Note to Parents
Board of Directors
Joining the Club
Every dragonrider, before they Impress, is required to be a Candidate. In this club, hatchings from the stands are not encouraged, and special permission must be gained beforehand. Such permission will be given only for a very good reason, and only very rarely. Candidates are a form of very minor rank, and only those who post well and frequently will be considered. When writing about your Candidate, please keep the following rules and policies in mind. Failure to do so may result in a warning or even having your Candidate be disqualified and banned from the Hatching.
As a hatching nears, special dragonriders in the Weyr (called Searchriders) leave to find possible Candidates. No one really knows what makes a dragonrider, but certain blue and green dragons are able to spot that special ability. When such a person has been found, they are offered a chance to stand at the Hatching. If they agree, they are moved to the Weyr - staying at one's home until the day of the Hatching is not permitted and is grounds to be forbidden to Stand. Candidates must learn much about the care of a dragon, and so attend classes at the Weyr. As a rule, Candidates are at the Weyr at least two sevendays prior to the Hatching.
Candidates should be between the ages of 12 and 18, although writers should be aware of the fact that a weyrling will not graduate into a Fighting Wing until he has turned 16. Gold candidates should be between the ages of 16 and 22. Female greenriders are extremely rare, although not unknown. If you want a female greenrider, please be aware that you will be permitted one only if there are enough male greenriders.
Candidates are under the command of the Headwoman, not the Weyrlingmaster. This person is in charge of Weyrlings (thus the title), and does not give assignments nor punishments to Candidates except in very special cases. When a Candidate first arrives at the Weyr, he or she is given a cot in the Candidate Barracks. Here they will stay until they Impress (and move to the Weyrling Barracks), or decide not to stand at the Hatching. If a Candidate does not Impress the first time, they are welcome to stay at the Weyr as a Candidate until the next. They are also permitted to return to their home until the next Hatching nears.
Chores are assigned to every Candidate, depending on their skills. Somebody adept at cooking will assist in that, while those who are not might be given chores serving food or washing dishes. Other chores include: doing laundry, feeding the Weyr's animals, cleaning the common areas such as the dining hall, assisting during Threadfall, and cleaning out the latrines. This last is generally a punishment duty, but if no one has merited such a thing, it will be assigned at random. In addition to normal chores, Candidates may run errands at anytime when asked.
Classes are given by experienced dragonriders or by the harpers or Headwoman. These classes start roughly two weeks before Hatching and include, but are not limited to, history of the Weyr, the anatomy of a dragon, basic dragon healing, the structure of a Weyr and how it is run, how to feed/bathe/oil a dragon, and how to act during a Hatching. The classes go over basic information; more detailed classes are given by the Weyrlingmaster after Impression. If a Candidate comes to the Weyr late they are taken aside and tutored until they catch up with the class.
Nobody exactly knows why the tradition of wearing white robes and sandals came from, but it is one that is kept in the Weyr. These robes are given out by the Headwoman, and reused for each Hatching until they are not fit to wear. If a Candidate does not have a robe that will fit them, they have two options - make one themselves, or ask the Headwoman to have one made for them. Sandals are the same way, but are more common in being specially tailored.
Outside of the Hatching Candidates may wear whatever they chose as long as the fact that clothing will get dirty. To distinguish the fact that they are Candidates, a plain white shoulder knot is required to be worn at all times. Colors to claim a Hold or Weyr are not worn until Impression, when a Candidate will take on the colors of their new Weyr.
Certain times are set aside for Candidates to meet the eggs. Any Candidate found on the sands at any other time will be disqualified and banished from the Weyr. Meals are brought to the Queen, so she is always there. In addition, the gold's rider is often present. Do not think to sneak onto the sands - it won't happen.