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A weyrling was a person who had recently Impressed a dragon. The term could also refer to a young dragon. Weyrlings were typically referred as such until their dragons matured, typically at 1.5-2 years of age.
Weyrlings typically joined the Weyr that they impressed at, regardless of what other life plans had been made. They typically resided in the Weyrling barracks, only moving to individual weyrs after their dragons matured. Weyrlings were trained by an experienced older rider, known as a Weyrlingmaster.
Weyrlings were trained in all aspects of dragon care and Thread fighting over several years. The earliest lessons consisted of learning how to feed their dragons and of the necessity for oiling a dragon's hide: the fast growth rate could result in itchy patches which could cause problems when going between. They are also taught how to make their own riding straps and harness.
As the dragons mature, weyrlings are taught how to fly and go between. Weyrlings are required to memorize a certain amount of geographical references for use in going between, with drills reinforcing the lesson. The weyrlings are then taught to chew firestone, how to fly in formation, and how to fight Thread. Weyrlings who have impressed Gold dragons are given extensive education relating to their duties overseeing domestic affairs. After the dragon has matured, the weyrling's status depends on the rider's age. To join a fighting wing, a rider must be at least sixteen years old, thus, an underage rider of a mature dragon will perform messenger or sentry duties.