Strap-Making Introduction

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.


Mid-afternoon brings a hazy sort of humid summery weather with it. The Weyr moves at a sluggish pace, the skies bright and blue but there are storm clouds gathering in the distance. Whether or not they'll come by evening remains to be seen but for now, activities are minimal in such heat. The dragons seem to love the sun and heat and for that reason M'icha allows the young weyrlings to bask outside. That isn't the only reason why the Weyrlingmaster has permitted it either, as there's always a double edge to the man's thinking. Right now he's busy fussing over some containers and an old set of straps, his limp not so pronounced today but he's grumbly all the same. "…they should be 'bout done feedin' and oiling… Just a matter of getting 'em to settle. Shouldn't be too hard in this heat…" He says this to his "aide" for the day, wiping the back of his hand over his brow and peering at the little shadowed corner where the weyrlings are to assemble. They'd been given the heads up, once the morning exercises were done and they'd been shooed back into the barracks to feed their lifemates. Now M'icha waits, while Aycheth semi-dozes in the sun.

Kimmila is said "aide", as she moves around to assist the Weyrlingmaster and waits for the Weyrlings to emerge. "This should be fun though. I know they're excited to move on to the next stage of their training."

Br'enn is pretty well exhausted, mainly because Tovihasuth well and truly wore himself out after the morning's exercises. The little bronze is settled alright, fed and oiled and pretty much ready to conk out, so the hunter-Weyrling is working hard to extricate his mind from that sleepy haze as he heads outside. He also more or less legs it to where they're supposed to assemble, not in any particular hurry to get in any further trouble from M'icha so soon. Well, it feels like it would be soon, anyway. Br'enn falls into place, snapping off a salute to the Weyrlingmaster and Kimmila and standing at the ready, waiting for the start of the lesson - and blinking profusely every now and again as he keeps working at not letting Tov's sleepiness affect him too much.

One dragon certainly is. Zeruth, who's found himself a rock near the edge of the bowl to climb up on. His wings are spread to their full extent and he's busy flexing the 'fingers' with his eyes watching them. S'ai is down at the bottom of the rock, eyes half rolled up. "… I appreciate the analysis, buddy, but you got awhile to be worrying about getting off the ground. Ah, come on. Duty calls." Zeruth, instead of climbing down though, jumps. With his wings spread, he likely has the concept he'll glide. Aaand.. slightly does, but mostly drops like a rock with a thump and a squall of frustration. "…shards and shells, Zer! Stop that! You're going to hurt yourself. Come on. You got all your life to fly." He gives the young bronze a quick check over before thumping his shoulder and the two head for the Weyrlingmaster.

Jaicoureth is also napping, which is good because if he wasn't there would be no way to get a lesson in, probably. C'rus, falls in beside B'renn and salutes the pair as well. A new lesson! There is a certain excitment in the air as he waits to see what is planned for this afternoon.

"Fun? Woman, it's strap makin'…" M'icha all but growls at Kimmila, but his prickly nature is just all a front. By now the two likely have some form of an understanding and the Weyrlingmaster can get away with being a bit abrasive to the Wingrider — when there's no "ears" around to hear him. "Excited is right!" M'icha exclaims next, just before he barks irritably at S'ai and Zeruth. "I SAW that! What've we been sayin' about doing stunts like that, eh? Get over here already 'fore I knock some sense into that thick head of yours…" Grumble, mutter, growl. He'll point too where he wants the weyrlings — the human halves, anyways — to come and sit in the shade. There's a snapped salute to Br'enn and C'rus and he nods. Good. "Pick a spot and we'll get started. Try to pay attention, alright?" Maybe that's another lesson in the lesson: how to ignore the sleep-influence! "Kimmila, you wanna inform 'em what they're in for?"

Kimmila just smiles at M'icha, not minding his gruff nature at all. She's used to it. Wincing when Zaruth takes that glide/fall, she lets M'icha yell at them with a smirk, before returning the salutes. "Today, Weyrlings, you're going to take your first steps into straps and leatherworking. We've got leather here, a full set of straps, schematics, instructions, tools, everything you need to start getting familiar with those things that will keep you from falling off your dragon. They're important."

S'ai reaches over to give a light punch to his bronze's shoulder, who promptly whacks him upside the head with the edge of his wing. « I would be better if we would just get on with it already. » Zeruth snorts impatiently, which S'ai interrupts with, "…I'm a dragon, I belong in the air… I get it, I wanna fly too. You know why we can't." He says in a gentler tone before falling quiet as the two take their places and offers his own salute once he's close enough and then falling in to listen.

Oh, Br'enn will try alright. And with more success than he had last week, if all the work he's been doing with Tovihasuth proves effective. The growing bronze falls asleep altogether at that moment, which has Br'enn trying to concentrate that much hard. But he's ready! Bring it on. And it's…strap-making. Which has to do with flying, and the thought make Tovihasuth blink half-awake again. At least he doesn't move. Br'enn looks over the various implements and parts Kimmila names as well as he can from here. He's done a bit of leatherwork out of necessity as a hunter, but nothing this complex. Still, it's working with his hands. He's confident he'll get the hang of it in a reasonable amount of time.

M'icha continues to give a few narrowed, pointed looks towards S'ai and Zeruth (mostly to the bronze) and snorts once they've settled. He's watching you! Eyes dart then to Br'enn and C'rus both, watching them just as closely to be sure they're focusing on Kimmila and the lesson at hand. He smirks, "Kimmila here has the right of it! Straps are crucial! A rider who is ignorant or careless with 'em doesn't often live to tell of it." Okay, so maybe the Weyrlingmaster is stretching the threat a bit, but it's close enough to the truth! He gathers up some rolled paper and hands it to the Weyrlings. "Schematics! You'll be studying from these but most of what you learn will be by your own hands. Better that way! Any of you familiar with leather work?" he asks, while gesturing to Kimmila to start doling out the tools, leaving her to explain what they do. There's thread for sticking, large, thick needles, tools for the leather, tools for metal working… and it's obvious soon enough that these will be theirs to have for the duration of Weyrlinghood.

C'rus just nods his head as he listens to Kimm and M'icha, yes falling off a dragon while in flight would not be something that he would be wanting to do. Secure straps for Jaicoureth are a must. Flying will be hard enough without having to worry about falling off. C'rus too has been able to stay awake while Jaicoureth sleeps for the last several days at least, though if he begins to awaken he'll have to leave immediately to be with him, or the dragon will worry. Which he has loved because it gives him time to get some things done that he couldn't with the baby awake and active. As for the leather making, C'rus is less sure. He's made splints and other medical related things but not anything quite like this. C'rus just shakes his head as the werylingmaster asks if he is familiar with leatherworking.

S'ai takes one of the rolls and opens it. The schematics are quick to draw Zeruth's focus, his eyes whirling as he leans heavily into his rider to get a better look at the images. "Sssh! … let him finish explaining, then I'll tell you about them." The weyrling hisses to the young dragon under his breath. To mention of leather work, he gives a shake of his head. "I know how to put clothes on. That's as far as it gets."

Kimmila looks serious. She's seen straps fail. It's not a pretty thing. She begins to lay out the tools, naming them as they go.

"I am, sir," Br'enn offers with an upward flick of his finger. "Nothin' like this, but enough to make pouches 'n' belts 'n' quivers 'n' such." At least he'll be a little familiar with the tools because of that basic bit of knowledge. Still, he pays attention as he gets his set of schematics and Kimmila doles out the tools…face-scrub. Yes, he's awake.

M'icha rolls his eyes to S'ai and scowls, "Bit more complex than dressing yourself," he drawls and then smirks. "Though by the time we're done with you, assembling and checking straps and getting them set on your dragons will be as second nature as dressing yourself." He'll see C'rus shake his head and nod his own in response. Two down. Third? Brows lift when Br'enn mentions knowing some bit about leather and the Weyrlingmaster's grin is anything but amused. "Good! Then you'll be able to help 'em if they struggle with the basics. You should know bad leather from good, eh?" What'd he just get volun-told to do? Glancing to Kimmila again, he'll gesture to the containers. "Kimm here is going dole out some old scrap leather here from recycled straps for you lot to tinker with. Some of it is good, some of it not. Let's see if you can sort out what's what even for odds 'n ends. Any questions? Don't be shy now. Kimm and I don't bite." Much,

C'rus is more than willing to learn, especially since it is something that is so vital to his safety, and the safety of his dragon ulitmately. He turns his attention to Br'enn as he speaks up that he knows a bit, oh good..there is someone in the group that does know something. He stays silent for the present since its best to shut up when you don't know anything. As for questions..he has none yet.

Br'enn purses his lips a little, wondering if it was wise to open his mouth. He gives M'icha a nod; it's important to know bad leather from good before working it into something useful of course…and he can see the importance of making sure there is no bad leather in any component of what they're about to learn to make. Catching C'rus' glance, an eyebrow ticks up at the blue weyrling…but otherwise, he remains silent, aside from a, "No, sir," to the Weyrlingmaster on the matter of questions. At least, they're aren't any yet. Speaking up if he has them is going to be the trick, though.

Kimmila digs into a bag of leather strips. Thick, thin, dyed, natural, cracked, whole, they run the full range, and she hands each Weyrling a handful of strips. "Good goes here," she points to one spot on the ground, "and bad here. Work out among yourselves which is which if you're not sure."

The Weyrlings will learn fast enough that saying anything around M'icha is a dangerous thing. He's a crafty man and when their training becomes more intensive in the later months, well… beware. "Simple to start! You've all got to be comfortable and familiar with leather. Seems boring and maybe it is but it's a necessity. As Kimmila said, work it out among yourselves! Sooner we get through this, quicker you'll get to move on to the other stages." Got it? M'icha leans heavily to one side, keeping his weight off his bad leg.

C'rus might not be any sort of leather worker, or have any experience with such things…but he's going to go with a bit of common sense. If its cracked..its bad. If its thin…its bad. If you can easily tear it, then its bad. Dying probably doesn't make much difference beyond asthetics and he isn't overly concerned about those sort of things. He throws the bad in the bad pile and puts the 'good' in the other pile.

S'ai is busy sorting the pile that he's given, squinting at them and turning them over in his hands. Several of them get a halfhearted shrug before he sets them into a pile. Zeruth, however, seems to have doubts. Many of them. He flattens the pile, carefully sorting out the strips and mouthing nearly every one. They get sniffed. Poked. Prodded. Mouthed again. Several he puts back into the 'good' pile or 'bad'.

Br'enn sets to work examining the strips of leather he's been handed, examining the color, feeling the suppleness and checking for dryness, pulling on them to check strength, smelling them for rot…and completely ignoring the fact that they're supposed to work it out among themselves, not alone. Until Tovihasuth pipes up. » Thought you were sleepin'. « The bronze snorts quietly where he lies in the sun. « You'll go faster if you work with someone, » is advised sleepily. « That one doesn't look right. » Sure enough, the one Br'enn is holding is water splotched, uneven in suppleness. With a snort, he puts it in his left hand and shifts over near C'rus and S'ai almost hesitantly. "We, ah…oughta work together," he says, watching Zeruth's assistance to the other bronze Weyrling a bit dubiously. "Get done faster."

Kimmila watches them for a moment and smirks. "Weyrlings. Did you no hear me say to /talk/ to each other? This is a team exercise." She reaches out, gathers up all the bits they've already sorted, and passes them out again, and nods when Br'enn speaks up. "Excellent. Go on." Grin.

M'icha laughs dryly when Kimmila corrects the Weyrlings, crossing his arms loosely over his chest. "You heard the lady! Listen close to your instructions! Won't be so easy on ya in the later lessons if you fail to understand or follow through correctly," he warns, sobering with a frown. He'll signal for them to start over, while Kimmila rearranges the pieces and piles.

With their eerie synchronicity, S'ai and Zeruth both look up from the piles with no measurable lag between them and blink at Kimmila. "…huh?" And a bewildered grunt from the bronze which turns to the faintest, uneasy grumble as he watches his carefully organized piles removed and redone. "I.. uh, know nothing about these." He says, glancing over to Br'enn who seems to know.

C'rus is used to working as part of a team, but its more difficult when you are being watched like a hawk on everything you do. If it was only him that would suffer he wouldn't really care, but there is a baby dragon in the barracks asleep that really needs him to be on his game and so, "I was just going by if they were easily torn, or cracked or to thin…" he says to the other guys, "That seemed to work…"

Br'enn scowls a little when what he's done so far is reclaimed and redistributed, but a mental nudge from Tovihasuth has him focusing again, and he clears his throat, giving a nod to C'rus and flicking his eyes to S'ai before looking at their bunches of leather. "Cracked or eas'ly torn means too dry," he affirms, "but so does a powdery back. Discolored with dark spots means water damage, 'specially if it smells bad. That's rot. If it can't hold it's shape or it's stretched too thin, it's weak. Even color, flexible 'n' resilient, smells good - that's what we want." Though what 'good' means in term of leather smell isn't always clear. It shouldn't stink. That'll do. Then, almost as if he hadn't said anything, Br'enn grabs a handful and starts sorting…but he's watching his fellows in his periphery.

Kimmila smiles at the Weyrlings, pleased when they begin talking to each other. She takes a step back to stand by M'icha.

C'rus takes in what Br'enn is saying about smelling. That is easier said than done. They all sort of smell by this point. Leather probably smells better than the werylings…sadly, "Ok." he says softly as he continues to work on separating the good from the bad with Br'enn. Oh dear. So much to learn.

M'icha chuckles under his breath as Kimmila comes to stand beside him, eyeing her sidelong with a crooked smirk. "I should have you as my 'aide' more often!" he remarks dryly, before he's turning his focus and attention back on the weyrlings as they sort it out, as a group this time. "There ya go. Now you're getting it! Br'enn's listed off many good points 'n if yer smart you'll remember it! Now aside from weather, use and age, what else do you lot think will wear on leather and metal?" Oh great! They're being quizzed already?

Thys returns to the group, after Rhenesath's attention-seeking keen drew her away for itchy-spot scratching. With Rhenesath relaxed and soaking up the sun again, Thys makes her way back to the group and overhears M'icha's question as she slips in beside C'rus to help with the sorting. "Between, sir? Could the cold do damage?"

Thys' arrival is acknowledged with a nod, and Br'enn has a thoughtful look for her answer. Between isn't something he would've thought of. Then he frowns, pausing as he mulls the question over. Wear, weathering, age…those cover a myriad of effects. The moment in which he thinks seems to stretch forever. "Diff'rent air," he replies finally. "Isn't the same between Igen 'n' Nerat, say. Temperature, too… 'n' maybe what they're treated with, if it's done often enough."

C'rus listens to what M'icha is asking and rolls the question around in his head. Weather would probably include degredation due to heat, water, salt, cold. Use would probably include things like friction, and age…well thats self explainatory, "Pests.." he could see that some creatures would want to eat through the straps and as for metal, "I suppose if you came in contact with corrosive chemicals…maybe fire." Dragons totally breathe fire right?

"Between will do damage and is often the larger of the strains, aside from age and use," M'icha points out with a dip of his head to Thys for her answer. Good one! The others earn a hint of a smile from the Weyrlingmaster, pleased that they're smart enough to apply logic and common sense to the situation! "Which is why it's important that you watch the condition of the leather of your straps! Failing to do so can have you emerging from Between and SNAP!" He emphasizes with a loud, sharp snap of his fingers and a grimace. "Could be a safety strap or cargo strap that goes or worse, a key piece and you or any of your passengers are in for a rough time." To put it lightly. He clears his throat, waving a hand dismissively. "Different air and weather too, yes, will ruin straps in time. Igen is dryer for sure and so leather care is different than, say, for our climate. We tend to be too humid in the summer and too cold in the winters. Pests…" And he'll eye C'rus then. "… could cause havoc but usually straps are well stored on pegs. Only a careless rider would allow pests to destroy their straps. Corrosive chemicals… again, carelessness and I'd certainly hope you're not playing with fire near to your dragon! Only lot who have to worry about that are the firefightin' riders in Thunderbird!"

Kimmila listens to their answers with a nod and a pleased smile. Nice ones indeed! They're getting the idea of things. Thinking, and that's something she likes to see.

Blushing gently at having got the answer right, Thys continues to sort through the pieces of leather, tossing one aside after gently rubbing her finger on it and noticing flaking. "What do you think of this one, Br'enn?" Another piece is held up to the hunter-weyrling, who likely has more experience in such things than she does. "Sir? Is a thorough straps check required every time before you mount up, or just once a day?"
Ha'ze has connected.

C'rus never really even thought about 'between' as a difficulty though he could see why it would be. Most of the times that he has been between he's just been white knuckling it with his eyes closed, "Good job Thys." he says with a smile. Thys is smart.

The goldrider among them definitely has a good head on her shoulders - Br'enn can't argue that. Her question about the leather has him squinting at the scrap she holds up. "Dry," he says with a nod before going back to his own sorting. The point emphasized by M'icha's snap has Br'enn's brow furrowing, but he finishes with his little pile of leather nonetheless, then sits in thought for a moment. Between is something he's heard described, but he's never been through it…and the idea unnerves him. Thys' next question brings a small grunt from the hunter-weyrling. "Prob'ly safest to check 'em each time," he supposes, but he looks to M'icha after that. She asked the Weyrlingmaster, not him.

M'icha quirks a brow for Thys' next question and he runs his tongue along his teeth, looking either impressed or thoughtful. Could be a mixture of both and he'll rub his thumb along the curve of his jaw. Br'enn's answer has him grunting in agreement, "He's right. Safest to check 'em each time, usually before you slip 'em on your lifemate and afterwards, if you've done a fair bit of Betweenin' or flying or been in bad conditions and so on and so forth!" He rolls his hand to emphasize. "Always, always, best to check your straps even if it seems redundant. Which it isn't and shouldn't be! It'll just be part of your lives, as many other things will be. Routine and natural!" Now he grins faintly, "And strap checks are mandatory come later in your training! Anything so much as a hair out of place and I ground you." He's… not joking, either. Chuckling, he'll gesture to Kimmila to bring the old weyrling-issue pair of straps forwards. "Seeing as you three are getting the hang of it, I'll let you see a completed set up close. Look at the schematics, then see if you can't figure out how it all works, with each others help! Try to see if you can puzzle out what parts would wear out sooner over others…" It's light work, maybe a bit easy, but M'icha will be watching them. Answering questions and twisting the lesson around if he feels they're on to something and wanting to test them by throwing them off a bit. At times he may wander way to check on the others, leaving them at the tender mercies of Kimmila or his other Assistants until the lesson is completed for one day and he shoos them all back into the barracks again as evening approaches.


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