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a desert triumvirate of Hold, Weyr, and Mine. Thread's return and bandit raiding brought strife between weyr and hold, but the bandits' recent defeat has returned the region to an uneasy peace. Now, a shipwreck on a forgotten continent and the decision to settle this rediscovered land has opened up a world of opportunity to Vaioa, if only they can handle the dangers.

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Into the Woods; Candidate Lesson
Topic Started: Jul 1 2017, 01:54 PM (813 Views)
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Zahrai suspected the reason she was the one assigned to lead this particular candidate lesson was due to where it was taking place. As Nazteth landed with a couple immense reversed wingstrokes to jostle her candidate baggage as little as possible, her rider inspected their surroundings. They were in a sunny clearing surrounded by forests, with snowcapped mountains piercing the bright blue sky in the background and a slow moving river somewhere to the west. A very different terrain then what most Vaioans would be used to, there wasn’t a grain of sand in sight. Indeed, this wasn’t their territory at all. Technically this was Fort’s landscape, but after a tense conversation Fort was allowing Vaioa to invade for a day and a half in order to conduct a candidate lesson on wilderness survival and foraging. The junior weyrwoman was along to make sure that invitation wasn’t rescinded.

Several other dragons of all colors landed around Nazteth, each with their own load of candidates. Most left after confirmation that they would be back the next day to pick up those same candidates, while a few stayed behind to watch over the group with Zahrai.

While she’d technically been in a position of authority for months, this was the first time she’d truly felt people depended on her. It was a touch unnerving.

“Alright everyone, stay in the clearing for now. Anyone who enters the forest before we’ve gone over the rules will get tied to Nazteth for the night, and I cannot overstate how unpleasant that would be for them.”

I have been feeling quite gassy today. Nazteth added her own colorful commentary to the instructions, and Zahrai crinkled her nose. Note to self, stay upwind of dragon.

“As you were told before we left, your task while we’re here is to survive. You’ll be finding your own food and water, and if you can find shelter without getting attacked by tunnelsnakes, that’s a bonus. I’d personally suggest making a safe fire that doesn’t burn this whole place down as another priority. Maybe digging a latrine too. As a safety, don’t eat anything you find without running it by one of the rider chaperones first. If you eat poison berries that’s an inconvenience for everyone, so let’s not.”

“The rules are simple. Always stay with at least one other candidates, two is better. Stay within a reasonable range of this clearing. If you need help, all our dragons will be actively listening for you. Me and the other riders will be spread out to keep an eye on everything and make sure no one is breaking these rules, and there will be someone in the clearing if you need assistance of a non-urgent degree. Basically, don’t be fecking stupid, and we’ll all leave tomorrow happy and healthy, if a little dirtier then when we arrived.”

Zahrai clapped her hands together and tried to look like a properly intimidating adult. Nazteth looming behind her probably helped.

“Now. If you have questions, please ask, if not, partner up and start looking around. We’ll be leaving tomorrow when the sun is at its zenith. Don’t miss your dragon ride out!”

Not that they’d leave anyone behind. They’d taken a proper count when loading everyone up, and she’d already put a name to every face. That particular memory skill came in terribly useful. There was also little chance of trouble. They were leagues away from any reported holdless settlements that might dislike their space being invaded by dragonriders, and this wasn’t like the south where deadly wildlife ran the show. The worst the candidates might run into here were some ornery wherries or tunnelsnakes who didn’t like their burrows being stepped on.

Zahrai smirked as she remembered her night in the southern jungles. Nah, these candidates would have an easy time of it as long as they had common sense.

OOC: Feel free to have your candidate start exploring the forest, running into whatever critters or troubles you’d like within reason (nothing deadly). If you want your rider to be chaperoning you’re welcome to throw them in as well, besides Zahrai there’s about five other riders present. It's warm as they're getting settled in (mid-afternoon) but the night will be chilly. Candidates do have access to jackets and shovels.
Edited by Esuta, Nov 20 2017, 11:24 AM.

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Junior Weyrwoman Zahrai of Gold Nazteth : Wingthird Dinion of Garnet Chinesith :
Wingrider Mie of Brown Eybith : Wingrider and Healer Viviette of Blue Tarth :
Wingrider Irinei of Black Zandath : Wingleader Marios of Graphite Nynalth :
Weyrling R'vis of Grey Alasanth : Journeyman Beastcrafter Aeron : Journeyman Harper Tarik
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Piper: Open / tag Foragers / (tag Tyvel?)

Piper had barely caught her breath before Nazteth was landing, and then it was a clumsy fumble to dismount, slipping off the Gold's neck with a mimicry of the fluid grace that Zahrai had displayed. As she walked into the clearing, mingling with the other gathering candidates, she tried not to stumble and turned her would-be-casual leg stretches into a shifting gait.

Odd. I don't know if I'll ever get used to that.

Sitting astride a dragon was still something that felt completely unnatural to her body. Unsurprising, given that this had only been her second dragonride, ever.

And boy if Nazteth isn't bigger than Notalith.

Her first trip on a dragon's back had been just after her Search. The dragonrider M'ril had strapped up her and her brother, Tyvel, and they had leapt into the sky. Notalith had soared over the desert for a short time after he had emerged from Between and before he circled into the crater that was Vaioa's weyrbowl. Piper had wondered if he was showing off, but didn't mind it, because it had been so wonderful. The feeling of flying, of freedom, still took her breath away.

And then Nazteth was... once again different. She had flown with the same easy grace that Notalith had on the day of her Search, and yet... it had felt distinct. Piper didn't know anything about dragons, even after having been at Vaioa for half a Turn, but she could only assume that it had to do with how much larger the Gold was than the Blue had been. The sensation itself, of flying and freedom, that had been largely the same. But there were some differences, and Piper-- who was no Harper-- couldn't even begin to describe it. More power in Nazteth's wings, perhaps? She sketched a curious look at the Gold, still towering over the clearing across the way, and smiled to herself. For one moment she allowed herself to imagine what it would be like to ride a dragon of that size for herself-- to be a Weyrwoman--

And then Zahrai stepped forward and began speaking, breaking off Piper's chain of thought effectively (and probably for the best). She brought her attention to bear, listening, even as she slid her hands under the straps of the back resting on her shoulders.

Food, water, and shelter. Stay with at least one other person at all times. That doesn't sound so bad. She began to grin. She'd never done this kind of thing in earnest before, living off the land, but she'd been out of her parents' cothold on occasion and knew enough about taking care of herself to feel like she could handle the lesson. Belatedly, she grinned at Nazteth's contribution to the instructions. Being tied to a gassy dragon didn't sound any more pleasant than being stuck in a pen with a gassy herdbeast. Probably worse, actually. Better make sure I pay attention and follow the rules, then.

When Zahrai clapped her hands and so much as told them to get to work, Piper began glancing around, looking for Tyvel. Her brother was only better than she was at one thing, as far as she was concerned, and that had been anything related to running the cothold. Particularly the farming nonsense that had bored her so thoroughly.

Still, this would work to her benefit. All around them, the candidates were beginning to talk, discussing what tasks should be done first and so forth. Some of them had begun to gather wood for a fire. Finally, Piper spotted the candidate she was looking for.

"Tyvel!" She waved and wove through the candidates until she reached his side. "Hey! Finally a lesson that's more our pace, eh? Want to start foraging, then?" Piper could start on her own, of course, but it would go faster with both of them-- and maybe some of the other candidates would have a smidgen of sense about what plants were safe to eat, too. They could get a small group going, gather enough food for everyone, and earn their keep for the ngiht.

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Amber Wingsecond Aniese of Gold Rezeirth :: Marble Wingrider Vyra of Grey Theteth :: Granite Wingrider Karen of Blue Ienirth :: Weyrling Master Mai of Green Laeitath :: Candidate Master Kari of Green Seliath :: Sandstone Wingrider Natalia of Green Priyeth :: Sardonyx Weyrling A'den of Black Ezvanth :: Amber Weyrling Cayliss of Garnet Avraith :: Candidate Mirana :: Candidate Piper :: Journeywoman Healer Ylanna :: Weyrfolk Becca

Hurricane Wingrider Seneca of Blue Roryth

Sandstone Wingrider Dacielle of Copper Vylendrieth :: Granite Wingrider L'del of Grey Xakoeth :: Searchrider & Marble Wingrider M’ril of Blue Notalith :: Shale Wingrider K’dyn of Green Scherezath :: Baby Azora

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Rivdonis: Open

This candidate lesson was taking Rivdonis closer to home then he’d been in over a turn, and at the same time throwing him into a situation that wasn’t like anything he’d ever experienced. The strange experience that was riding on dragonback was not so distracting that he didn’t appreciate the beauty of his homeland, it’s deep greens and the impressive drama the mountain chain lent to the horizon. The candidate gave a deep sigh at the sight, a twinge of homesickness that had sat with him for months easing despite the fact that this was most certainly not his hold they were landing in. Instead, it was literally the middle of nowhere.

His legs were wobbly after dismounting, a process that took longer and was clumsier then he liked. Despite knowing otherwise, a part of him expected riding a dragon to be similar to riding a horse, and it was most certainly not. With a wave to the rider that yes, he was fine, he turned to the rest of the group and tried to look attentive when the gold rider who was leading the lesson began speaking. Wait, they were supposed to find food? And water?

He attempted to nonchalantly glance at the packs hanging off the dragons, only to see that no, there weren’t enough to hold food for the candidate group. How, exactly, were they supposed to do this?! Despite the alarm rising at the idea of being entirely self-sufficient, he kept his expression as neutral as he could. He was from here! He could do this! He knew what to keep his runner from eating while riding…sort of…same basic idea, right?

After the instructions were complete, the fact that the next 24 candlemarks might involve a depressing amount of both work and nature settled on Rivdonis. Sharding, they were even expected to sleep out here! Sleep! On the ground! Outside of a hold! He looked to the sky as if thread might descend without warning, despite the fact the riders wouldn’t have flown them out here if Thread was anywhere near the region. Shivers went up his spine, and he looked back at the other candidates with a determination to not think about terrible things.

People were forming into pairs or groups to start doing…whatever it was they were doing…and he should do the same. Riv formed an ‘O’ around his mouth with his hands, and shouted to the general crowd. “Any other candidates looking to find food?” Maybe that would grab the attention of some likely partners. If nothing else he was stronger then the majority of the people here, his muscles could probably solve a great many problems that lesser brawn could not.

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Junior Weyrwoman Zahrai of Gold Nazteth : Wingthird Dinion of Garnet Chinesith :
Wingrider Mie of Brown Eybith : Wingrider and Healer Viviette of Blue Tarth :
Wingrider Irinei of Black Zandath : Wingleader Marios of Graphite Nynalth :
Weyrling R'vis of Grey Alasanth : Journeyman Beastcrafter Aeron : Journeyman Harper Tarik
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Avyn, tag Cayliss

Avyn did not want to be in this lesson.

Not because of the flying. Not because of where they were going. Not because of the work she'd have to do.

She was going to be an unfamiliar place, with a bunch of people she did not know and/or care about. The fact that she was on a Gold's back was exciting, and she slid off the dragon's back easily enough. She regarded Nazteth for a long moment. Avyn longed for that sort of power and control. Not over other people, but surely the junior weyrwoman could do more of what she pleased. They had less people to answer to. They could do so much for Pern, too. Avyn turned back with a semblance of inspiration in her. With a lot of hard work, she would be like them. Maybe not on a gold or garnet, but with enough power. There was no guarantee. There was no control in being a drudge. She would be nothing if she were a drudge. She'd be more remembered if she were killed on the sands.

Still, she was convinced that she did not need these other people. They would not be in here for long. Food was unnecessary because of that. A fire was definitely a bonus, but water would also be preferable. It would get colder. They would freeze before they would starve or die of thirst, and the candidatemasters wouldn't let them do that anyway. The chances of them getting stuck in the woods were probably close to zero, so Avyn doubted the necessity of this lesson.

'Teamwork, you idiot. Wasn't it obvious?'

A slight frown grew at the corner of her lips. Fine. Fine. Teamwork didn't necessarily mean that she had to to trust the people there. You gave commands to each other, and did the task assigned. At the end of tomorrow, she did not have to interact with them too much. She hoped.

Avyn scanned the other candidates. One had already gone, called out to someone. She was too young for her to consider, anyway. Her eyes found a young woman, about as tall as she was. She did not slouch, and did not look like one who she would pin as lazy. but then again, people were unpredictable. This one could end up disappointing her anyway.

"You!" She called, heading in the candidate's direction. It was...vague, but she didn't care. Avyn didn't really know anyone in the candidate barracks. The candidate studied the other woman for a moment. Yes. She would go and get water with..whoever this was, and then she would go back home. There was a job to do.

"I'm Avyn," the candidate said quickly, and did not offer a hand. just a curt nod. "It would be best if we got water first. Come with me. Shouldn't be too far." Avyn did not wait for a response, and shortly after that last statement she turned around to head off into the wilderness.

'You should have asked for her name.'

'Whatever. Whatever. I don't need it. Names are not important right now. She probably didn't even want to know mine.'

'Your request was hardly polite'

Avyn groaned at her thoughts. The two of them were just out to get water. That's it. Finding it shouldn't be too hard. cleaning it was the harder part. that, and collecting it. Avyn turned her head a little to peer over her should to make sure Cayliss was still following, and then felt a stab of guilt for not actually asking about the candidate in the first place. "What's your name, anyway?" It didn't come off as curious, and she winced. The question came out rushed and nearly accusatory.
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Posted ImageDalia and Brown Avrioth Posted Image Posted Image Sykeia and Brown Savvth Posted Image Posted Image Apprentice Dragonhealer Morevia of Graphite Fastoth Posted Image Posted Image Shale Wingsecond Zuryl of Garnet Oxith Posted Image Posted Image Coal Wingleader N'myl of Blue Tesseth Posted Image Posted ImageAv'del of Blue Elnath Posted Image Posted Image S'yr and Bronze Shaingoth Posted Image Posted Image Journeywoman glasscrafter Serol and Brown Serosk Posted Image Posted Image N'avyr of Black Favonith Posted Image Posted Image L'gar and Bronze Brenath Posted Image Posted Image Avyn of Gold Philiath Posted Image Posted Image Fort survivor C'vier of Brown Gierth Posted Image Posted Image C'aelir of Green Kiiviith Posted Image | | Candidate Feokai

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Cayliss, Tag Avyn

The opportunity to ride a dragon again was not lost on Cayliss as a matter of great import, although she trained her eyes on the ground and schooled her features into calm as the Candidate Masters began assigning Candidates to transport. I will not show my excitement. I must not. There were enough other candidates displaying their own excitement that Cayliss would not have been the odd one out, were she to give in to the urge. But she would not.

She had barely even begun to admit to herself how amazing it was to ride on a dragon's back. She certainly wasn't prepared to admit it to anyone else.

Accepting her candidacy had been a task in and of itself. After her Search, she had remained quietly shocked for the rest of the day. Only when a full twenty-four candlemarks had passed had she begun to think in earnest about it.

On the one hand, she had no desire to place herself in harm's way. Every instinct she possessed was in the service of keeping her alive and well. And becoming a Thread fighter wasn't exactly advantageous for keeping one alive and well. And then there was the matter of sharing her ming with someone. She didn't like the sound of that, not at all. She'd learned long ago to keep her own counsel. Nobody else could be trusted. Surely that included beings who could see into your mind. Actually, she would have said that it doubly included beings who could see into your mind.

And yet, she'd managed to Impress a firelizard. Calliope was easily the most beautiful thing that Cayliss had ever laid eyes on (at least before she'd met dragons - she couldn't have said one way or the other, now). And her bond with Calliope... well, she'd never felt threatened by it. And according to So'rik, Impressing a dragon was much bigger-- if not on a completely different scale-- than Impressing a firelizard. But Cayliss didn't really know how to conceive of this. She had only the barest hint of understanding what it meant. So, while she was inclined to not think favorably of the idea of Impression itself, she couldn't exactly pretend to understand it and reject it based on its merits. She might not like the idea of it, but she understood, at least subconsciously, that she did not understand what it would be like. That made it hard to reject her Search completely, based on just a feeling of mistrust and dislike which she knew to be unfounded.

Not to mention, the more she thought about it, the more she realized that there was one huge benefit to Impression that she hadn't yet reflected on. It was power. Dragonriders had more power and prestige than anyone else in the Weyr. Probably than anyone else on all of Pern, even. And Cayliss, although she did not enjoy attention and did not fancy being put under scrutiny, really liked the idea of power. Power to keep herself safe and out of danger. To never again go to bed with a stomach screaming with hunger, or to go months without washing until she couldn't stand the smell of herself. Being a Lower Caverns worker saw to these needs, of course, but most of her life pre-Vaioa had been spent with no sense of safety or security. And if she did still analyze everything in her life from this perspective... perhaps she was not entirely flawed for it.

So that had finally tipped her hand. Cayliss was still uneasy about the "Threadfighting" and "Sharing your mind" aspects of Impression, but she'd have time to think those things over and decide how she felt and what she wanted to do about them. Serynth's clutch had barely hatched when Cayliss had accepted her Search, and Cayliss had learned from experience that Clutches were never laid overly close together. So she'd have plenty of time to think things over; if not longer. There was no guarantee that she'd Impress her first time around. Unlikely, in fact. She knew that there were plenty of candidates who had been passed over many times by now. So she had time. Time to continue to think things through, and find the best solution.

Still. She wasn't ready to admit how much she wanted it-- even wanted to ride on a dragon-- because she wasn't yet ready to accept the reality that Impression would quite probably bring Threadfighting into her future. It was all too uncomfortable, the cognitive dissonance, and that aside, Cayliss wouldn't have admitted her eagerness anyway because she was unwilling to open up to her peers. Never before had she needed to let anyone close to her; why should she start now? And while showing excitement might not be emotional closeness to some peoples' minds, it was to Cayliss'. No, she was unprepared to share her feelings, to anyone at this stage.

So when So'rik waved her forward and assigned her to a Brown at the edge of the gathering, Cayliss was obliquely relieved. She had expected things to be strained between her and So'rik, given that he was her friend first, and now her Candidate Master. But so far there had been no problems. At least, not yet - to be fair, she hadn't been a Candidate for very long, and there was still time for awkwardness to develop in that area. But Cayliss hadn't yet felt any of that, and for that, she was relieved.

So much so that it took her by surprise when she found herself strapped in behind another candidate, on the neck of the Brown - he was bigger than Sybanth, Cayliss knew - and then launched into the air. Cayliss could not breathe for the sheer wonder of it. It felt different than Sybanth's flight had, that was certain. A larger dragon would be slower and less maneuverable. And yet... it was still wonderful. Cayliss closed her eyes and leaned into the wind as the dragon's wings took them higher and higher, and then through Between. She only opened her eyes when she felt the cool air ripple over her bare arms, and then she looked down, sudden fear banishing the joy that had filled her a moment before. Calliope, on her shoulder, mantled her wings and hissed as she picked up on Cayliss's distress. Still, Cayliss could not bring herself to show any of her true feelings, even as her heart squeezed in fear.

The landing and dismount went smoothly. It was all that Cayliss could do to keep herself from bolting out of the clearing, though, as the candidates gathered together and one of the Goldriders addressed them. All the while, Cayliss's heart was thumping a tattoo against her chest, and her mouth was as dry as the scorching desert she had left behind. Here? Of all places, why here?

Nowhere reminded her more strongly of those years of her life that she had spent with her mother, and then the other Holdless, trying frantically to stay alive in any way possible.

Why fear? She seized upon this thought, tearing at its throat as a predator would. I survived for Turns. This should be a welcome change from the Weyr nonsense I've been dealing with lately. I was good at surviving. This is old hat.

And yet. And yet. The forest, the clean and crisp air, laden with the scent of pine, the soft soil underfoot and the hint of chill in the air. it was enough to bring her right back to those days, where every action was taken with mere survival in mind. Where, every minute of her waking hours, she had to wonder if she would make it to another day. Wondering if she would get caught out in Threadfall, or just attacked by one of the less stable bandits that she kept house with. Things that she hadn't had to feel in well over a Turn now. Vaioa had done something she never would have believed possible-- given her sense of security (however slim it had seemed). And now, returned to the scene of her former terrors, she was plunged afresh into those terrors again.

Calliope fanned her wings and hissed again, reacting to her owner's fear and distress.

There was a shout that Cayliss could hardly make out, and then suddenly someone was standing in her line of vision.

I'm Avyn. It would be best if we got water first. Come with me.

Cayliss blinked, started out of the cycle of repeating dread, and complied without thinking about it. Avyn? Who was this girl? Another Candidate, obviously. But Cayliss hadn't met any of the other candidates yet, not really. She sneaked a look at her. Had she approached Cayliss because she could tell that Cayliss was upset, and this was her way of offering comfort? Cayliss did a quick mental inventory. She didn't think that she had shown any signs of distress, but she couldn't be sure. She chewed her lip and then hurried to match the younger girl's pace.

Avyn was peeking over her shoulder, and then, What's your name, anyway? Normally, Cayliss would have been as smooth and sleek as a fine-groomed Holder. It behooved her to make friends, and to make a good first impression among her fellow candidates. But she was still rattled from the unexpected resurgence of her memories of the time before Vaioa, and thrown off balance. So her voice was slightly flat as she replied, "My name's Cayliss. I'm a new candidate." Then, belatedly, "We should head downhill. We'll probably find a stream or something like that."

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Amber Wingsecond Aniese of Gold Rezeirth :: Marble Wingrider Vyra of Grey Theteth :: Granite Wingrider Karen of Blue Ienirth :: Weyrling Master Mai of Green Laeitath :: Candidate Master Kari of Green Seliath :: Sandstone Wingrider Natalia of Green Priyeth :: Sardonyx Weyrling A'den of Black Ezvanth :: Amber Weyrling Cayliss of Garnet Avraith :: Candidate Mirana :: Candidate Piper :: Journeywoman Healer Ylanna :: Weyrfolk Becca

Hurricane Wingrider Seneca of Blue Roryth

Sandstone Wingrider Dacielle of Copper Vylendrieth :: Granite Wingrider L'del of Grey Xakoeth :: Searchrider & Marble Wingrider M’ril of Blue Notalith :: Shale Wingrider K’dyn of Green Scherezath :: Baby Azora

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Zahrai and Nazteth: Tag everyone

Zahrai watched the candidates scatter and then reform into groups, making an effort not to laugh at the few who looked utterly overwhelmed by the situation they’d been forcefully placed in. It was only a day and a night, but to some that might feel like eternity when in the wild outdoors. Having grown up in a family that
moved frequently out of necessity, she’d spent her share of time roaming the countryside, but some of this candidate selection was more…pampered. Her gaze flickered between several of the older candidates who had been marked as from wealthier holds in their candidate files, and made a mental note to keep a close eye on them, it could be entertaining.

What are you eating? I notice that you’ve sent them off to scavenge, but you’re not lifting a finger. You’re already bony as a dead wherry, you can’t afford to miss a meal. Nazteth observed, turning her massive head to squint down at her rider. Zahrai chuckled, waving a hand dismissively at the idea.

“Please. Why in the world would I do that? Your harness bags contain all the water and food me and the other riders could possibly need, along with some extra in case of emergencies. We’re not mean enough to not have a backup plan if it turns out the candidates are supremely bad at surviving without civilization.” Plus, while Zahrai had not been around for the bandit attack, she’d heard the stories. There might be a few very long knives in those bags as well.

To prove her point she pulled out an apple and took a satisfyingly crunchy bite. Delectable.

That’s when Pern itself began to move.

The ground trembled, softly at first, enough that Zahrai wasn’t sure it was real, and then harder, undeniably so. The trees shook around them, a flock of wherries erupting from the forest as the intensity of the shaking increased. Frozen, Zahrai noticed that other than the distance shrieks of the wildlife and the soft sound of leaves rustling, there was silence. How could there be such silence when her jaw was chattering so hard she thought her teeth might crack?

That silence only lasted for a few seconds, until candidates, riders, and dragons alike began to yell. Nazteth wrapped her tail protectively around her rider and bellowed threateningly, unable to locate the threat but addressing it anyway. Zahrai sputtered, trying to yell, “Everyone stay together and stay calm!” but the aforementioned golden tail got in the way of her voice projecting. Nazteth let me go, I’ve got to make sure everyone is alright! The dragon snarled, but released her rider. By the time Zahrai had stumbled free to address the panicking candidates, Pern was still again.

“Is everyone okay? Get back to the field so we can do a head count!” Her voice barely penetrated the general chaos.

QUIET! The gold’s command was far more audible, inescapably so. Everyone will come back to the field, and participate in a headcount. Zahrai and the other riders will give further instructions at that point.

Zahrai took a deep breath to compose herself and push down the freak out that wanted to emerge. She was a junior weyrwoman. There would be no alarm from her until she was comfortably away from her charges. "Is everyone okay?" She shouted again now that she could be heard.
Edited by Esuta, Nov 20 2017, 11:25 AM.

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Junior Weyrwoman Zahrai of Gold Nazteth : Wingthird Dinion of Garnet Chinesith :
Wingrider Mie of Brown Eybith : Wingrider and Healer Viviette of Blue Tarth :
Wingrider Irinei of Black Zandath : Wingleader Marios of Graphite Nynalth :
Weyrling R'vis of Grey Alasanth : Journeyman Beastcrafter Aeron : Journeyman Harper Tarik
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@Riv, Open

When she was a child, her other brother had regaled her with tales he had heard from Brynmor's cattle drivers about their adventures. Now, standing in the middle of nowhere, Syrsha wished she had paid a little more attention to the nitty gritty details of their survival out in the wilderness. Or maybe Shendi had skimmed over those in the interest of keeping his stories more exciting.

Either way, when Zahrai explained their objective, Syrsha could only stand there, totally at a loss, quietly dismayed.

Find food and water. Start a fire. Build shelter. Seemed simple enough, but how did one actually... do these things?

Not for the first time, she felt embarrassingly useless. This was worse than the camping trip.

With a sigh, she started toward Rivdonis. With what she knew of his background, he probably wasn't any better off than she was in this wilderness, but at least they could be idiots together. It was probably better than dragging down someone who actually knew what they were doing.

Halfway to him, the earth started to shake.

No—shake wasn't the right word. It was too small to describe the way the earth swayed beneath her feet, rocking like a boat in rough waters. She stumbled to a stop, wobbling. Her heart pounded over the rattle of rocks and the rustle of leaves and a sudden burst of wherry cries. Standing stock still, she waited for it to get worse just as she waited for it to end, and wondered which would happen.

The rocking faded to trembles, and slowly ceased. Was the earth still moving, or did it just feel that way because her nerves were jangled and her heart still thumped so hard?

Despite Nazteth's call to return to the field, Syrsha hurried the opposite way, to Rivdonis.

"Are you okay?" she asked. "Faranth. What was that? I've never felt anything like that before." She shook with nervous energy. Even though all was still now, she still half-expected the earth to fall out from her feet at any moment.
O'zen : Bronze Lenth
Lowen : Beryllium Lerriloth
Jerund : Brown Jerusk
Hama : Green Hamask
Eevai : Garnet Iopeth
Sh'ol : Graphite Hellioth
Kh'sev : Grey Saiyeth
Bervaidi : Blue Bervask
Syrsha : Brown Kalayth
Rosinthew : Candidate
Khola : Weyrfolk
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Teeniest Transman
TW: injury, mention of blood.

Avyn, Tag Cayliss; open???

Avyn was mostly pleased that the candidate had followed her without question her demands, but most people did not follow her orders. She almost did a double-take. The girl was a candidate also, and had probably been here longer. Why hadn't she said 'no' or asked something? anything? She glanced at Cayliss, quickly, and then focused back towards the forest. She had missed the smell of pine, and the cold that Fort offered. That was about it.

She peered over her shoulder, then about-faced when the woman spoke to her. So that was her name. Cayliss. "All right. I'm new here, too." She gave a bit of a nod to signify that she had heard the candidate's suggestion. Avyn was already heading that way, but it did please her to know that Cayliss agreed. She frowned a bit. Part of her wondered how Cayliss felt, being a new candidate. She wanted to ask where the Candidate hailed from, how her day was. Avyn wasn't too excited to be here, but perhaps there was a small chance that Cayliss would appreciate someone, perhaps with similar experiences, to talk to. Avyn opened her mouth to speak, and then abruptly shut it. No. She'd probably screw it up. Words were not her specialty. And besides, Cayliss probably wouldn't stay with her for long. People tended to do that. The only one she could truly trust was herself; She did not know what everyone was thinking, was planning of doing.

They were mostly surrounded with pine trees by now. Avyn could hear the soft crunch of dead pine needles, and was thankful that she could see her steps backwards towards Nazteth. Mostly, anyway. As they continued their trek south, Avyn could begin to hear the faint sound of a stream. She wondered how wide it would be and if it was shallow enough to stand in and not drown. Avyn recalled a time when, after a storm, she and Pyrtia would splash around in the puddles if they were deep enough. Of course, they always got dirty afterwards so her mother would scold her, but that was worth the time she spent with her friend. She hoped Pyrtia wasn't in Fort anymore, that maybe she got searched. It would be amazing if Pyrtia would come to Vaioa, and then nobody would mind the two of them being together. It seemed to be normal, here. Or, at the very least, tolerated.

It did not take too much longer to reach the ravine, through which the stream flowed. Avyn peered over the edge, careful not to get too close to it or else she'd fall. "Oh, that's not as deep as I thought it would be," she muttered, noncommittally. One wasn't quite able to see the distorted ground through the water, but it wasn't moving too fast. Probably really cold, she thought, knowing that water takes quite a while to heat up and quite a while to get cold. It was Fort, however, the water seemed perpetually cold. like everyone's attitude. She looked left and right, wondering if there was an easier way to get to the stream, but everywhere she looked, the ravine was a straight drop into the water. It would take some time getting up and down, but with careful planning it could be done, "Okay. So, there's a couple of rocks down this way," she gestured to them over the sharp edge, "could use those for footing, but first we should-"

She did not have much time to continue her sentence, because the earth beneath her began to move. It was soft, so she was able to gain her balance. She blinked, wasn't sure if she had just lost her balance. Then, it became more intense. Avyn couldn't really see the world around her because it seemed like the trees move. Wherries cried as they scrambled to get into the air, and Avyn tried to grab something, anything. Next thing she could vaguely see was the outline of the ravine, which was coming closer. She was falling. The candidate tried to scratch at the walls, the rocks, and tried to use her feet to right herself, but only felt an incredibly sharp pain as she descended down the steep cliff anyway. The shaking of the earth had stopped before she landed, but that was mostly useless information in Avyn's case right now.

The first thing Avyn actually registered was how shockingly cold the water was, and how her body was in it for some time before she could get her body to cooperate. Her mouth tasted metallic, almost. She mumbled; she must've bit her tongue or something during the fall. and she knew for a fact that her hands were scraped and maybe bleeding, but she could still use her arms to push her head out of the water. which was a bonus.

Avyn tried to stand, but quickly fell over, gasping in pain. Of course, this didn't help with drying herself. She glared at the steep ravine. There was no way that either of them were going to get up there. How were they going to tell everyone where they were? The dragonriders wouldn't leave them behind, surely. would they?

and then another fear. one that she knew was much more deadly than whatever she had done to her ankle. At least, she thought, it wasn't a break of something serious, like her tibia or femur. No, hypothermia. She wasn't able to stand. wasn't able to get out of this water. Avyn wanted to cry, and she would have, had Cayliss not been there. The candidate breathing, however, came very fast. She was panicking. She couldn't do anything, and everything hurt. she was too cold, and couldn't still her muscles enough from shivering to do much except hold half of her torso above the water, gripping onto a rock that jutted slightly above the waterline. Avyn clung to it like her life depended upon it.

"Cayliss," Avyn gasped out after a moment, and couldn't immediately reply. Even if Avyn was a secretive person, and pretty good at being one, it was no secret that Avyn was incredibly frightened. They weren't going to get out of here, were they? Would she be suspended from candidacy? Would they send her back home? The only thing she could really hear right now was the rapid beating, thundering of her heart in her ears. Avyn took a moment to spit some blood out of her mouth, and somehow managed to stammer again, "Cayliss, can you...can you stand? Are you okay? I can't get out of...of this ravine, Cayliss," her voice was taut, strained, as if she was on the verge of tears. She couldn't quite find enough breath. "I don't think...I don't think you can carry me," she rasped, shuddering as she began to realize just how much her right ankle was hurting, she gestured up the ravine, waving one hand, "please just...get help before I can die of hypothermia...please," Cayliss, surely, would have to get some help, right? she wouldn't just leave her here? People could be cruel, she knew this, but not this bad. "I can't stand...but, i think if you turn around there's a fairly rocky path up more North?" She was glad that she had not gone down that way, or perhaps she'd have serious head trauma, although Avyn currently did not know if she already did. Concussions could be sneaky.

She tried in vain, once more, to prop herself up. Stupid. why hadn't she gone more south. The ravine looked like it was this steep and just as high as far as her eye could see. They'd probably laugh at her. It was pathetic really. She was pathetic. She was going to die of damn hypothermia.

'I'm going to dig myself out of this damn ravine if I have to.'

She rested her head on the cool stone her hands gripped for a moment, gasping for air. Faranth, why couldn't she calm down. She turned her head away from Cayliss, although she wasn't entirely confident that she couldn't see her, because her eyes were watering. Why. 'Why me. Why us.'
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Posted ImageDalia and Brown Avrioth Posted Image Posted Image Sykeia and Brown Savvth Posted Image Posted Image Apprentice Dragonhealer Morevia of Graphite Fastoth Posted Image Posted Image Shale Wingsecond Zuryl of Garnet Oxith Posted Image Posted Image Coal Wingleader N'myl of Blue Tesseth Posted Image Posted ImageAv'del of Blue Elnath Posted Image Posted Image S'yr and Bronze Shaingoth Posted Image Posted Image Journeywoman glasscrafter Serol and Brown Serosk Posted Image Posted Image N'avyr of Black Favonith Posted Image Posted Image L'gar and Bronze Brenath Posted Image Posted Image Avyn of Gold Philiath Posted Image Posted Image Fort survivor C'vier of Brown Gierth Posted Image Posted Image C'aelir of Green Kiiviith Posted Image | | Candidate Feokai

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Never meddle in the affairs of dragons, for thou art crunchy and good with ketchup.
Brave dragons, fly high, fly true, Gold, Bronze, Brown, Green, and Blue.
But don't forget Garnet, copper, grey, black, and graphite, too!
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Singrid, tag Alishir & Open

This wouldn't be Singrid's first foray into the wilderness, after nearly five turns in Candidacy. That said, the woods were hardly her natural habitat; having grown up the daughter of vintners in High Reaches Hold, she'd spent her childhood comfortable, bored, and mostly indoors.

For all that she might be confident in her ability to get through the night in one piece, she wasn't exactly comfortable out here, and she dithered uneasily in the clearing as her classmates began to pair up and break off. She didn't want to give the impression that she was soft, however, or inexperienced, and so she allowed herself only a few minutes to despair of her light jacket and thin-soled boots. She then set aside her bad attitude, and made her way into the forest.

Once there, however, her resolve dwindled quickly. She hadn't formally joined up with any particular group, and so she was forced to trail after the slower and more easily distracted of her peers, juggling the need to keep at least one other person in sight with the desire for subtlety. She was torn between the urge to call out to the nearest Candidate, and the hope that she wouldn't have to. Perhaps someone would notice that she was by herself, and invite her to join them.

It was awfully awkward, though. She'd lost sight of Learyne and Kiilyne on the flight over, and didn't know any of her other classmates particularly well. It was one thing to go through the motions at Vaioa, where she had chores to keep her busy and lessons to attend - the contents of which she was, for the most part, already familiar with. Confidence was easier to come by - or at the very least, easier to fake - back at the Weyr. Out here, she felt unmoored, and the best that could be said of the situation was that she was swiftly losing patience with it.

Putting caution aside, she hurried over to the nearest Candidate, a tall man several turns her senior. Despite her anxiety, she thought her tone was admirably nonchalant when she said:
"Alishir, is it?" -But whatever else she might have asked him was swallowed up in a gasp, as the ground began to shift beneath her feet.

Her first thought was that she was ill; she felt lightheaded, all of a sudden, vertigo gripping her so tightly she feared she might faint. She thought she must be hallucinating, as she stumbled and nearly fell over on perfectly even ground, and panic gripped her - until a flock of wherries burst out of the underbrush nearby, drawing her focus to the tree line. Only then did she realized it wasn't in her head; the forest was trembling, and the earth itself seemed to rise and fall like a wave coming towards her.

It didn't last long, thank Faranth, and the lightheaded feeling vanished as abruptly as it came. Lurching away from Alishir - who she'd narrowly avoided stumbling into, during the quake - she shook her head and heard herself mumble:
"Oh, wow."
Such an inane thing to say! Frustrated with herself, Singrid gritted her teeth and glanced to the side; the other Candidate seemed to be in one piece, but it couldn't hurt to be sure.
"Well, you don't see that every day. Are you all right?"

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Elmi & Garnet Basteth | Az'riel & Copper Liyanth
Singrid & Copper Wiliath | J'nai & Brown Elokith
Caylan & Grey Parath | El'jir & Blue Morrith
Savka & Blue Ripariath | N'din & Green Ingalath
J'phel & Black Davoth | I'vend & Graphite Rerioth
Sankal & Black Sansk | Avry & Blue Ask

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Mother of Whers

Tag Piper, Open:

Tyvel had decided from his first ride on Notalith that flying was not his thing. Taking this trip aboard the giant Nazteth only made him more sure that his feet belonged firmly planted on the ground. His legs ached from being stretched around the neck of the gold, so much broader than the biggest runnerbeast. And the landing... The boy clung to Piper as they descended, every flap of Nazteth's wings making him feel like he might fall off. At least there were straps buckled tight to the belt around his waist...had dragon saddles been like the ones runnerbeasts wore, he knew he'd be dead. I think I prefer Notalith... Shuddering as he awkwardly, clumsily slid down the gold's foreleg, Tyvel almost fell to his knees upon impact. He managed to steady himself, rising up on his toes to stretch his calves, lengthening his strides to get some feeling back in his poor thighs. How Zahrai and the others had dismounted so gracefully, he'd never know.


Shaking his head, the former farmer finally took a chance to take in their surroundings, and his mood immediately lightened. A brilliant smile stretched across his face as his eyes soaked up all of the green. There were trees and shrubs he had never seen, not a bit of red sand or yellowed fields to be seen. It was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. I need to take Irena here, after we're married. They would find a runnerbeast to borrow, maybe from one of her brothers. His own parents' swaybacked dray would never make such a trip. Especially not in the middle of winter in these mountains. Not that he would ever take away their only means of transportation and plowing. That would be the most ungrateful thing he could imagine doing, after abandoning them to play dragonrider.

Despite his desire to just wander off and inspect all of the wonderful plant life around him, Tyvel had the well-mannered holder sensibilities to obey the Junior Weyrwoman. Hands in his pockets, he stopped in his tracks near the edge of the clearing and turned back to face her and her giant beast. Does she have to talk like that? Not even a good holder man would joke about gas in front of a woman, or swear like that. His dismay showed on his face, and he fiddled with the straps of his backpack to keep from saying something. It certainly wasn't his place to do so, and the dragonmen around Zahrai probably wouldn't take it too well.

The rules were simple, and very easy to remember. Company, stay close, call for help, don't eat anything strange, be useful. Things any sensible adult would know to do. Taking a deep breath of the cool mountain air, Tyvel looked around for Piper the moment they were dismissed. He still hadn't had much success in making friends at the Weyr, and really, there was no one that he'd rather go on this adventure with than his sister. More than wanting to keep an eye on her, he wanted to have fun, like they'd used to. Grinning when she found him, he nodded and threw an arm around her shoulders. "Sure thing, Pips. Hopefully some of these northern plants'll be familiar, yeah?" Even if they weren't, he was excited to see what new flora they'd find in these woods. Maybe...maybe he could take some of the edibles back with him. See if they'd grow in Vaioan soil.

His arm tightened around Piper as the ground started to move, and he leaned on his sister as much as he tried to support her. Trees were shaking, leaves were rustling, and Tyvel could barely keep on his feet. Eyes wide as candidates started panicking, Ty swallowed his fear and tried to look calm for his sister's sake. It was hard with even Nazteth bellowing. "Get to Nazteth," he urged her, unwilling to let her go but not wanting her near the trees either. If one of them was uprooted and fell on them, he'd never forgive himself.

The sudden stillness was almost as unnerving as the ground's movements. The forest was quiet, too quiet, but above all of the panic, Zahrai's voice was barely audible. Nazteth's was impossible to ignore. Shaking despite himself, Ty gave Piper's arm a tug. "C'mon." They hadn't gotten far, at least. It would be a short walk back.

[align=center]A'lem & Axelath[/align]

Tag Zahrai, Open:

It seemed...odd that A'lem and Axelath had been allowed to chaperone this lesson, considering its location. As the big, dusty brown settled beside Nazteth, his eyes whirled orange. From A'lem's mind, he picked up that this place belonged to the Weyr that had shunned his clutchfather, and while he and Attikoth hadn't been close, he felt it as a personal affront. I imagine they would flay me if I came to say hello to their queens, he teased A'lem, settling down on his belly so that the insufferable human whelps could dismount. Their chatter immediately began to grind on his nerves, and he took to the sky the moment his last passenger was off. Rising fast, he was nothing but a dusky pinprick circling the clearing.

You would rather greet them instead of spending time with Nazteth? Clasping his hands behind his back, A'lem moved to stand near Zahrai and the other remaining dragonriders, lips twitching upwards as she immediately began to threaten them. His own nose wrinkled at Nazteth's added comment, and he heard Axelath's snort from where he stood miles below him. Shut up. Shaking his head slightly, the brownrider stayed quiet throughout the rundown of the lesson, a hand creeping into his riding jacket pocket to make sure his list of names was still there. As a rider with little interactions with the candidates of Vaioa, he had no idea who many of the kids were. Not that many of them are kids. A few had to be as old as he was, or a couple Turns older.

You are less annoying, if that helps, Lemon.

Gee, thanks...

As the candidates dispersed, A'lem continued to stand and watch. He had his reservations about sending them off on their own--there were so many, it seemed, who were from rich, pampered backgrounds. But how else would they learn? Sometimes, immersion was the best method of teaching and overcoming weaknesses. So the brownrider observed, his dragon listening for any sounds of trouble. Or lack thereof. A'lem, it is very quiet here... In the distance, there were wherry calls and scampering, but around the clearing, all Axelath could hear were the candidates and the other dragons. He didn't think too much of it, didn't bother bringing it up to the others.

When the earth started shaking, A'lem's breath was stolen from his lungs, and Axelath abruptly tipped into a nosedive. The brown's landing was hard, briefly adding to the tremors, and he crouched protectively over his unsteady rider, fangs bared, eyes a brilliant shade of crimson and orange. Candidates! Shut up!Get back here, now, as the queen says! His gruff, rasping voice was harsher than normal, and held no kindness or concern for the little ones' feelings. A'lem might have chastised him for it, but as the shaking gradually stopped, he was swallowing down panic of his own. Stay calm. Pushing away from his dragon, he stepped closer to Zahrai, counting heads.

"Weyrwoman we're missing a good few," he murmured, eyes narrowing in concern. "Axelath is going to summon them again."

ALL candidates who aren't in this clearing in ten minutes are digging latrines and emptying them! Axelath called. As an afterthought, he was quick to add, Anyone who is too injured to walk, yell out as loud as you can so we can hear you.

Malaika & Mask || Grevor & Grevosk || Ara & Arask || Skeiron & Skeisk

K'lien & Lyeloroth || T'lia & Riftith || A'lem & Axelath || G'ist & Kormoranth || Iradin & Leoth || Ashwyn & Taryth || Danera & Vaesth || Luca & Emmeth || N'ik & Ferrivoth || T'vel & Eazarth || Evesa & Seriath || K'ai & Rynith || Toray & Itnalath || Ismene & Istoth

Deklan || Eana || Malakin || Tiberis || Vosamlye
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