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1 Candidate Lesson #5 on Sun Sep 23, 2012 4:40 pm


Admin / Weyrlingmaster
Again this week, Headwoman Anna shepherded the Candidates out to the Stands to review the fifth lesson: what the Candidates needed to do during the Hatching, what to do if they Impressed, and so on. This time, she brought them down a couple levels on the stairs, closer to the eggs and the queen mother. They had a surprise lecturer: Weyrlingmaster H'lee.

H'lee described how they would string out on the Sands in an arc around the eggs, keeping a safe distance from the eggs and a safe distance from each other. "The hatchlings are clumsy when they break free of their eggs. Ever crack open a chicken egg? The clear liquid provides nutrients to the chick, same concept in a dragon egg. So most of it's gone when they hatch, but there's still some moisture. It can cause the eggshell to stick to them, which can interfere with their ability to move."

He also explained that there would be adult riders on the sidelines ready to give them a hand off the Sands. "I can't stress enough that you need to wait for the hatchling to come to you. Even if you can feel the Impression bond forming, DO NOT go to him or her. Doing so could inadvertently place you between another hatchling and Candidate. Hatchlings are thinking about two things when they break those eggshells open: find their lifemate and finding food. Getting between either of those can get you trampled, injured, or even killed.

"I'll be waiting with senior weyrlings and some of the Assistant Weyrlingmasters in the Bowl. We'll have meat for the hungry hatchlings, pails of water and brushes so you can scrub them clean, and a pail of water for them to drink. New weyrlings also be given their first lesson in oiling their dragons after washing them.

"The senior weyrling or Assistant Weyrlingmaster who helped you off the Sands will escort you to the barracks. They're not unlike the Candidate bunkrooms you've been living in, but they're larger, with couches for the hatchling. They're first-come, first-served; the Headwoman will show them to you after the lesson and you'll be allowed to go back to them whenever. I recommend you pick one out before the Hatching so you know exactly where you're going if you Impress. We don't need unnecessary drama between you after Impressing."

With that, Headwoman Anna took over and led the Candidates down to the Weyrling Barracks, which were almost all the way across the Bowl from the Hatching Grounds. There were two barracks, a larger one for the male weyrlings and a smaller for the females. She explained that this was because greens would Impress to males or females and they usually ended up with more male weyrlings than females. "Since we started using the Academies, we were able to make these larger. We used to have to house up to 50 weyrlings at a time, now we're usually only looking at ten or a dozen, so we took out some of the walls and couches and doubled the original size of each barrack. There are fifteen available barracks in the boys' barracks and seven in the girls'. Please pick one out and give me a number; they're numbered from west to east (left to right)."

Example weyrling barrack:

|-----*-- |
|b[] ~ c |
|e ~ o |
|d ~ u |
|() ~ c |
| ____ ~ h |
|{}|desk|~ |
|-----*-- |

* - glowbasket
() - chest
[] - nightstand
{} - armoire
~ - curtain

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