Weyrling Lesson 2: Dragon Anatomy/Injuries

F'tum came in, and looked at the new Candidate. "Pick a place to sit, and we'll get started." With that, he moved up to the front of the classroom type room and began speaking.

"Dragons are rather healthy creatures, they are not susceptible to many of the things that we or other animals are. However, there are other dangers. Fighting thread, a dragon can get scored. Or they might pull a muscle, break a bone, or tear a wing…. You as the rider will have to be able to identify problems and start the treatment.

"The wings are most often injured, through thread scores, pulling a muscle or tearing the wing membrane. The first and last are obvious however the pulling of a muscle is less so, the dragon may inform you of a pulled muscle or you may notice that a flight is less than smooth. Sometimes a dragon will not inform his or her rider about an injury because they want to please, in these cases it’s up to the rider. Treatment for these all include being grounded and swimming in the ocean. For the tears the tear may need to be stitched and numbweed applied. For thread scores use numbweed.

"Broken bones are similar to pulled muscles. Diagnosing is the same, either dragon informing or rider awareness. Treatment includes realigning the bone, felis juice or numbweed, wrapping the appendage to prevent more injuries, grounding and swimming to keep the muscles working and to ease pain.

"The eyes can also be injured. Because they have so many facets, they are often not that bad. Once a facet is damaged, often in will not regain sight, but a few facets won’t matter. Often in the cases of major damage to the eye and the eye cream doesn’t it will be stitched up to allow nature to take care of it. "
"For other injuries ask a dragon healer… If there are any questions please ask them now. Otherwise please continue to feed and oil your dragon, then take your dragon to the weyrling barracks and get some rest. Next lesson we will make your first set of riding straps.

"Although I did mention skin injuries when we were discussing oiling, I shall repeat it again. Just as with flitts dry or cracked skin is very dangerous. You need to oil your dragon's hide so that it does not itch or crack. If the hide does crack, when a dragon goes between it can seriously injure or even kill the dragon."

F'tum scanned the room. So, how many people had fallen asleep this time?

Angela listens intently the whole time. Aside from the obvious differences it didn't sound much too different from normal healing. When F'tum reaches the end of the lecture, Angela tentatively asks "I thought you told me we don't have a dragon healer yet. What do we do until we have one? Who do we go to?" There is worry on her face at the thought of Lisith being injured, but there is also an intense interest.

Aelisa bit her lip thoughtfully. You're going to remember to oil me all the time, right? Vinceth asked, her tone sounding a little shaken. Of course I will. I don't want to lose you for something like that! the girl replied quickly. She suddenly wished that she hadn't suggested that Vinceth listen in on their lesson today. But did you hear? He said we're going to make riding straps soon! You'll get to fly me wherever you want!

T'geth raises his hand. "If dragons arn't susceptible to deseise, which is what it sounds like you're saying, why are there so very few? I thought that is was the plauge that killed most of them."

When Angela speaks up Lawna half turns towards her and makes a arm pumping motion and mouths "go for it".

P'val is practically asleep the whole time. He actually did doze off once but was promptly awaken by Mithnath who had begun to stir. "Shouldnt you be listening to F'tum?" The wise dragon asks his rider. "Im listening! He lies playfully back. Now awake he listens to all the others as their questions are answered, having none of his own.

Rylon fidgets slightly in his chair, eyes completely focused on F'tum. Although he had never been very good in school, he paid close attention to this lecture. After all, didn't he have a chance at Impressing at the next Hatching? His eyes darted briefly to the boy who appeared to have fallen asleep, noting the brief unfocusing of his eyes. Wonder what his dragon said…? He quickly refocused on F'tum. It wouldn't do for him to be negligent on his first day in the Weyr.

F'tum looked at Angela. "Any of the full riders will be able to help you, and we will eventually get a dragonhealer." He then looked at T'geth, pausing for a moment before answering the question tentatively. "Dragons are more resistant to disease, that's true…but riders are not. During the recent plague, many riders fell ill and died. When a rider dies…their dragon goes between." F'tum quieted again, somber and debating whether to tell the Weyrlings what happens when a dragon dies and leaves the rider behind. He decided against it. "That is why there is so few riders."

Kella had sat down right before F'tum began his lecture, and listened intently. A couple of times her eyes wandered around the room, looking particularly at Rylon and the new girl. THey'd probably have to sit through this lecture once they Impressed as well. Are you almost done yet…everyone else's coat looks shinier than mine and I need to look better than them! Kella frowned slightly to herself. Hush, she said. I'll get to you once we're done. That seemed to silence green Kaneth, and Kella was able to concentrate on the rest of the lecture. The questions asked had been good, she thought, though the answers were a little more depressing than she'd hoped.

Evana, who had taken a seat near the back of the room, glanced around nervously. She tried to pay attention to the lesson but found herself distracted. There were so many new faces she'd never seen before- so many dragons. She bit her lip, smiling softly as she took in her surroundings, her green eyes flashing excitedly.

J'ret had been boredly paying attention, having come from Benden and being forced to sit through their classes as well. But that changed when the new girl walked in. His black eyes followed her, at least until she sat behind him and he couldn't look without being obvious about it. Very interesting… he thought to himself, or at least he thought he thought to himself. What's interesting, mine? Aren't you supposed to be listening? J'ret blinked, a little shocked. Then he remembered (as though he could really forget) that his dragon was always listening in. Oh, nothing…she's just pretty. Oh. Can I meet her? J'ret considered it. That would mean he'd have to meet her as well. Worked for him. Yes, we'll introduce ourselves after.

T'len's head had been nodding when F'tum started but the topic had him awake and listening.

He glanced to the new people every once and a while wondering why they were here. Where they wyerlings from the other Weyr? They didn't have wyerling shoulder knots Vorth are there any new dragons? Vorth answers back //no, there are no other dragons

Ca'dis goes pale then green about halfway through the lecture.

He blurts out "So thread really is coming back!" Ca'dis pictures Thread eating his Durpth and blanches further.

Out on the beach Durpth picks up his anxiety and thoughts about thread and begins rocking back and forth in distress.

Rylon glanced at Ca'dis with an expression akin to disgust. "Of course Thread's coming back. We've known that since the end of the last Pass! Didn't your Harper teach you anything?" He continues to frown at Ca'dis. What do they teach them where he comes from? Must not have a very good Harper… Rylon himself only knew this as Ista's Harper had taken a special interest in his education. Why, he would never know, because he'd despised the lessons, but the certainty of Thread's return had been drilled into his head so thoroughly that he believed everyone knew about it.

Aelisa looked at Ca'dis like he was crazy, echoing Rylon's sentiments, although with a much less abrasive twist to the words. "Why else did you think we were all chosen to Impress?" she asked quietly. "Everyone knows that dragons and their riders fight thread. We're not messengers after all."

Sarana heard a reaction from Bobth, explaining Durpth's reaction. She sent to her dragon, tell him that everything's fine right now. Thread isn't coming today. She then leaned over to Ca'dis and said, "I know what you mean, they told us and told us, but it seemed like something that couldn't happen in our lifetimes, didn't it?"

She gave Bobth another nudge, tell Durpth to calm down, Ca'dis is learning how to help him.

Ca'dis flushes and looks down at his hands as he continues "When I got to go to gather last I heard a bunch 'a the holder sayin' they didn't think the tread is ever comin' back." a note of beligerance creeps into his voice " I listened to the harper when he came but the Harper said thread han't fallen for over two hun'red turns if it been that long how do we know it coming back. Sides lots of people musta' 'pressed dragons an not fought thread."

Rylon rolls his eyes, his annoyance fading slightly, though he remains frowning. "There's been a Long Interval before. Thread came back after that. Why shouldn't it come back again now? Why else would we have the Star Stones? That's what they're there for!"

"The finger points
At an eye blood-red
Alert the Weyrs
To sear the Thread."

Rylon finished the Teaching Ballad, crossing his arms over his chest. "I dunno 'bout you, but Ista's Harper said he'd heard from the Master that the Red Star was getting closer to the Eye." His frown deepens as he tries to jog his memory. "'Course, that was a while ago. Maybe the Red Star's already past the Eye by now." He looks at F'tum to confirm or deny his theory.

M'nol couldn't help scoffing aloud, "Ah cin tell ya one thing. It's been nigh o' 4 hunnerd Turns since th' Red Stah was bracketted by Eye Rok an' i' prolly won' be agin fer anther few Turns."

T'len listen to the debate torn as what to do, he bits his lip and Asks F'tum " When is 'hread comin' back?" the question had been bothering him for a while now and it was good to get it out in the open.

F'tum had been quiet the entire exchange. "M'nol is right, most likely anyway. Not for a few more turns at the least. We'll have time to get you all up to fighting shape, and hopefully clutch a few more dragons in the time being…we need all the strength we can get." He took a deep breath, trying not to appear too worried. "We'll manage…We have for four hundred Turns." He smiled a bit. "Are there any more questions?"

Rylon shakes his head in response to F'tum's query. Thoughts of Thread still whirled about inside his head, though. He -was- scared…though he'd never admit it aloud. He'd heard the tales and songs just as any other child had.

Lawna sat quietly through the dicussion on thread, she figured it would come up sooner or later she had heard the muttering of certain holds and cots to. Her family had always believed thread would return and they built accordingly but there were some who would get a rude awakening one turn soon. "when will we start that part of training, I mean to fight thread? "

"What should we do if we or our dragons get Threadscored?" Aelisa asked in almost the same moment as Lawna. She blushed and looked down at her hands almost as quickly. We really do need to work on your confidence, Aelisa-mine. Vinceth said in her head. That was a good question you asked.

Sarana listened to the worried questions of her classmates, and she nodded as she asked her own question. "What about training in teaching the braver dragons that they are not invincible? I know their instincts are still basicly those of animals, no matter how smart they are. And an animal will do some dumb things to protect the person it cares for. Is this a problem for the dragons?"

"First we must learn to fly em before we even have a chance in Threadfall." P'val says offhandedly at Lawnas question. He knows F'tum knows what hes doing by keeping them grounded, but the the urge to fly becomes harder and harder to resist every day. He is sure Mithnath is big and strong enough to carry him. "I can carry you everywhere you want to go." Comes the reply from the sleepy Mithnath who is just now rising. P'val simply smiles at the remark and continues to lounge until dismissed from the classroom.

"We'll start that when your dragons are strong enough to carry you in flight, which will be a little while yet." F'tum answered, then continued. "Flight first, and we'll be doing some drills, similar to the ones you'll do in wings when you're full dragonriders. Then, your dragons will learn to use firestone, or in your case Lawna flamethrowers, and the last thing I shall be teaching you will be going between…eventually you'll combine it all, and by that time you'll be close to full dragonrider status."

F'tum looked at Aelisa. "Your dragons will go between to freeze off the Thread at that immediate moment. Now, if the score isn't very bad, you'll probably continue to fight. But if it's serious, your Wingleader will more than likely tell you to go back to the Weyr, where you'll administer numbweed to the score, same as what you'd do for a human." Then, F'tum looked at Sarana. "Dragons do have alot of sense, despite the credit some Holders give them. I'm sure you've figured out that your dragon knows when you are sick or tired or hungry, though if you haven't you will, and so…" F'tum chuckled. "For lack of a better term they'll nag you. Or they'll go behind your back to tell someone else."

The Weyrlingmaster paused, considering his next sentence. "The things you're talking about, doing 'dumb things' as a canine might attack someone it feels to be threatening its territory, do happen, but remember you are just as part of that dragon's mind as it is to you. You can exert control over your dragon without undue harm…those of you with female dragons will have to, once she rises, to prevent her from eating meat before her Flight." F'tum wondered if he had gone too far at that point, but decided that it needed to be said. If any of the dragons rose early, it was confusing enough even with knowledge about what was going on. He almost shuddered to think what someone would do without knowing. "Did that answer your questions?"

Lawna nods, it sounded like more work then herding could ever be but she was up to it.

As if to underscore the bit on nagging Ioreth sends to her " You need to eat, you missed your breakfast and then moved things you are hungry"

Lawna smiles and gets a distant look in her eyes as she speaks her dragon " we'll unlike Some people I can't just start kreeling untill breakfast is delived" humor tinges her mental voice " but you right I should have stopped for a meat roll or something"

Ioreth smugly replies " I pay better attention to you then you do " Ioreth had been listening to the leason to and getting ideas. and speaks Caroth "my Lawna needs to eat would you tell yours?"

A very audible yawn escapes P'val as he waits for the classroom to be adjourned.

Ca'dis's begins fidgetting as the urge to take a potty break begins to grow, his left leg begins to jiggle up and down.

Sarana nodded, he had not only answered her questions, but provided more information than she'd expected. "Yes, thank you sir, I think that does."

She still wondered just how much Bobth's understanding would help to keep her safe. She might very well try to continue to fight even threadscored, and Sarana didn't want her green beauty to hurt herself that way. She would have to be vigilent, but also not inhibit Bobth's instincts. She hoped she would be up to the task.

Bobth chimmed in, you'll be fine, you haven't hurt me, and you don't want to.

Sarana smiled, I know love, I just don't want to every hurt you. In the quiet recess of her mind, where she was learning she could hide certain fears from Bobth, she still worried. The young dragon had such faith in her, was she up to the task?

Mine, you should probably dismiss now. Caroth said sleepily. F'tum nodded, to himself, apparently. "If there are no more questions, you are all dismissed."

[End of Lesson]

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