Flitter Guide

            Hello and welcome to the Storm Fires Weyr and Rising Dawn Weyr Flitter guide. The purpose of this guide is to show you the rules and regulations of having a flitter at Storm Fires Weyr and Rising Dawn Weyr. This guide has been divided up into categories, and you may click on the links below toskip to any particular part of this guide that interests you.

            Rules, Hatchings & Care, Training, Speech, Mating Flights


            1) If you are a candidate you can not have a flitter under two Turns old at this Weyr. Now, it's not because we don't want you to have one. It's because having a young dragon and a young flitter are too much work for one person.

            2) No flitter names are allowed to end in th, because dragon names end in th and it would just be too confusing for those reading your storylines to keep track.

            3) All flitter clutches and their color distribution are under the control of the BoD. Green flitters will rarely keep their clutches, and we prefer that they "lose" them somewhere after they have been laid. If you would like to keep your green flitter's clutch, please ask the BoD.

            4) When there is a flitter clutch available, there will be an announcement to let people know how many eggs are available for Impression and to inform the Weyr of who to contact with your request for an egg. You may be able to request what color you would prefer your egg to be, but the BoD does not promise that we will be able to grant your request, and you may have to settle for a different color.

            5) Flitter eggs are given out on a first-come, first-serve basis.

            Hatchings & Care of Flitters

            When a clutch is due to hatch, those who requested a flitter will be notified of what color they have Impressed, probably a day or two before the Hatching date. It is up to the player from the Hatching date on to write for this wonderful creature.

            As soon as your flitter hatches there is something you need to do; feed it. At the hatching there will be platters of meat for the hatchlings. After the day of the Hatching the meat for flitters is stored in the cold room in the kitchens. Another thing that will help you Impress and subsequently bond with your flitter is thinking happy and loving thoughts, as Kylara instructed Lord Meron to do in Dragonquest.

            A name for your flitter would also be good. Fliters do not name themselves, we have to name them. Please remember rule number 2 when you're thinking of flitter names.

            During the first few weeks of life, flitters are like dragons. They wake up ravenously hungry. After you feed them they will fall asleep. This will eventually fade as they get older. The process for weyrlings upon waking is bathing, oiling and feeding, and this works well with flitters. Like dragons, if flitters are not cleaned and oiled on a daily basis their hide can develop rough patches which can crack when they go *between*, as Menolly discovered in Dragonsong.


            As your flitter gets older and more aware, you will probably want to train it. This isn't an easy thing, but it can be very rewarding. You'll want to train your flitter slowly. If you make the training a game, it may stick better. Flitters, unlike dragons, can and will go *between* whenever they feel like it after their wings are dry. If you want to send your flitter somewhere, do not count on them going there if they do not want to. They can not go places they have never seen. If you would like your flitter to be able to go places, it is advisable to take them there first. It may be time consuming, but you won't lose your flitter that way. Visualizations can be hard to master for those who are not dragonriders, but dragonriders are used to giving their dragons the visuals needed to go *between*, so they may have an easier time of training a flitter.

            *Between* training for flitters shouldn't happen until they are around ten months old, but training for manners and good behavior can start from day one. It is not considered good manners for flitters to steal food or other items, and other behaviors can be trained so that these wonderful creatures do not become a nuisance.


            Flitters have a lower mental capacity than dragons. Here we set the limit that a fliter's intelligence will be about the equivalent of a three Turn old's; usually less. No where in any of Anne's books does she ever have a flitter using actual speech in order to convey a message. Here at Storm Fires and Rising Dawn Weyr, we allow our writers a certain amount of creative license with this, but it has its limits. What is in the following paragraphs is what we here at Storm Fires and Rising Dawn allow in the way of flitter "speech."

            Flitters tend to use images and emotions far more than words. For instance, let's say Aerya sends her queen Topaz to tell D'nol to come to her. What D'nol actually gets from Topaz is not "Mistress want you come" but more likely a picture of Aerya and D'nol together in the location where Aerya is right now, a feeling of wanting that, and maybe one or two words like **Come** or **Aerya want.** Since she's a gold, Topaz might be able to get slightly more complicated than that with her words, but probably not much.

            Images and emotions are very versatile. Any flitter will be able to identify their person by name or maybe by a title such as **mine** or **mistress** but the name will always be accompanied with a picture of the person. Other people would be identified by a picture and an emotion the flitter attaches to that person. Topaz might have a name for D'nol, becasue she lives with him, but her images for A'idan would simply be a picture of A'idan and a feeling of friendship. By stringing several images or emotions together, or by starting with one image and changing it, you can actually get a fairly complex message. Say Aerya's in her office and she wants D'nol to bring her something she forgot in the weyr when he comes to the mainland. Topaz might tell D'nol something along the lines of "picture of the object"; "D'nol picking up the object"; "D'nol giving the object to Aerya". Of course, when you start getting this complicated, it's probably easier to write a note, but if you don't happen to have paper handy, this method is an option. Just remember, it can't be too complex or you may just confuse the other person.

            Words should be used as exclamation points, to put emphasis on key parts of the message, like Topaz's **Come.** Try to boil the message down to one or two words and that's what it is most likely for the flitter to say. Think about how a toddler actually talks and base your flitter's speech off of that.

            "Baby words" like adding s onto pronouns to get you's instead of you isn't really appropriate. Children, and flitters, learn vocabulary by listening to the adults around them. Adults don't use words or phrases like "you's gets" so children don't either, they say it correctly because they've never heard it any other way. The place where it would be appropriate to add an s to a pronoun, would be in plural prounouns. "You" referring to more than one person might get an s added to it, because the concept that "when a word means more than one, it gets an s" is manageable for a small child (though they wouldn't be able to explain it that way) but the "but not always" addendum to that takes more time to grasp. Words that are exceptions to the rules are the ones that are likely to get mangled into something else. Also words that are very difficult to prounounce or very long, are likely to get shortened into something manageable or simply not be said.

            Also remember that a 3 year old child is the TOP of the intelligence scale, not the average. I have friends with an 18-month-old daughter and most of what comes out of her mouth is nonsense syllables. She's picking up individual words, but even the words she knows don't necessarily have a firm meaning attached to them. She knows the word "dog" but it applies to any four-legged furry creature: dog, cat, rat, stuffed animal. They are all "dog" to her. What this means for flitters is that the further down the color scale you go, the less they're capable of. Smaller critter means smaller brain means less intelligent. Green flitters almost never use words at all.

            Vocal sounds, the whistles and chirps and whatnot, are another way flitters communicate that often get overlooked. They get mentioned, but not really used as communication. Dogs and cats and other animals communicate using body language and sounds, and flitters do too. Excitment is far more likely to be communicated with wild flying, loud happy noises, and a feeling of being excited, without any words used at all, but the feeling is still communicated perfectly clearly. If words are used, it'll be to pinpoint the reason for the excitement like **Home!** when returning home after a big event.

            Mating Flights

            Mating flights start when the female flitter is two Turns old or when the male flitter is 1 Turn old. If one person, let's say this person is female, has a flitter who is rising and the mate's person is also female, they will both feel the mating passion coming from their flitters. Does this mean that they have to get together to ease it? No, but same sex pairings like this can happen, and it sometimes happens with dragons and riders too. Now this isn't to say you can't go to someone you're interested in when your flitter rises, you can. There really isn't a hard and fast rule on this, it's an individual's decision.

            It is possible to resist the mating urges of a flitter if you are determined. There are two ways that this usually happens. Some people take a swim in order to ease those tensions while other people prefer to see the healers and take a sleeping drought in order to avoid it. Weyrlings with dragons beneath 1 Turn of age and flitters above 2 Turns old, for instance, will see the Healers in order to avoid casuing harm to their dragonets.

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