Candidacy and Weyrlinghood


  1. Dragon Candidates must be between 14 and 28 turns of age.
  2. Candidates may not drink to excess. Weyrlings may not drink at all until their dragon is a full turn old. Traditionally weyrlings will have their first celebratory cup of wine at their First Turn celebration, and then after that may slowly re-introduce alcohol.
  3. A Candidate who becomes pregnant will not be eligible for Impression until the child is fostered. Weyrlings are strictly forbidden from sex until their dragon's first mating Flight.
  4. Candidates are being fed, housed, and taught by the Weyr at no cost. In return, they are expected to carry out chores without complaint.
  5. Candidates and weyrlings must obey the 'master and 'master's assistants. The teachers are there to ensure everyone's safety.
  6. Absolutely NO flying unsupervised until the Weyrlingmaster clears it. Weyrlings have died, dammit.


Candidates will receive regular lessons in literacy, Weyr history and politics, dragonrider conduct, and Hatching etiquette, among other things. Additionally, they will be expected to perform daily chores around the Weyr, on top of their lessons; most of these chores are simple menial tasks like laundry, kitchen prep, and cleaning storerooms. There's no room for freeloaders at Discovery, so everyone is kept busy!

Candidates may choose to pursue a Craft simultaneously if they wish, but will only progress at about half the speed of someone devoting their full time and attention to the craft. (A Candidate who enters an apprenticeship at age 14, when they begin Candidacy, will be about ready to walk the tables at age 28, when they end Candidacy.) In the case of Candidate/crafters, some allowance will be made for them to choose appropriate chores; an apprentice healer might help the infirmary staff take inventory or make salves, for instance.


Sizes given are in percentage of adult size. Dragons experience a period of explosive growth during their first few months of life - necessary to take them from dog-sized hatchling to as much as sixty feet long in only two turns. As a result, their hides are very fragile during growth, and require constant care. Riders must oil their dragon's hide regularly to keep it soft and supple, or it will crack and scar. Riders are considered weyrlings until they reach two turns of age, though some dragons may be sexually mature at 18 months.

Month Size Milestones
1 10% Hatchlings double in size in first month. Assume weyrlings are doing nothing but sleeping, eating, bathing, and oiling. Food is provided pre-butchered. Lessons focus exclusively on rules and basic dragon care.
2 20% Still eating, oiling daily, frequent naps. Weyrlings taught to butcher their own meat. Most of this month is individualized: catching up on missed Candidate lessons, recognizing and treating common ailments, how to mindspeak.
3 25% Dragons begin regimen of daily exercise to build muscle. Dragon anatomy and physiology lessons.
4 30% Dragons becoming more active, more independent, socializing more with their clutchmates. Exercise regimen expands to include wing muscles. Riders also begin strength training.
5 35% Dragons eating every other day. Weyrling pairs begin learning wing drills via marching in formation.
6 40% First flights - mostly short hops and glides.
7 45% Longer flights under supervision of Weyrlingmaster.
8 50% Weyrlings make their first set of straps.
9 54% First flights with rider.
10 58% Dragons eat every third day, oiling every other day. Simple aerial drills begin to build up stamina and precision. Riders begin practicing visualization for between.
11 62% Dragons begin hunting for themselves outside Weyr. Visualization practice continues, with riders and dragons practicing sending an image to an adult dragon to check for clarity and accuracy.
12 66% First Turn celebration.
13 70% Dragons go between under the Weyrlingmaster's supervision for the first time.
14 74% Dragons becoming more coordinated, gaining endurance comparable to adults. Advanced aerial drills begin. Mid-air collision injuries are common this month.
15 78% Firestone drills. With no Thread and firestone in limited supply, flaming is generally reserved for clearing brush or - in rare cases - for Guard wing members. All non-clutching dragons are expected to know how to chew firestone, however.
16 82% Mating Flight etiquette lessons. Dragons interested in joining the courier wing may attempt cautious forays to Pern and back.
17 85% Dragons now eating on same schedule as adults.
18 88% Greens begin rising. Males old enough to chase.
19 90% Weyrlings begin training with adult riders in preparation for wing selection.
20 92% Weyrlings choose their adult wing, join as probationary riders. A weyrling who makes a serious mistake at this point may still be recalled to the weyrling wing.
21 94% -
22 96% -
23 98% -
24 100% Golds, violets begin rising.

Bear in mind that the above are only milestone lessons, linked to the growth patterns of the dragon. Throughout their two turns of weyrlinghood, riders will also be receiving daily lessons in everything that they will have to know as an adult rider, including:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Weyr history and politics
  • Dragonrider etiquette and behavior
  • Harness maintenance and repair
  • Basic navigation and cartography
  • Self-defense (armed and unarmed)
  • Basic first aid (human and dragon)

Weyrling classes are also strongly encouraged to work together with their clutchmates. They will be put through regular exercises to build trust and teamwork skills: first with their dragon, to strengthen the bond, then with their classmates to improve their ability to work as a cohesive unit. Needless to say, they will be busy!

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