==== November 13th, 2013
==== Yules, Desmeth, T'ral, Esanth
==== Yules, Desmeth, T'ral and Esanth practice putting the 'ride' in dragonriders. New kinds of sore tomorrow!

Who Yules, Desmeth, T'ral, Esanth
What Yules, Desmeth, T'ral and Esanth practice putting the 'ride' in dragonriders. New kinds of sore tomorrow!
When Mid-day
Where Southern Weyr

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Upper Bowl
The graceful sweep of spacious bowl lies scoured clean by an easterly breeze. Detritus is whisked neat to the eastern steppe of the bowl that lies several feet lower than the western plateau. White walls contrast the rough granite of the rivercliffs: the giant maw of the Hatching Cavern lies in the thickest part of the western wall, sheltering the training grounds and weyrling barracks lying nor'west. Directly north lies the leadership courtyard, heavily humid and subtly scented by intrigue.


Through rain and sleet and snow, and dead of night… theoretically. Instead, the heavy but somewhat pleasant rains cloak most of the muttered words of one fledgling brownrider who is trying to keep hold of her dragon to clamber up. "Yes, I know you're standing as still as you can," Yules says clearly, "It's not you - it's the rain." Grabbing hold of a strap, Yules hauls herself up onto Desmeth's back, and both snort a little with pride - Desmeth more loudly so, of course. "See, all that heavy lifting and putting down again is paying off!"

Yes! Through Fall, fog, fire… and rain! For Esanth, still is easy. It's moving that's the problem. T'ral has an easier task ahead of him than Yules does. Desmeth is about half-again taller at the shoulder than the tanky blue. Even so, T'ral manages to make mounting look harder than it is. Esanth is standing like a statue, rain sheeting off of him, trailing off spars in silver streams, foreleg extended for T'ral to clamber up. Taking yet another run - third time's the charm, right? - T'ral vaults up Esanth's leg, throwing a leg forward as he gains Esanth's neck, but misjudging the timing, catching his leg and sliding off the other side to land flat on his back, splashing in the mud. Esanth turns his head to look at a wheezing T'ral, a not-my-fault-this-time look on his face.

"No points for style, weyrling," asserts one of the trainers, stumping over to make sure weyrling and dragon are okay. "This isn't a race. Again… slowly!"

T'ral nods, still wheezing, and ducks under Esanth's head to try again, this time climbing the blue like a rock at the beach. It's not pretty, but he eventually finds his seat. He looks over at Yules, giving her a wow-finally nod.

Yules is up on Desmeth's neck. She's been here before. They've even walked around a little before, but to maintain this calm balance while moving about? Desmeth takes a step forward, and then another, sensitive to his rider's shifting atop him. "No, it's alright, Des," Yules tells him, though her voice is a little tight, before saying, "The rain makes you slick, but it's… just a bit different from riding a runner." She notices T'ral over by blue Esanth and offers him a little grin, from seven feet up. "Doing okay down there?" You know, apart from being on your back on the ground.

T'ral wheezes up at Yules, cupping a hand to his ear, grinning weakly, "What was that? I can't hear you!" he collapses back onto the ground before scrambling up at the words of the trainer. Finally mounted, he looks over and up at Yules, shading his eyes from the rain, "Would you believe, I've never ridden a runner?" His seat is awkward and stiff and Esanth's narrower neck makes balancing all the more precarious. This is his first time up. He'd only just finished these new straps a couple days before. He thumps the sturdy blue on the shoulder, sending out spray, "Hey, this is gonna make it lots easier to look out for tripping hazards, pal."

Yules hmpfs a little and calls more loudly, "Are you ok…" A look at the back of her dragon's head and Yules stops her train of thought. "Well then." As T'ral reveals his inexperience, Yules is a little flabberghasted, "Really? Not even once?" Well in that case, "It's a bit like …" Crap, there goes her first comparison, since runners are out: "Sitting on a moving chair!" Which should totally clear up ANY questions, right? Yules takes ahold of Desmeth's straps and urges him forward. "Though I wonder how this'll be when we're in the air," she confesses, "The only dragons I've ever ridden were nice and smooth - no sudden movements, you know?" As if to accentuate that, Desmeth moves his head suddenly to the right and Yules flails a little to refind her balance.

T'ral's eyes flash with mischief as he reads the exchange between Desmeth and Yules. He is sitting pretty much like a stiff sack of potatoes up at the base of Esanth's neck. He cocks his head, trying to imagine a moving chair… "Like a swing?" He squints at Yules, "This isn't like any swing I was ever on." He urges Esanth forward and the blue lurches, squelching feet sling mud at the trainer who simply wipes his face with the blade of a hand, "Less jibber jabber, more concentration." T'ral works in silence for several tooth-rattling paces. Esanth's gait is… rough. Even at a walk. The sturdy blue takes a few steps forward. T'ral makes some connections in his head… that bounce in Esanth's step that he so loved to see. Not comfortable from the straps! T'ral grunts with each foot fall. He's not flailing about so much as Yules, but if he gets out of this — whoa, whoa! He starts to tip over and Esanth shrugs. T'ral clutches the straps. Whew! Slowly! T'ral and Esanth have been in and out of the infirmary all through weyrlinghood. Esanth is easily the clutziest of the clutch. Stocky and strong, but that strength through short limbs translates into swift, jerky movements. Esanth takes a few more steps, the force of impact telegraphing through flesh and bone, rattling T'ral's teeth. He clenches them shut, if only so that they can't clack together. "I rode a dragon once, when my father took me to Harper Hall." He grins at the memory, "It was a blue." He cocks his head at Yules, "Where are you from, Yules?"

Well, if Desmeth hadn't moved like that, Yules wouldn't be flailing, right? However, it's unlikely the brown sees it in that light, because Yules huffs and says, "Onward, you silly thing," and the pair move forward, moving forward to match paces with T'ral. "A swing? Well… Maybe more like a swing that's twisting side to side, like kids make them do, y'know?" Desmeth is amusing himself by taking smaller, daintier steps; the thing about dainty? Not always smooth-going, so Yules is holding on tightly. T'ral's question gets a strange look and then Yules remembers, "Oh! Like, where I was brought up. Near Nerat. FarmersHold area." A pause and Yules asks, "You from Benden like the Headman?" Names? No names.

Esanth's head sweeps low, scanning back and forth along the ground to spot things he might trip over. This makes T'ral have to lean way back. If he tossed a hand in the air, it'd look like a rodeo. A very slow, awkward rodeo. He's got the clothes for it. Teeth still clenched as Esanth plods forward, T'ral risks relaxing his jaw muscles to answer Yules, "Pretty there in Nerat?" He nods at Yules, "Yes. Born in Benden. You'd think I'd have been on a dragon more than once."
"You know, if you relax, this would go better," Yules points out pointlessly, "I mean, I know it feels counter-intuitive, but it helps." Nope, she's not going to be much more helpful than that. She suggested, it's up for T'ral to follow through. As for Nerat, Yules shrugs the shoulder that's not holding on to straps, "It's beautiful, if you like flat," which isn't everyone's cup of klah, "And a lot of farming." As for dragon-riding, Yules huhs, "So, how did you get down to Southern, then?" Since she came down on a dragon, didn't everyone? Desmeth huffs in amusement.

"We learned a lot of ballads about the thunderstorms rolling into Nerat…" his voice deepens, "Dark clouds tow'ring," He grins up, "Thunder cra-clack," A particularly hard stomp clatters his teeth. Ow. To get to Southern? "I took a ship." He recalls the long voyage and the unsavory conditions, "I'm rather sure I'll enjoy flying more." He cocks his head, "A lot more." The recollection of Harper ballads and daydreaming about flight has rather the effect of relaxing T'ral and indeed things do go better. Until he realizes he's relaxed and stiffens up again. And proceeds to sliiiip off the other side. Esanth, for all his clumsiness is good at catching T'ral before he falls. Upside to being clumsy? Lots of practice recovering. And practice makes perfect, right? He shakes the rain out of his hair, not that it'll help, and gratefully claps Esanth on the shoulder. Thanks, pal. He squints up at Yules, "Did you imagine this for yourself?"

Yules hmms and nods, "That sounds like Nerat." And then Yules grins, "Nothing quite like a summer storm… they were always so beautiful." But day dreaming is not good for Weyrlings a-dragonback and Desmeth stumbles, letting his rider lurch slightly for the mis-step. "Guh!" she says, and Desmeth pulls up to a stop, letting Yules slowly, tenderly slide from his shoulder. Once human feet met ground, the brownrider (literally, now!) looks over at T'ral: "No," she says flatly, "I always thought I'd be Headcook somewhere big. Like Benden or Fort. But then I came to Southern and," And then Desmeth's head is curling around to whuffle wet hair, and Yules comments softly, "I wouldn't leave now. Or change this." One hand comes up to caress the brown neck. A slightly embarrassed cough and Yules returns the question, "You?"

He nods at Yules' accounting of her previously forseen future. "You can forge a new rank - Dragonchef!" Esanth takes a nasty lurch and stops. Apparently it's time to be done. T'ral blinks at his lifemate and then slide-falls oof of Esanth's neck on the side towards Yules, splashing mud and water as he lands. He winces, Sorry. As to imagining being a dragonrider, "Hah. Of course I did!" He grins, "Except I was riding bronze and 'mated to Bailey!" he leans against Esanth's chest, the blue absently brings up his wings to keep the worst of the rain off of his rider. Yules is certainly welcome under the dragonbrella, even if Desmeth's would be more effective. Still, T'ral makes a gesture of welcome. "To answer your real question, no. Not beyond a boy's dreams." At Esanth's size, T'ral's shoulder fits snugly right up under Esanth's neck and he leans his head against the slatey neck, dusty and scuffed looking even in the rain. "Now I can't imagine it any other way."

Yules laughs, though after a pause, like she's truly considering it. Then Desmeth nudges her and Yules huhs: anyway. She does eye T'ral, avoiding the splashing as best she can (but she's already wet, what will it hurt) for a moment: "Bailey?" she wonders in perplexity, and then puts two and two together and comes out with the appropriate result, "Ohhhh, yes, from Benden!" Well, there are worse things to bear, but in the meantime, Des nudges Yules again. "Um." speaking of being a cook, Yules wonders, "Is Esanth hungry? Des is saying he wants food." Not so much says, but by the muttered, "Okay, I get your point," Des might be repeating himself, a bit urgently.

"We ate just before drills." T'ral elbows Esanth, a gesture that the stocky dragon is sure to senses mentally more than feels, "You, sir, ate a whole shank." He cocks his head at Yules with a fond look in his eyes. Dragons. He sighs, looking a bit like drowned vermin, "Well, we're gonna keep at it. At least when I fall, mud is softer than dirt." He turns back towards the rough formations and more work. "See you two later."

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