Candidate Information

General

Candidate Barracks

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Cot Assignments

There are ten bunks to a barrack, which the candidate is assigned to on their first day of Candidacy. They have a small clothes press (essentially a small chest of drawers) at the foot of their bunk in which to store their clothes and other personal effects. Their stuff is expected to fit into this, and if it does not then it must be either stored neatly under their cot or gotten rid of.

The bathing pools are towards the lower caverns, and there are communal as well as separate sex bathing pools. Also that way are the lower caverns, kitchens and laundry and a back entrance out of the Weyr that leads to the forest. There are the Candidate and Guard training yards as well as areas for lower caverns work, like laundry. The door to the outside is locked at nightfall, and anyone outside then either has to make their long way around to the main entrance or sleep outside the Weyr for the evening.

Barracks 8, 9 and 10 are generally female candidate barracks.

Authority

Candidates are considered to be under the authority of the Weyrwoman, as part of the civilian population of the Weyr. Their training is overseen by the Weyrlingstaff, to make the transition of training from candidacy to weyrlinghood easier. Weyrlings are under the authority of the Weyrleader so Weyrlingstaff are answerable to both leaders.

Candidate Requirements

Keep in mind that these are the in-character rules, guidelines for how your character is expected to behave. If you have an idea for an interesting plot or character development, we may be willing to bend them to let your character in.

Requirements for all Candidates:

  • Must be of sound mental and physical health. Disruptive, violent or damaged behavior will be monitored carefully by the Weyrling Masters in charge of the Candidates and if they deem it a risk to allow the young person near a dragon, the Candidate will be asked to leave Candidacy until they are deemed healthy by the Healers.
  • Must be within the age range of 12-23 turns old.
  • Must not have any kind of official criminal record. As most of the Candidates come from the Weyr, and then the rest of the island and then the rest of the protectorate, it is easy enough to find out if a boy or girl has a record.

Boys : Can Impress Green, Blue, Brown and Bronze dragons.
Girls : Can Impress Green, Blue and Gold dragons.

Candidate Guide

Hold and Craft Candidates

Searching

Ista rarely heads out to Search and they never choose children on a whim. When they do Search they do it officially, and bring back a number of likely girls and boys at once. A rider may take note of a potential during a visit to a Hold for a gather or business, but they will not be Searched to stand until there is an Official Search made.

They will not Search someone from outside the protectorate. However some Candidates have come in with Outsiders. They are acknowledged as Candidate potentials, and since they have chosen to make Ista their home, they are permitted to Stand.

After Search / Lead up to Hatching

Prior to a clutch being laid the Searchriders of Ista go out into the protectorate and seek out potential young men and women. They are then brought to the Weyr and are given intensive training in how to be a dragonrider.

Essential lessons are taught during this time, to bring young people, with little experience about Dragons, up to speed so that their lack of knowledge does not adversely affect their dragons, should they Impress.

Essential Curriculum

Dragon Basics

Dragon Colours
Includes average measurements; height, width, length and weight, throughout stages of development and full growth.
Characteristics associated with each colour, discuss stereotypes and the realities of dragon personalities

Dragon Physiology
The anatomy of dragons, looking at their builds, their eyes, the neck ridges, legs tails, internal makeup.

Dragonrider Basics

Duties
These lessons cover the responsibilities that will be the Candidate’s once they Impress and become dragonriders. These include duties associated with rank such as Wingleaders, Wingseconds, Weyrleaders, weyrseconds, search riders and weyrlingstaff as well as the duties performed by regular wingriders, such as paperwork, harness maintenance, sweep riding, hold and craft duties (messaging, and transporting) and weyr duties (diplomacy)

Conduct Expected

Candidates are held to high standards at Ista. Although the Weyr itself is not as stuffy or prone to rule regulation like some others, they are still a proud society that expect excellence from everyone inside it. The conduct classes will cover the appropriate ways to address everyone from the Weyrleaders down, knots and the behaviour expected by a Wingleader should you Impress.

Reading and Writing Skills

The life of a dragonrider is not just glory and heroism. Quite often it’s rather dull, and it involves quite a bit of paperwork. Wingleaders and Weyrleaders/Weyrseconds, will especially have to do a lot of paperwork but individual riders will too. They are expected to have a good grasp of both reading, writing and arithmetic. Some Candidates will come to the program with these skills already, others will not. Proficiency is required.

Weyr Basics

History of Ista

This class will cover Ista, it’s history according to common knowledge and records. The Candidates do not need to be able recite dates or the like back to prove their proficiency, but they do need to be given the instruction as to the long and venerable history of their new home, and of the legacy they will perhaps be called to continue.

Weyr Life

Hold and craft outlooks on Weyrs can be very different to what is the reality. This class will cover the little differences between living in a hold and in a craft, like dragons feeding, the lower caverns, and especially flights and Weyr attitudes to sex, babies, and the like.

Weyr Structure

Most holds and crafts will have instructed their young on the current leaders of Weyrs across Pern. This class will be a more indepth look into the hierarchy of Ista, who answers to who and where the Candidates fit into it all and where they will fit should they Impress.

Thread and Thread-fighting basics

Perspectives on Thread differ between Hold, Craft and Weyr, because it is the Weyr's duty to fight Thread to protect the rest of Pern. Candidates are required to understand what may become their lifelong enemy, and understands the basics of combating it. Maneuvers, simple tactics and common Fall patterns are all things they will be required to study and will be examined upon.

Physical fitness

One of the most important aspects of being a dragonrider. Riding a dragon, and fighting Thread is hard physically, it requires strength, flexibility, quick reflexes and conditioning and Candidates will be required to meet a minimum standard of fitness before being allowed to Stand. It is not something that will be examined merely in that initial period of Candidacy either. Throughout their candidacy, weyrlinghood and then being a full rider these things will be monitored.

Dragon care

Dragons trust their lifemates to look after them so they need a good understanding of what to do. Basics such as checking the hide for dryness, oiling, cleaning and feeding are all covered, as are all the essentials of care.

Between Hatching and Next Goldflight

1-2 Hatchings

Candidates will spend their 3 days a sevenday routine learning more advanced classes about Dragons and Dragonriding. By the time they Stand for their 3rd hatching they should be reasonably proficient and after assessment by Weyrling staff they will progress to the next stage of Candidacy.

The lessons are on the same general topics as earlier except in greater detail, focusing less on the changes between hold to weyr life and more about what is required of a dragonrider from Ista Weyr.

The Physical training continues at a higher intensity.

3 and above Hatchings

Candidates continue their physical training three mornings a sevenday but in the afternoons, instead of participating in the lessons they participate in more dragonrider specific activities. These vary from day to day and include more advanced tactics, specific threadfalls and how they played out as well as Dragonrider ‘apprenticeships’

3 Days a Sevenday: Craft Days

By 6:30am – Wakeup
6:30am – 7:30am – Morning Workout: Cardio Fitness
7:30am – 8 am – Light Breakfast
8am – 9am – Chore Rotations in the Lower Caverns
9am – 12:30pm – Craft Work
12:30pm – 1pm – Lunch
1pm – 2pm – Chore Rotations in the Lower Caverns
2 – 5pm – Craft Work
5pm – 6pm – Afternoon Workout: Strength/Dexterity Training
6pm - 7pm - Dinner
7pm – 9pm – Free time
At 9pm – Lights Out

3 Days a Sevenday: Dragonrider Days

By 6:30am – Wakeup
6:30am – 7:30am – Morning Workout: Cardio Fitness
7:30am – 8 am – Light Breakfast
8am – 9am – Chore Rotations in the Lower Caverns
9am – 12:30pm – Advanced Candidate Lessons
12:30pm – 1pm – Lunch
1pm – 2pm – Chore Rotations in the Lower Caverns
2 – 5pm – Dragonrider ‘apprenticeships’
5pm – 6pm – Afternoon Workout: Strength/Dexterity Training
6pm - 7pm - Dinner
7pm – 9pm – Free time / Tactics & Strategy (Non Compulsory)
At 9pm – Lights Out

Dragonrider Apprenticeships

The aim of the Ista candidate program is to get Candidates as ready, mentally and physically as they can be before they Impress. Especially with the Weyr the way it is, every Weyrling is needed, and therefore every Candidate must be prepared and have the full tools available to them.

Nothing quite beats hands on experience and although the dragonriders cannot take the Candidates into Fall with them, they can guide them in other ways.

They are assigned to riders in six month stints, unless a rider and candidate wish to continue working together. The rider will then request the candidate be assigned to him until Impression, or the end of Candidacy and will continue mentoring the Candidate on a one on one basis.

Riders will usually have no more than 5 apprentices, with 2 or 3 being the usual number.

Apprenticeship time happens after Wing drills are finished for the day, so apprentices will be involved in all the activities after which include:

  • Bathing and oiling the dragon
  • Paperwork
  • Strap maintainance
  • Dragon feeding (sometimes)
  • Sweep rides / Messenger duties / Assigned tasks (sometimes)

Not every dragon is a bronze dragon, and not every dragon has bronze duties. Sweep riding over the protectorate is a rotational chore for wingriders, as are hold visits.

Sweep riding in particular is incredibly important for Ista. Located in a tropical zone storms can crop up almost without warning, and so dragons are essential for monitoring the weather and then alerting Weyr, Holds and fishing vessels.

Tactics and Strategy

Some evenings during the candidates free time the candidates take lessons in tactics and strategy. It isn't a compulsory lesson, candidates may choose not to attend in the periods between hatchings. However once a clutch has been laid then attendance is mandatory. There will always be Candidates who show a greater aptitude for such tasks than others, these are also encouraged to attend even when not mandatory.

Crafts

Between Hatchings Candidates are expected to be a productive part of the Weyr. There are no guarantees about Impression to a dragon, so their young people need to have other skills as well should they age out of the program without a dragon.

See Weyr Crafts for detailed information on the Crafts sponsored at the Weyr.

Eligible areas include:

  • Beastcraft
  • Dragonhealing
  • Guard Work
  • Harpers
  • Healers
  • Lower Caverns
  • Smithcraft
  • Tanners
  • Weavers
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