training complex! The snow and ice is gone and though the weather is still cool, it makes for a bit more of a comfortable time outdoors. Training has intensified over the weeks and doubly so as the young dragons are now at a stage of growth that flight finally begins! M'icha and Am'ry have been gradually allowing each of the dragons take their first taste of flight. Nothing more than attempts of take off, a brief moment of gliding and then landing. Each day, the length of that glide increases until the Weyrlingmaster and his assistants agree that they've progressed enough to be permitted to do laps around the bowl. Their riders have to stay on the ground at this stage, but it is good practice for them as they have to control their lifemates from overexertion. There are, of course, set backs. Some push too hard. Some do not succeed as quickly as others.

Which is why today, M'icha is bringing one of the smallest of the group with him to the feeding grounds, while the remainder of the weyrlings do their usual activities out in the bowl — for now. The Weyrlingmaster has his reasoning for it and it's not meant in a negative way. "Over here," he'll call to his charge, motioning for the human half to come to his side while gesturing with his other hand to indicate the dragon half join Aycheth, where the blue patiently waits outside of the feeding pens.

B'yrl has been working hard to get his straps right, and he finally has that down. He goes not a day without practicing their other-sight. The last couple days B'yrl and Xia has swapped out their eye-cloth for half-days, one going blind for the time while the other acts as the eyes. It's been a bonding experience, as the other gets a deeper understanding of the perceptions and curiosities of each other. For this lesson though, B'yrl has the eye-cloths safely stored in a small pack he has at his side. Adorned no less with images of dragons and basic landscapes woven in with imagination and thread. B'ryl's way of passing his free time while Xia is sleeping. He hurries to M'icha's side, while Xia wanders over to Aycheth. « I get to fly today! » she projects to the other dragon. "A welcome afternoon, weyrlingmaster." B'yrl states respectfully. Another effect Xia has had on B'yrl lately. A more apparent effect. He's been moving away from the more flowery speach, and closer toward that which others can easily pick up. Though he doesn't lose the brush he paints his words with. He's just learning to voice a different painting.

« Yes, you do get to fly today but with more challenge. You will learn to hunt now, as any dragon should. » Aycheth informs Xianeth. « I will show you. » Soon. When the blue receives the orders from his rider. M'icha is grateful that B'yrl won't be using too colourful speech for today, as the Weyrlingmaster doesn't have all day to get him up to speed. He just nods stiffly for a return greeting before cutting right to the chase. "We're going to do something different today," he says gruffly. Clearly, as they're here by the feeding grounds and not out in the bowl with the rest. "Xianeth's going to learn to hunt. It's probably not going to go well — it rarely does the first time. You," Cue a pointed finger. "Are you keep her encouraged, even if she fails. And don't get squeamish either if she does snare something! Just be sure she kills it." And if she doesn't? M'icha just leaves that implication in the air before carrying on. "You keep her from doing anything foolish either. Understood? It's necessary they hunt. She'll need you here for awhile yet until she's mastered it. After that you won't have to be here unless you wish to be."

Xianeth flicks her tail with enthusiasm. « Hunting! I'll get do it right! » she projects with determination, flicking her wings out. She recieves a negative from B'yrl, and flops those oversized wings back down with a light huff. « I'll do it right later. » she appends. B'yrl however looks slightly confused, perhaps a mix of concern shows in his visage. "Does not her smaller form place a disadvantage to this endeavor?" At that question Xia pushes herself up to full height, trying to splay out her wings and tail to make herself look bigger. Her? Small? She's as big as any dragon! She glances toward the prey, and imagines them as the small ones. « Don't worry B'yrl, I'll get it! » she projects at her human and the other dragon, her thrust done 'loudly'. B'yrl gives a smile and a bit of a glance to Xia, then back to M'icha for confirmation in the positive or negative.

« You will do your best. That is all that matters, » Aycheth explains as he rustles his wings, keeping a careful eye on the small green. M'icha almost smiles for B'yrl's cleverness even if borne from concern. Now the weyrling is thinking the way that the Weyrlingmaster prefers! "It could. So we're going to be cautious about it. Right now, the herds in those pens aren't full grown beasts. I'd advise she try for the wherries but if she feel she must try for a herdbeast, there are yearlings and calves. Aycheth is going to demonstrate first and she is to follow after he has finished. It will take time, as I said. Don't let her rush and if she cannot kill on this attempt, Aycheth will bring her one." Just so the poor green doesn't go starving! On cue, Aycheth suddenly flares his wings. « Watch, young one, and learn! » Springing aloft, he will soar up high before levelling into a glide that sends him straight for the herds. Instantly they scatter but for naught. He bides his time until he finds a lagging beast and with a fold of his wings he drops. Wings flare again, his body twisting with talons extended and neatly does he snare his prey, killing swift and neatly. « Now you try! Go for something small. Nothing bigger than you! »

B'yrl gives an acknowledging nod to M'icha, then pauses as he confers with Xia. It only takes a moment, and he lets out a light breath. "The wherries are not what she'll go after." Xia is seen weaving back and forth in little steps, watching the prey intently. Though all that changes to a focus on Aycheth as he takes off. She watches the hunt, and checks her own talons to ensure she's doing it right. She spreads her wings, and takes off. She's wobbly for a moment, but those wings stabilize her quickly, and she flies over the herds, peering down at them. B'yrl closes his eyes, and sees what she does. He focuses on trying to get her to target the right one. Nothing too big.

Aycheth looks up from where he's dragged his kill off to the side. « Don't take too long to choose! The herds will be too worked up. » he warns the green. « Make your attempt. If you fail, then you try again. » There's also the chance she will tire too soon before she even takes her first few attempts. M'icha is silent, however, watching and observing both green dragon and weyrling.

« If I try enough times, I won't fail! » Xia responds. She and B'yrl find a good target, and she folds her wings, going into the death-dive. B'yrl places his hand over his face. "Don't wait too long for those wings.." he mutters. Xia spreads those wings at the last moment. Or perhaps a moment beyond. She nearly takes out a small bush with her tail, and zips straight at the target. Too low. Too low! She veers off to the right so she doesn't run straight into the target, only to nearly miss another one foolish enough to get confused and run toward her. She barely pulls up enough, and her tail flops against the head of the prey, causing it to zip off into a new direction. She gets back up for another attempt with heavy breaths. "That was too close.." B'yrl is saying softly. Xia is already looking slightly winded. Speed. Check. Maneuverability. Check. Endurance. Uncheck. Fortunately those wings of her's, as well as her small stature, makes it easier for her to simply stay aloft for the moment.

M'icha winces as Xianeth makes her first attempt and, predictably, fails at it. "Far too close," he grumbles from behind B'yrl and his sharp eyes miss nothing. "Is she tiring?" he asks him sharply. Don't lie! Aycheth is observing too though the blue seems to think differently than his rider in this instance. « Try again! See that yearling calf by the water? It has tired. You will not need to fly as fast to catch it. »

"She is tiring." comes the answer directly. "Already. Perhaps she's too small.." Xia glances quickly to B'yrl. Her size isn't an issue! It isn't! She gets the message from the blue and focuses on the calf, her renewed determination increasing her vigor. Or at least the adrenaline coursing through her viens at the moment causes the impression. She takes only half a moment to get an affirmative from B'yrl (and doesn't even wait for the completion of that), and down she goes. She swoops in a bit higher this time, but drops slightly due to her fatigue. But it's about the right height. Her wings keep's her flying height were it needs to be, and she zips past the prey. Talons out! She won't fail! Reaching for the prey. Won't fail! Grab! Won't.. fall? The sudden weight wasn't something she was very prepared for, and she nearly flips head-over-tail as she clings to the prey. Clings, not kills. She nearly does a headstand hovering for a brief moment (and an eternity to her) before the weight shifts back in her favor, her wings barely compensating, and her backend and fore-end both hit the ground nearly simultaniously. Right on top of the creature she caught. "Kill it Xia!" B'yrl mutters firmly. That gets her attention long enough to get refocused on her actual goal. She shifts to kill the animal, and it starts to pull away. There's a flury of fur and talons as both struggle for a moment with desperation, but in the end the prey lays still, and Xia lays exhausted, burning up her energy too fast. Inefficient kill? Apparently. Messy kill? Definitely.

Definitely messy but that's expected. M'icha breaths a sigh of relief, "Well now. Not the most graceful but a second attempt and success on that is not common. Praise her well, B'yrl and let her eat. When she's done, you will have to bring her back to the barracks. No flying," There's been enough of that for today and he can tell the little green won't be able to handle much more. The herds are now all gathering and cowering warily on the other side of the vast paddocks. Aycheth rumbles from his spot. « Well done! You will get better at it with time. » he assures little Xianeth. "Anything you want to ask, B'yrl?" the Weyrlingmaster will prompt. Last call for questions!

B'yrl breathes also a sigh and rubs at his temples. He listens to M'icha while he's being addressed, then smiles lightly. "Good job Xia!" Xia lets out a proud (and tired) rumble. « I .. did it! » B'yrl blinks a bit and places his hand over his stomach as Xia's hunger suddenly hits her realization like a ton of boulders. She's hungry! She doesn't bother standing, and digs into her meal. B'yrl glances back to M'icha. "Would she have missed the last attempt, she would have certainally faltered for this day. Perchance did I push her too hard?" Xia pays little heed to the question herself. Food's here. It must be eaten!

M'icha shakes his head, "No. I don't think you did. She's small, B'yrl. I won't lie to you. Smallest green I've ever seen and possibly smallest in Fort. It's going to take her twice as long to catch up. Don't let it upset you though. Dragons are tough. She'll adapt! Just because she is small does not make her unhealthy." he assures him. "For now though, let her rest back in the barracks. You'll get to your studies." While the other Weyrlings go about their chance at hunting. No awkwardness there, right?

B'yrl gives a light nod to M'icha. "As you say, Weyrlingmaster." He considers her flight. A standard hunt-dive it wasn't, but there was possiblity. "Perhaps were she is weak, she'll find strength in another area." Endurance is going to be the battle? The other aspects? There is promise, though it be liken to the rough slab of rock that needs to be chiseled into something beautiful. "Is there a potential on the wing for speed?" he inquires of the Weyrlingmaster.

Endurance will be the battle for some time. Eventually she'll gain it but just much slower than her siblings and never quite to the same levels. But then, greens aren't known for endurance. They have strengths elsewhere that their larger brethren have not. "Exactly. When she gains strength, she will be good at flight." His head tilts and he frowns at B'yrl. "What do you mean?" Sorry, that last question was lost.

B'yrl gives a slightly confused look, for a brief moment. It wasn't obvious. His focused thought is nudged slightly by his dragon. « Talking weird again. » she mentally mutters around her meal. And so B'yrl attempts the question a different way. "Is there.. an advantage.." He pauses to refine the question, then continues, "an advantage of activity over others? What would she be best at?" The last almost trips over his tongue, but it seems a better (or perhaps a more direct) way of approaching the concern.

Ahh! So now it clicks and M'icha chuckles dryly, "Why didn't you just say so? She's going to be fast. Greens, as you've learned, are known for their agility and speed. If she stays as small as she does, she'll have that in spades. Probably be able to fly circles around her fellow wingmates." He notes while glancing out over the feeding grounds to where Xianeth is still feeding. His brows knit for a moment and then he's regarding B'yrl with a lingering look. "Don't worry yourself over it." Simple as that!

B'yrl is uncertain as to the nature of the look. Is he being silently admonished? Still, the answer itself lightens his heart, and he smiles. "I shant, Weyrlingmaster. We thank you." He then hurries over to the pen to await the end of Xia's meal so he can lead her back to the barracks.

"Don't mention it." Why else is the Weyrlingmaster there? M'icha smirks as B'yrl takes off. He had meant that look to be one of caution. He's seen far too many Weyrlings fret there way right into failure because they worry themselves over nothing. "Don't linger too long!" he barks gruffly before taking his leave. He knows by now that the Weyrlings know better than to ignore his "advice". Aycheth has finished his meal but he does not head back. He's to wait where he was before outside the pens and where M'icha joins him. They'll wait on the others, when they're done with their warm ups.

B'yrl heeds M'icha's advice, and when Xia is finished with her meal, he leads her back to the barracks forthwith to tend to her personal needs (like a nice oil rubbing!) and his own studies.

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