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Old Sep 9 2009, 12:55 AM   #3
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Default Re: A realistic look at dragon attrition.

Originally Posted by Weyrlady View Post
I'd like to congratulate you for writing that, and me for hangin' with it to the end! I especially like the idea of a centralized training academy for all weyrlings. I'm thinking like FLETC, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Georgia that LE's go to for learning their stuff. Same thing for wildland firefighters- there are Fire Academies in every state and a national school in Montana. There's even an academy for us "education types" that work for the National Park Service, in Virginia. Most professions have some sort of training period, so why shouldn't dragonriders do the same thing?

The Craft Halls seem to already have a sort of 'centralized curriculum'; the Fort Hold Healer Hall teaches the same thing to students at the same time as the Healer Hall at Landing, etc. So 2 craftspeople of the same rank but who were trained at different places could potentially work together successfully. But could 2 dragonriders, one trained at Benden and the other at High Reaches, work together? Well, canon lit says so- there are examples all over the place. But really, now that you mention it, I'm wondering. Just for example, I bet the riders at High Reaches learn to handle the cold, thin air, bright sun and other challenges of high altitude (and become accostomed to it), while the Monaco Bay riders are used to the warmth and humidity and having lots of air to breathe. So they get together and what about that? Chaos, several thousand feet in the air!

P.S. One thing that I'd like to point out- Canth is not a piece of metal; dragons aren't machines! I bet that taking care of him is a full-time job, and that's before he gets off the ground, so really, I'd say that the weyrlings and maybe the adults would be lucky to get in 30 hours per week of active flight.
Re. Para 1. All instruction in the Weyrs for dragon riders appears to devolve on the Weyrlingmasters and the Wingleaders. In keeping with "Weyr autonomy" there is no centralized structure whatsoever. They could benefit from it, but the tradition of autonomy gets in the way. Not every Weyrleader will be hung up on the issue, but what are the odds of getting all six (or eight) on the same page and ensuring their successors hold to that page after the ones who implement it are gone? What little standardization exists appears to be regimented adherence to lore so old its original purpose is forgotten.

Re. Para 2. Part of the reason for having separate Weyrs would be to handle diverse conditions with Weyrs specialized to those regions and intimately familiar with the terrain and conditions. Certainly they can work together. Military professionals can almost always cobble something together--they're very organized, diligent people--but what they jerry-rig isn't necessarily as efficient as it should be.

Re. Para 3. I know dragons are big, labor-intensive beasts--but don't underestimate an aircraft's status as such. I had 100+ people whose purpose was to care for, heal and feed five of the things--all I had to do was fly them and break them. I deliberately started what I wrote with unrealistic assumptions to illustrate that they are unrealistic, and backed the problem into a realistic frame. Yes, a dragon rider--not having 20 maintainers to help him--is going to be putting in a lot of ground time tending that dragon. Of course, the dragon is intelligent where a plane isn't and that makes up a big chunk of the difference. So no, 30 hours per week of flight time isn't realistic. It's more likely they'll get 10 per week.


BTW, after that Red Star stunt, F'nor and Canth would have been canceled by BC/BS for failure to disclose a pre-existing condition: No Apparent Fear Of Death (NAFOD).
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