The Candidate's Guide


Notice:
At this time (month 4 of 3295) no candidates are being Searched for any clutches.


So you want your persona to be draggie bait, huh? Being a candidate is one of the most emotionally trying times in a dragonrider-wannabe's life. Depending on the Weyrleader, at most Hatchings there are 2 to 4 candidates for every egg on the Sands as it is important to give each hatchling as broad a choice as is possible. Some feel that their is only one right match for each human / hatchling, while others are of the opinion that a hatchling will select the person most suitable of those available. Whichever is the truth---and the dragons are of no help in separating myth from fact---no one wants to risk seeing a hatchling die on the Sands, unImpressed, because it couldn't find a match. This means that, with a clutch of 15 eggs, 15, 30, or more candidates will leave the Hatching Grounds alone, and usually heartbroken.

If your ready to face that possibility, and all the juicy angst that failure might bring with it, then you need to make sure that your persona meets the requirements of being a candidate. At Rocky Crater Weyrhold, candidates for green, blue, brown, and bronze dragons need to be between 12 and 20 Turns old, while female candidates wishing to Impress a very rare gold should be between 16 and 22 Turns of age. We do not accept gold-only candidates. While the exact policy for selecting a new goldrider is an internal matter, it is fair to say that writing quality, as well as quantity, factor into the selection process.

All candidates need to be healthy, mentally and physically, in order to Stand for Impression. Most personality quirks (pompous, introverted, illiterate, slutty, etc.) won't harm their chances for Impressing, and they do make for very interesting characters to play. Pre-Impression blindness, deafness, missing limb(s), and other permanently impairing injuries will, however, disqualify them from Standing. A female candidate can not Stand if she is pregnant, or even thinks that she might be with child. Childbirth is distressing enough on adult dragons, an immature dragonet might panic and go *between* during her weyrling's labor.

While a candidate can be married, it must be strongly pointed out that weyrling training can be very stressful on a marriage, not to mention the fact that the bond between rider and dragon can spark jealousy in the non-rider spouse. You need look no farther than Lady Weyrholder Imara to see what Impressing does to a relationship.

How does my persona get to be a candidate, IC'ly?
There are two ways to become a candidate. It has been long-standing practice at most Weyrs and Weyrholds for anyone of Impressionable age, and who also meets the other requirements for Standing, to be allow to petition the Headwoman, Weyrlingmaster, and Weyrleaders for permission to Stand. These petitions are rarely rejected except on disciplinary grounds, like troublesome weyrbrats with too much free time on their wicked little hands.

The second, and best known, way to become a Candidate is to be Searched by a dragon. Nearly every dragon can sense a strong empathic mind, but most Searching is done by one of the Weyr / Weyrhold's acutely sensitive Searchdragons who can pick up on things that most dragons can't. Searchriders are always on the lookout for potential candidates, but they only officially ride on Search beginning the day after a gold's mating flight, spending the following two months looking for as many candidates as they can find. And, while rare, it's not unheard of for a Searchdragon to Search someone within the Weyrhold itself. Typically, these are people that they strongly react to. Whether or not the person already planned on petitioning to stand doesn't matter to the dragon.

If you want your persona to be IC'ly Searched by a dragon, either at the Weyrhold or at any other location, simply contact one of the players of the Searchdragons and get a co-post going. It's as simple as that. If you want your character's petition reviewed IC'ly, please contact the Council to setup the co-post with all the players involved.

Where do candidates live?
Due to the long gap between Hatchings, currently averaging every two Turns, Rocky Crater doesn't keep the Candidates' Barracks open between them. When a gold starts to show signs of proddiness, the barracks---which occupy part of the building wing that encloses the Weyrling Courtyard---are readied for occupancy. Candidates Searched from outside of the Weyrhold live here until the Hatching. Weyrhold-resident candidates have the option of moving into the barracks following the mating flight, or they may live in their current quarters until the time for Hatching is close at hand, usually two sevendays before the Hatching, unless they live in the Weyrhold proper. The purpose of the barracks is to have all the candidates living close to the Hatching Grounds so that there is no rush to get them all rounded up when the eggs start rocking. Living in the barracks also puts them close to the classrooms where the Candidate Classes are taught.

Okay, I'm a candidate! Now what?
Work and studying, that's what. Candidates are assigned chores to do during their candidacy. These chores are posted on the bulletin board in the Candidate's Common Room. Craft-trained candidates will usually find themselves assigned to work with the Weyrhold's tradesmen from that craft. The rest of them will be assigned to all sorts of drudgery-like tasks. Some of which include:

In addition to the chores, candidates attend classes. Most of the classes are aimed at helping to prepare the candidates, many of whom have never seen a Hatching, for whatever might happen out on the Sands. The injuries, and even deaths, of candidates are almost always caused by candidates that ignore the lessons taught in these classes. Other lessons include an introduction to Weyr-life, the history of dragonriding and of the Weyrhold, and basic schooling for illiterate candidates.

Do candidates have to follow any rules?
Yes. And IC actions will carry IC consequences if your candidate breaks them. As a candidate, your persona is low on the totem pole. He / she is expected to follow all orders from the Weyrlingmaster's staff, dragonriders, and the Weyrhold's staff. And they are required to show them proper respect, that means saluting and the use of formal names unless given release to do otherwise. Yes, that means that your persona just might find himself saluting and 'yes, sir'-ing his annoying, snot-nosed kid brother. The rules and their IC punishments are:

What happens if my candidate doesn't Impress?
As said above, there is always a possibility that your candidate won't Impress, and being left Standing is a very emotionally depressing experience. Those candidates originally from the Weyrhold usually go back to the life that they were leading prior to the Hatching. Those candidates originally from outside of the Weyrhold have two options: they can either return to their old life, or they can stay on at the Weyrhold in some capacity. While the Weyrhold does employ many crafts, not all crafters have a place there. However, those that truly wish to make a life for themselves at the Weyrhold can usually fine something to do.

If you have a question that wasn't covered by this document, please feel free to e-mail the BoD at: rcwh-bod@rockycrater.org