Who

Majel, Mayte, O'ell, Selaine

What

Weyrlings spend an afternoon learning to choose suitable leather for their first sets of straps.

When

It is afternoon of the tenth day of the seventh month of the first turn of the 12th pass.

Where

Weyrling Training Grounds, Igen Weyr

OOC Date

 

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Weyrling Training Grounds

Here, a wide and spacious field, devoid of all but more of the glare of ubiquitous, fine white sand of Igen: not even a blade of grass dares lift its head against centuries of clumsy draconic antics. To one side, ever-present firestone bins are set, kept supplied by many a hand, while agenothree tanks line the curving angle just outside the barracks, primed and ready for use. Very often, a glimpse of classes in session or dragonets at play may be caught under the open sky under the watchful eye of diligent Weyrlingmasters and older dragons.


Leather. There is leather everywhere. Big strips, small strips, wide strips, thin strips. Even shriveled strips (they were cold). Mostly, however, they'e been divided into piles of BAD and GOOD leather to use for riding straps. It's taken hours to do, and most of the weyrlings probably hate the Assistant Weyrlingmaster that forced them over and over again to get the good pile right. That would be O'ell. "And that was the easy part!" he declares, with a smile sure to make someone(s) want to strangle him. "Now you have to figure out which of the decent pieces of leather are good for YOUR lifemate. Any questions so far?"

Mayte may not be the handiest of knotters, but she fingers one length of leather she's kept in hand. How hard can it be to make a noose? Still, Rhiscorath wants to experience this too, so she noses at the leather in Mayte's hand, eyeing it from all angles. The intense expression on Mayte's face slides away into a brief grin. "Um," Mayte starts quickly, pauses, then starts again, "Sir, sewing straps together isn't going to be as easy as sewing our robes, is it." Surely there's at least one other Weyrling, all thumbs, who sighs in relief? Yes? Maybe not? No?

They've been at it for most of the afternoon, this sorting of leather, resulting in frustration and fidgeting alike as the pile suitable for working into straps shrinks steadily. "I've a question, sir, " Majel says from somewhere near the front of the group of weyrlings in attendance. "How do we determine which pieces are best for our dragon? Are we selecting them based on length, since we've already sorted individual pieces based on the leather's width?" Dyxath's sitting carefully next to her, holding his wings out of the way, but that dark muzzle still inches forth to sniff curiously toward the good pile.

"Sewing straps is going to be different then sewing your robes." O'ell agrees, without actually saying it will be more difficult, in response to Mayte's question. "If your robe had fallen apart, you'd just be embarassed. If your straps fall apart, you can die. Which is why all of your straps will be tested, and re-tested, and inspected a few hundred times or so." Maybe more. "It also takes more strength, because you have to use an awl and punch holes in the leather. We have tanners and weavers available to help show you all that. But…" On to Majel's questions! "Well, they're all proportioned differently. And you want the pieces to fit together so that they don't rub the wrong way or sit in the joint. See.." Jafyth kind of lumbers over at that point, his sigh a little evident as his rider points upward towards the wing joint. "Hard to see from down here, but if you want to climb up feel free. The way the leather pieces join, and how the padding was attached."

Nodding at the first part of the AWLM's response, Mayte doesn't have much reaction to the latter half, until he brings up the manner it's done in. Her eyes skate to the pile of leathers at Majel's question but Rhiscorath wants to know more, and starts to skirt silently around the collected Weyrlings, to sniff at the bad pile. What makes it bad? Perhaps there's a new way to quality-che… nope. Licking is not a good test method of leather quality. For her own self, Mayte goes to peer at Jafyth's straps, then turns back to O'ell, wondering, "Do we learn to attach the padding at this point too? Or is that later?"

Majel looks up at Jafyth as directed; at the invitation to climb up for a better look, she starts over in that direction, along with a few others. Her ascent is slow but steady, hands reaching over to touch where the pieces join once she gets near enough for a close examination. Dyxath's head swivels to watch Rhiscorath's investigation of the unsuitable pieces before he's waddling over to join her, doing his best not to bump into anyone on the way. "The technique seems sort of similar to making seams, " the tailor-turned-weyrling muses aloud once she's back down on the ground and rejoining the group, "only several of them, really close together in really thick stitches."

Selaine's been here the whole time, promise. She was there when they were sorting the straps and now her nose is filled with the smell, fixed in a forever wrinkle. Much to Akitih's amusement. She's quiet as the AWLM calls out asking for questions, listening quietly to the others and listening to his response. Akitith, like her sister, is curious and skirts around the weyrlings to further inspect the straps, though she does not attempt to lick it. The girl merely watches Majel and the others ascend the large dragon for a better view.

O'ell finds himself steadily walking towards the 'bad' pile of leather so that he can watch what Rhiscorath is up to. Not that he's the suspicious sort or anything, nuuuuuuuuuuu. He does however, pick up one of the bad pieces and the good one he had in hand and hold them out for her to sniff at (or whatever she does) to see if she gets a better feel for the difference. That's right, he's an enabler! "Well, you've got to add the padding before the straps go on. But, we'll learn the stitching first, and the joining of the strips. And then we'll go over fitting… that's when the padding is added. After you've made sure you left enough room for it. They will grow out of the first set. And the second. Annnnd, so on. We can only make them so adjustable. Later on in weyrlinghood, you'll have your first permanent set… very good, Majel. It's exactly like that… and you should know how to mend and fix the by then."

Rhiscorath snuffles at the offering O'ell has in hand. And then, because she's been listening, decides to test each 'bad' leather. She starts with this strap here in O'ell's so-helpful hands, taking it gently in her open maw. Omnomno-ptui! Her long head swivels to Mayte and the Weyrling only sighs a little this time. "She agrees that that strap is not good in any way," Mayte tells everyone, but Rhis is off to try another one. Mayte turns to look fully at O'ell now, with extra interest, "Are we going to make sets that can, I guess, be added to? Since they're growing so fast? Or do we keep making 'em bigger every time?"

Dyxath edges around to O'ell's left, both to politely give Rhiscorath more room and to give him a different perspective. Hunkering down, he does his best to peer up at the proffered pieces from below. It's always best to get the evidence from all angles. "Do we need to be as selective of the padding as we are to be of the leather?" Majel's already leaned over to select a few pieces from the good pile with a polite 'excuse me' to those standing around it, giving Selaine an encouraging smile as she passes. It takes her a few minutes, but she retrieves four or five sturdy pieces similar enough to one another in texture and thickness that they should more or less work up well together. Never mind that none of them are exactly the same shade. There's time enough to work on that aspect later.

Akitith is also curious when Rhiscorath tastes the leather, only glad that she didn't have to do it herself when her clutchmate confirms that it is bad. Selaine also moves over to the pile of leather straps, returning Majel's smile as she grabs a handful, stretching them slightly to test their sturdiness. Any questions she might have are already asked by the other weyrlings so far.

O'ell is probably (okay, totally) more tolerant of baby dragons then their human counterparts in general. Which may be why there's an expression of amused interest on his face as multiple dragonets snuffle at, taste, and inspect leather strips. "I can't imagine any of it tastes good. But I'm going to guess that the bad leather is kinda brittle, while the good leather is a bit more chewy." he offers, before showing Dyxath how he can see the grain of leather. What? He's helping them learn. "You'll make sets that can be added to, for now. Until they reach full growth." He agrees there with Mayte, and then to Majel he also nods his agreement. "Yes, you should be. The padding needs to withstand a lot of tugging, and weathering." Akitith may suddenly find a piece of leather dangled her way as well. Because, again. Enabler. "Start picking out the best pieces, people. We won't sew it today, so take your time."

Mayte snaps her head to give Rhiscorath the wherry's eye as she starts to the table of good leathers when O'ell makes the promise of tasty? leather. Whatever argument is quiet but for Rhis' final huff, but when Mayte turns away, the little dragon head goes to peer again at the Good table. Mayte just sighs in relief before she takes up a few pieces of leather, holding up one for Selaine and Majel's inspections, "What do you think of this one?" Between both hands, Mayte gives it a tug and it holds well.

"No silk-padded straps, then, " Majel deadpans, managing not to look in the direction of the blonde weyrlings from Nabol and their greens, all of whom look just a little disappointed. She takes a few steps to the side as a fellow brown and blue pair come up beside her to begin selecting their own pieces, adding a few more to her small pile. "How many should we pull to begin with, sir?" Dyxath leans in close to inspect the lines that make up the grain, keen eyes picking up speed as he spends a fair amount of time getting absorbed in all of the details. Majel glances over at Mayte's presented piece, assessing. "It looks like it'll hold up sufficiently for tooling and withstanding some stress, but I suspect we really won't know for sure how well they'll hold up until they actually get to try them on for size." Another, darker cut is pulled from the pile, examined and set to the side.

Akitith peers curiously at the dangled piece of leather and then leans in to sniff at it, only to pull back at the smell. Definitely no good. Though she leans back in to look more closely at the leather, trying to figure out what the AWLM is trying to show Dyxath. Selaine on the other hand, shuffles through the straps to find some sturdy pieces, pulling and checking the grain. She looks over at Mayte's piece and listens to Majel's assessment. The girl nods. "Yea, these all look decent enough, I think. How about this piece?" she holds up one of the ones she had grabbed, pulling on it for good measure and it holds up rather well.

The idea of silk padding the straps has Mayte lifting her upper lip somewhat reflexively, though Rhiscorath doesn't seem to mind at all. Instead, Mayte focuses on collecting more like the which Majel verbally signed off on, but as Mayte holds them up, she mmms thoughtfully, peering over at her own dragon. To Majel, Mayte whispers, admittedly a touch loudly, "Think we'll get to dye our leathers as we go?" And to Selaine, Mayte grins, "S'not bad, but… it looks a little short." Indeedy, that's what she said, but Mayte holds up one of hers and shrugs, "Okay, maybe it's only little shorter than the ones I got…"

The blondes titter anxiously amongst themselves as their turns come to start choosing pieces for their greens ("None of these pieces are really going to match - this is going to look so weird!") and spend a great deal of time asking opinions and advice of the oldest male weyrlings. Having satisfied his detail-demanding mind at last, Dyxath whuffles in Akitith's direction - that's the spirit, doll - and plods over to join his lifemate with only a small trip over himself in between. He's improving, really! "It's probably best not to dye them until we get a permanent set, " Majel cautions. "Otherwise, you might be working with the dye as much as you'll be sewing and adjusting, " and her gaze slides to appraise Rhiscorath. "Especially since she'll end up with the most growth."

O'ell looks pained, for the record, pained at the blonde tittering. See the way he pinches the bridge of his nose like that? And then waves over one of the other Assistants? Yeah, he confers with them a moment in order to let them know who needs the most help and then turns to face the gathered group of weyrlings again. "It doesn't matter what the straps look like for now. Just pick good pieces of leather. They'll help you the rest of the way. Tomorrow… it's sewiing time." A jaunty wave, and he's off! Before he strangles the titterers.

Selaine purses her lips at Mayte's assessment. "Well, Akitith is a bit smaller than Rhiscorath." she replies, grinning and looking over at the bigger dragonet as the gold stands near enough to her green to see the size difference. "I don't really care to dye mine, I don't think." she comments absently, picking through the straps still.

You know what's fun? The loud *slap* of two straps of leather getting snapped together. Mayte does this a couple of times, her grin a little… toothy, but luckily for anyone annoyed, Rhiscorath is even more so. A look is shot at the little gold's head, and Mayte stops fooling about. Majel's point about messing with dyes gets a little sigh, but Mayte's philosophical: "Yeah. And there's plenty of time to dye after they're grown, right?" O'ell's departure earns a fast salute to the man's back, but Mayte's eyes are directed at Akitith, "Ya know, Trek mentioned something like that, the first time I was… on the Sands. About how it's easier lugging around straps for a blue than a gold. I guess I'm starting to figure out what she was talking about…"

Majel scoops her pile up after a few more minutes of sorting through the good stack that's now all but surrounded on all sides, stepping away with a deep exhale to present them for Dyxath's inspection with an amused eyebrow arch. There's a sidelong glance aimed in Mayte's direction for the leather-snapping, and if her jaw tightens a little, well. She at least refrains from saying anything, withdrawing her focus to her own lifemate's careful examination of what will eventually become the first few pieces for his first set of straps. Their first set of straps. "Plenty of time, " she remarks belatedly, but there's a thoughtful cast to her expression as she smooths a hand over the blue's inky head.

Selaine grins as she keeps on looking at the two dragonets. "Yea, I can see why that'd be a pain in the future. Guess I got lucky there." There's a soft chuckle from her. "You'll be ok for now, but watch that time fly right past us." There's a bit of silence from her as she ponders that and then she's back to looking through straps.

Mayte mms quietly to herself, a few different notes repeating a little, completely ignoring Majel's tighter expression. Rhiscorath to has come to see what she will be wearing and huffs at them a little. "No, you don't get to taste these," Mayte tells her dragon, "Don't want to weaken the leather or anything." Mayte knows best, right? Sure. Selaine gets grinned at: "Trust me, I'm enjoying it while she's this small." And by small, "I mean, while I can still see over her shoulder." The gold doesn't look the least bit ashamed at her growing habit, but sits relatively still as Mayte starts decorating leather straps over her neck: "D'you like how that feels?"

Weyrlings continue to rotate about the pile of suitable leather pieces; as it diminishes, they take their pieces over to the supervising weyrlingmasters for inspection before being dismissed. Resignation etches itself keenly into Majel's glance back over at the chattering, questioning pairs before she and Dyxath take their selections forward to seek approval. It's a fairly quick process; that done, the two withdraw to the barracks upon dismissal, perhaps in pursuit of another meal.

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