Running in the Rain - WL #2

Weyrling Barracks

The weyrling barracks are two large buildings built against the bowl wall to house newly partnered dragon pairs until they are old and mature enough to move out into their own private weyrs. Originally separated by the riders sex, the smaller number of greens and blues impressing females and the rarity of a gold's arrival has reduced their territory to about a third of one of the barracks. The sections are separated by heavy leather curtains. There are wide wooden doors covered by a thin sheet of copper which roll open and closed as needed. Metal shuttered windows are found along the west wall, most often thrown wide open for both light and ventilation. The barracks are subdivided into areas for the dragonpairs which consists of a raised wooden platform couch for the dragons and a cot and small press for the rider. Pegs along the wall help to hold riding gear and there is a central area in which large barrels of oil, rags, brushes and cleaning supplies are gathered for all to use.

Practice Field

A wide expanse of trampled grass that unfolds in front of the weyrling barracks, this area has been used for turns for the play and exercises that growing dragons need. Here, they take their lessons, both for the riders and dragons, in everything they have to learn to be a functioning part of the weyr. Well, at least in the outdoor classes. Straps are first put on here, as well as first flights, both for dragons and then dragons and riders together. Oftentimes, if a wingrider is curious and has a free moment, they may wander through to see just how those new riders are progessing. Especially those they have a particular interest in.

Enolth> Suarath wanders over to Enolth, looking around.

A blast of cold, wet air comes in as P'wyn squeezes through the barracks door. He is covered with a light layer of moisture that seems to be near frozen so as to give him a faint crystalline coating. Curiously, he has several rather large saddle bags slung over each shoulder, each of which also has its own coating of ice and water. "Listen up you lot! It's nice and misty out now so it's a perfect time for a little exercise! Everyone come fetch a bag. I want you to fill it up with a load of rocks about the weight of a toddler child."

Enolth> Enolth drops his head to nuzzle the bronze lightly. The almost rain doesn't seem to bother the brown at all.

L'el glances around, looking to see the others as they're following the directions and sighs as he gets up from the couch. So as he's pulling on his boots, hopping from one foot to the other he calls out. "What are we going to be doing out in the rain?" muttering. "Besides freezing?"

Kerali gets up with a groan from her couch. She evaluates her outerwear for things that will keep one dry, and then pulls things on. "I hope these boots are water tight… I don't want my feet to freeze." She blinks at the instructions. "So… that we get practice for when we're carrying around our own children?" Once she's got herself bundled (she can at least move this time) she heads over to pick up a bag, Merth lumbering after her. She grins to P'wyn. "Do you think we'll have big or little toddlers P'wyn? I need to know so I can practice accordingly."

B'ton has learned long ago that complaining about assignments like this only tends to make them worse. Or perhaps he's just in a quiet and sullen sort of mood today. For whatever reason, he's silent as he gets up from his couch, pulls on his jacket, and makes his way over to take a bag.

P'wyn's right brow raises at the cheeky weyrling comments. "Not sure about you, Kerali, dear but anything coming from me is going to be a good size." A quick glance at L'el is accompanied with a downright evil smile. "I told you. Exercising. Don't worry. I promise you won't freeze." Waiting to be certain he's got multiple attentions with that, he adds. "You'll be sweating for certain." And just to bring the point home, he shrugs one of the bags off his houlder and tosses it at L'el. The boy had best move quickly if he doesn't want to catch it with his face. "Make good and sure you balance the weight between both sides, or your lifemate will not thank you."

L'el doesn't say anything more, but a groan as he catches a bag just before it baps him in the face and then with a proper chastised look, or at least a blank one he moves to amble into a sort of line. An arching eyebrow is sent toward both Kerali and B'ton but he stays quiet for once now that he's been taken to task already.

Kerali nudges B'ton when he comes over to take a bag. "I bet our toddlers will be big, too." She says quietly to him, in a much more serious sounding tone. "Hopefully the girls won't be huge! Also hopefully they are small at first." She frowns at the idea of sweating and exercise. Though she has put on a fair bit of muscle since she impressed. "Balance the weight? We need two?"

The nudge from Kerali does seem to lift B'ton's dour mood a little. "They do say that runs in my family." He murmurs as he grabs his own pair of saddlebags, then sets out to get them loaded up. The quicker they get filled, the quicker he can go back to the couch.

P'wyn hands out the last of the bags with a cheerful flourish clearly not shared by his students. Turning, the 'lingmaster reaches for the door which flings open at the lightest pull as another great gust of wind sweeps the bowl. "Lovely!" he says, passing through the fog forming in the barracks entry and out to the practice field. "Don't forget your lifemates, children." sails in after the much to cheerful Pen.

You go outside.

B'ton comes out of the weyrling barracks.

L'el comes out of the weyrling barracks.

Kerali comes out of the weyrling barracks.

L'el pets Suarath

P'wyn is moving swiftly across the practice field motioning his brown ahead of him. "Push it all out of the way, please Enolth." The brown seems to be using his head, feet and even wings to blow any of the soggy snow clumps out of the center of the field. Once this is clear, he begins to methodically clear a semicircular path back along the side of the bowl, arriving back at the door. Then the brown launches up to perch on a ledge just over head, near enough to be just a hop for a dragon. P'wyn turns to face the group. "So, boys and girls. Today we will be practicing up/downs and wind sprints for both of you. First things first. Time to build up those neck, shoulder and flight muscles for your not so little babies. Those bags need to hang just behind the last neck ridge where you will one day be seated. Make sure they fit snuggly, but comfortably and balance well. There should be an extra loop that will slip over the ridge to hold them in place.

L'el has a somewhat blank look on his face at first as he listens, but once it becomes obvious that this is something to do with Suarath, he starts to pay more attention. There's a look down at the bag he's holding, moving it around until he can find the loop that is mentioned before he looks back to the older brownrider, fingering that loop as he does so. "So, we fill them now, and then put them on our dragons? So they can wear them? Just to make sure that I have it?"

Kerali holds up her bags to inspect them and the loop. Then she tosses it over Merth's neck, standing up on her toes to settle it in just right. "Alright… now we just need some rocks." No Kerali is not going to carry around the bags full of rocks if she doesn't have to! Merth was stronger than she was. And could tell her which side was heavier. She looks around and starts to pick up some rocks. Unless she gets yelled at to carry the bags herself. "Left rock… right rock. So what exactly are wing sprints?"

B'ton is continuing along with his pattern of oddly moody silence today. Who would've thought that cold, humid weather and rock hauling would fail to dramatically improve his mood? Still, he focuses closely on making sure the saddlebags are properly positioned around his lifemate's ridges before he gets to filling them up with stones.
With a nod in answer to L'el, P'wyn begins to move between the pairs, adjusting or instructing those
who need a bit of help. "B'well, you're going to crush Twawth with that many rocks. Remember he's still a growing blue and not so large one at that." In this manner he continues occasionally calling out to all those gathered, "Wind sprints are short distance speed races followed by a light jog to build up your wind or breathing endurance. Flying and fighting thread is no walk in the park. You aren't just a lazy passenger and you need to be as fit as your dragon both physically and mentally. So while he or she is working on flying strength, you will be working on riding strength." Finally, each pair is checked and approved. "Line up single file in size order please, largest in front, smallest to the back. Stand just to the side and front of your 'mate's foreleg. Then a light jog twice around the track for both of you." A stern look goes to the green already flailing at his side. "Wings in this round as well."

L'el is moving finally to line up, waiting to see if they are toward the front or the back of the line and looking to see where B'ton is going to end up. There's a mass of confusion as everyone tries to form the line at once and he and Suarath are well out of it for once. Then he's grimly moving toward the start of the line, looking for all the world like he's heading for execution before he and Suarath come to a stop.

Kerali fills her bags with rocks and checks the weight. She pats Merth lovingly, and then they settle into their spot. It's toward the front, but they don't have to go first. Which is fine by her, though setting the pace might be nice. She settles in next to the gold, probably right behind B'ton. "We should sing a song while we run. It'll make it go by quicker. Something not about thread."

Once Phineth's all loaded up with his saddlebags, he gets in line right behind his bronze brothers. This does indeed put B'ton right over by Kerali. Her suggestion brings the first hint of a smile to his face since he rose from the couch today. "They still sing songs not about thread?" He chuckles a little. "Been so long since I've been to a tavern, I've almost forgotten." At least he's good-naturedly kidding there.

Deimara has arrived.

P'wyn motions Errolth to start the line out, as the bronze is always eager and ready to lead the charge. As the 'lings start around the cleared track P'wyn continues his instructions. "Once you've gone your two times round we'll start the sprints. Your lifemate will go first. He or she will be doing up/downs. Wings spread and flapping hard, you want them to run at a good solid speed, leaping up about every 3 stride. They need to try to time it with a down flap and if they manage to get any lift, just glide back down. But keep moving! Once they have started ahead, your job is to race behind them as fast as you can. Don't worry. They will be faster then you. Once you both hit the end of the straight away, you slow to a light jog and head back. Next pair starts when the first is half way down the straight."

Deimara stands to one side and watches the young dragons and their riders.

L'el is looking rather green before Suarath is ready to go, but his dragon has no such compunction or problem and starts off with wings flapping away although terribly uncoordinated at this moment in time. Once Su has started, L'el gets to moving, although he's a good bit behind his partner and just about as clumsy as they go through the motions. Suarath, by the time he has hit the end to come back still hadn't managed the timing bit, but he still looks as pleased with himself as only a dragon can.

Kerali giggles to B'ton. "Didn't you learn any songs with the harpers -outside- of the tavern? I'd even take the letters song at this point… Rather than all those depressing thread songs." The ones where the nightmares come from. She follows along with the group, first with the running then alongside with the flapping. Merth can't seem to get the timing right either. Though on the last flap she seems to get it, becoming airborn for a few seconds. The gold is a bit surprised, and lets out a booming trumpet when her feet don't touch the ground right off. Kerali covers her ears. "Merth! You're going to make me deaf!"

B'ton gives Kerali a little bit of a lopsided grin. "I was a smith before all this, remember? Half of my learning came from taverns." He's probably joking. One hopes. Phineth's turn seems to come quicker than B'ton was expected. But then, there it is! "Okay, Phineth. C'mon. You can do it." The little bronze lets out a confident warbling trumpet, flapping his wings enthusiastically as he darts down the runway. He certainly seems to have energy, charging ahead at somewhat impressive speed despite the heavy load.
P'wyn barks out a few corrections as each pair heads down the runway, but mostly he seems to be examining their movements. "None of you lot know how to run. Get those arms moving faster. Use them to push your legs along. Pump higher and harder backwards." To a few of the dragons, Enolth rumbles, almost as if he too is passing on advice. "Again. You shouldn't be stopping moving folks. Next pass please."

L'el only stopped for a little while, catching his breath on the way back but then he and Suarath are off again, making the same trek back along the path worked for them, with L'el's hair now soaked to his head from the mist and effort. Suarath seems to be finding enjoyment though in the flapping and trying to take off, although he's not terribly good at it, not managing to either get up into the air often and the one occasion he does, bumping down badly but that doesn't seem to deter him.

<Projecting to: Suarath> Enolth mindspeaks « Try counting your steps. Then move your wings to the same count. »

The pause in the line up is enough for Kerali to catch her breath. It's not enough to keep her from being soaked from the misty day though, and she shivers whenever she's not moving. Merth seems to get the hang of things a bit better on the second run. There are a couple of stumbles, but she's taking off fairly regularly. The landing and re-running bit could use a little work. Kerali has to sprint to keep up with the gold.

B'ton seems to still have his endurance from his smithing days, but the rushing around in this weather is still enough to get him sweating and a little fatigued. He does his best to at least avoid looking tired. Phineth is also putting up a tough front, doing everything he can to try to follow the advice given about his form as he pulls into the second run.

As the second set of passes goes round, P'wyn calls out "So, who's tired?" Several hands go up which just causes the rider to smile. "Good." This of course leads to a few groans. "Again." P'wyn says calmly. As the next pass and next again go round, the pairs do start to wear out and when P'wyn asks, "Who's lifemate is getting tired?" it's not a surprise when tiny Audryilth's rider raises his hand. P'wyn quickly signals the pair out of the line up. "Just have her walk it out on the opposite side there. Keep moving the wings but slowly. She needs to cool down or those muscles will get tight." But yet the sprints continue for the others.

L'el is visibly slowing now, although Suarath isn't as much as the pair continues, the weyrling nearly dragging after the bronze as he continues to wing flap and he seems to be making progress, the timing slowly getting better as he works on it, although his strides have gotten slower as he has to think about stride, flap, stride, flap. L'el, is just trying to remember how to move and not face plant right into the ground.

Kerali is tiring at a much faster pace than her dragon is. Her hand goes up when P'wyn asks about being tired. Merth doesn't seem any worse for the wear, though. The gold isn't jumping as much, though she's mostly worked out the timing. Kerali is huffing and puffing and trying just to keep up. "Merth! Slow… slow down a little… Legs… on fire…"

B'ton knows better than to raise his hand at that question from the Weyrlingmaster. It can only result in more and worse exercise. Nope. Now is the time to keep his head down and just keep right on with the task at hand. Despite his attempt at stoicism and focus, even B'ton is starting to slow down a little now. Phineth too, even if he does seem like he's still having fun. It's just tired fun.

<Projecting to: Merth> Enolth mindspeaks « Try adding one down stroke when you are in the air. See if you can go up instead of straight down next time. »

<Projecting to: Enolth> Merth mindspeaks « Alright! I will try this next run. »

P'wyn nods as the pairs begin to visibly tire. He stops harassing them to hurry on thier sprints, but rather switches to a new cruelty. "Next run, I want you each to answer a question on the jog back. L'el, list the parts of the wing. Kerali, five common injuries to dragon and five to rider. B'ton, list the hierarchy of the weyr and give the names of each position for our Weyr." He continues down the line, assigning questions to each pair, some of which might not have yet been covered in classroom classes. "Again!"

Deimara smiles and waves as she heads off for some meeting and such.

Deimara has left.

L'el is walking now, he's still moving but running is beyond him and even Suarath is moving slower, wings flapping at a tired pace as he more jogs than runs down the now muddy path, but the bronze is still having fun, especially when he starts to slide when his glides land him, not quite able to use his wings to stop him and he eventually runs into a snowbank with tangled wings and feet before his head pops back up and he shakes himself out like he quite meant to do that.

Kerali blinks. "What? Why is my question so hard?" Not like any of them are easy, but Kerali's legs are hurting and she really just wants to sit down. "Umm.. let's see. Sprained wing, pulled muscle, threadscore, wing tear, sprained tail…" As they run Kerali quickly becomes out of breath. "Um… for riders… threadscore… pulled muscles… broken bones… concussion… and.. I dunno. Stubbed toe." Merth suddenly takes off running, this time flapping her wings a second time after she's airborn. The gold soars up into the air, leaving Kerali stopped and blinking on the ground. The gold sails right over the snowbank, skidding to a stop on the other side and giving herself happy little trumpets.

B'ton was not expecting this. Still, he gives it his best shot. "Uh…" Not a great start. Clearly, the continued jogging is not doing much for his brain. "… The Senior Weyrwoman, then the Weyrleader, then the Junior Weyrwomen and Werysecond, then the Wingleaders and Weyrlingmaster, the Wingseconds, the Wingriders, then us. That about right?" He asks, breathing deep to try to keep himself going. Not exactly radiating confidence there. Phineth is definitely slowing down now, his wings flapping with a great deal less energy and enthusiasm.

<Projecting to: Phineth> Enolth mindspeaks « Just do one big jump this next round. Try to get a bit more air and see if you can glide the full length of the field. »

As the circle continues, the questions continue, sometimes math, sometimes politics and often items the weyrlings have been learning in class. With each pass the answers get more erratic and more frequently incorrect. And with each pass P'wyn pulls more and more of the weyrlings out of the lineup to cool down until all the greens and blues are walking along with most of the browns as well. "Ok, last trip round. I want each of you to think about what you've learned out here today. When everyone is cooling down, tell me what you think was the important lesson today."

L'el is walking, walking and not answering anything before he blurts out. "Exercise more." Then he looks horrified and is looking back to Suarath before the bronze is back walking with him, head nudging him slightly to keep the boy walking still and L'el just shakes his head and looks down at the ground. There is a soft whisper to his dragon. "I'm not sure we're doing very good Su."

Kerali looks around at the group that are left. She chuckles a bit at L'el's answer, though she's still huffing and puffing. Merth manages to climb up over the snowbank and get back to her spot in the lineup. Their last lap isn't so much a sprint, but a cool down run. "I guess… endurance. You know… knowing how long your dragon can keep up, and when they need a break… The bigger dragons have better endurance. That's… um… well… why bronzes catch golds." Though also working on her own endurance was in order for the goldrider. At the end of the run, Merth flops into the snow and Kerali sinks down against her.

Phineth takes Enolth's suggestion as the exercise comes to an end, doing one big final jump to glide as long as he can. He doesn't quite make it the full length of the field, but he does at least make some pretty good distance. B'ton follows along close as he can, almost out of breath by the end. Now, to answer the question. "Yeah. And… you have to be able to think fast, even when you're exhausted. Fighting thread is physically demanding, but if you let it get you distracted, it could be a disaster."

You say, "Excellent B'ton!" He motions the pairs to keep slowly circling around. "Up Kerali, or you'll get cramps. If you can't breathe easily, you need to keep walking. But yes. You need to be able to concentrate at all times and when you are tired it becomes harder. What happens to pairs that between tired?" At the nervous looks on several faces he nods. "That's how we lose pairs between."

L'el is not saying anything as he keeps walking, making sure that Suarath is walking with him as well as they continue to move around in circles following the weyrlingmaster. Right at that point, he's simply concentrating on keeping his feet planted and not slipping and falling into the muck or making a worse mess of himself than he is already.

Kerali gives a loud groan as she gets back up. "Being lost between seems like a mercy right now… Ugh I got a cramp…" She grumbles quietly holding her side. Merth warbles at her. "Shh, we're saying we hurt. Or he'll make us exercise -more-." She hobbles along to walk off the cramp.

B'ton continues the march. He and his lifemate are definitely slowing down, but they've at least managed to avoid toppling over altogether. At least the talking and thinking part is done. He hopes.

P'wyn finally takes pity on the weyrlings. "Ok, once you are no longer sweating or breathing hard you can stop walking. Those bags are to be worn by your lifemate for several hours every day and always during your normal exercise schedule. We'll slowly increase the weight until they are up to your own weight and then it will be time for some ground riding." This is met with cheers and grinning faces all 'round. "However, each of you is to acquire a second set of bags that you also will be carrying around. Yes, even you girls. Eventually you'll be tossing about full sacks of firestone and we want those muscles ready!" One last look about and he calls out, "Class dismissed."

L'el takes his time as he slowly comes to a stop, allowing Suarath the same freedom as they turn to look at P'wyn. "When will we have some idea that the sacks weigh the same as we do? Honestly?" He looks confused, glancing at the dragons and then back to the rest of the new riders. "What else are we supposed to be practicing?"

Kerali considers pelting P'wyn with rocks for a moment. Or at least snowballs. "Can I at least get a flamethrower to carry around?" Because her dragon doesn't chew firestone. So it seems like a waste. And carrying a flamethrower would be awesome. "It doesn't even have to be gassed up!" Kerali ponders L'el's question. "I guess we could get a scale or something. A big pulley with a hook on one end for the sack and a plank on the other for us to stand on." Kerali shrugs. "I might go in and practice on my naps. And on getting dry. Right, Merth?"

B'ton evidently has a work ethic closer to Kerali's than L'el's. At least today, with that somewhat grumpy mood he woke up with. "I think that's the same sort of practice we could use after that. Dryness and napping sound like an excellent combination after that."

P'wyn's eyes roll slightly at the nattering of the teens. "Children." He sighs softly, but in a louder voice begins to list the set of daily exercises for both dragons and riders, yet another chore to be done on top of the daily reading and classroom lessons. Not to mention the cleaning and dragon care. But before a full out mutiny can really get formed, Enolth has glided down from his ledge and P'wyn scrambles up the brown's side. "If you will excuse me, I have a nice hot bath waiting." The weyrlingmaster calls teasingly as they take off.

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