The Weyrs of Pern

by Remus John Lupin
Co-Author Albus Orion Potter

Edited by: C. M. Vining

First Edition July 31, 2045
Second Edition July 31, 2175
Third Edition, July 31, 2210
Obscurus Books, Publisher since 1926

This book is dedicated to my wife, Doctor Mildred O'Connor-Lupin, and the adorable daughter we adopted, Kristin. I would also like to publicly voice my appreciation for Harry Potter, his bonded dragon, Chekiath, the unbonded dragon, Cnordth, who became one of my closest friends, and the unbonded dragons Spath, Dronth, and many others, who shared their memories with me so that I could record them for the future of dragon-kind and ultimately gain the wonderful designation of Weyr Historian.

My first book, "The Weyrs of Earth", talked about the history of the dragons and Harry Potter's fight to not only set up the first Weyr on Earth but to gain a first-people status for all the dragons, and ultimately for all the intelligent species, of the world. What I am attempting to do with this book is explain what happened after that. This book will explain some of what went into creating the first monstrous Weyr on the newly (re)discovered world of Pern and some of the problems that were eventually overcome so that the dragons of Earth now had not only a safe haven from the nations of Earth but a true home of their own.

With that in mind, I begin.

Remus John Lupin

It is with regret that I must take over this great work after the passing of my friend Remus on March 10, 2200. He has been an inspiration to everyone in the Dragon Nation and many others in two worlds over the years. With this Third Edition, I would like to dedicate this book to not only Remus John Lupin, but to use it to celebrate two hundred years of the Dragon Nations' positive impact on our world as of June 1, 2210. As always, this Edition comes out on July 31 to honor our very first Weyrleader, Harry James Potter.

Albus Orion Potter

Chapter 1: Spath's Weyr, Pern:
Some History:
Spath was, as mentioned in my earlier book, an unbonded dragon who was also the senior dragon on Earth. It was he who helped to shape Harry Potter, The Weyrleader, into the man he became. While Spath felt honored that he had lived to see the start of the return of dragons to their beneficial partnership with man, he, unfortunately, died on Earth before Pern had been rediscovered. The Weyrleader, out of an abundance of gratitude for this great dragon, decided to honor his memory by naming the first Weyr on Pern created for the Earth dragons after him. Thus came to be Spath's Weyr. Several years later, when the British government asked the Dragon Nation if they could re-open Campbeltown Weyr as a Museum, Technology Center, and Learning Center for and about dragons, The Weyrleader agreed, but insisted that it be renamed Spath's-Campbeltown Weyr so there would now be a place on each planet that paid honor to the very first "Eldest dragon". It was renamed 'The Lord James Mills Memorial Weyr' on Feb 18, 2027, in honor of the man who had been instrumental in helping the Dragon Nation get started.

When Ronan Clark first arrived on Pern, he asked Garanoth to "fly to the west, along the mountain range ." If, instead, Ronan had asked Garanoth to "fly east", the particular mountain that currently houses Spath's Weyr might not have been discovered until much later. While there were mountain ranges all along the southern continent, only the mountain that became known as Spath's Mountain was large enough to be able to comfortably house the huge Spath's Weyr. At approximately 12,520 feet, Spath's Mountain is easily the tallest mountain in the south, and possibly all of Pern. Little did he realize at the time, but they had arrived quite near the original Pern colonists' landing site but hundreds of "turns" later. Fortunately for their colonization efforts, all the original Pern colonists had moved to the northern continent over 750 years earlier and they were on the southern continent.

Right after Pern was initially rediscovered by Ronan Clark on August 15, 2009, The Weyrleader directed him to return and commence construction of what they initially referred to as their "Reserve". The world tensions were immense at this time, as mentioned in "The Weyrs of Earth", due to the fact that The Weyrleader was actively pushing not only for recognition of dragons as intelligent "people" but for dragons to be treated as equal partners rather than slaves or employees of the nations they resided in. The Weyrleader's initial requirements were, "create a Weyr that will be capable of holding 10,000 bonded pairs of dragon and rider, an additional 10,000 unbonded dragons, and a large population of non-riders who wish to work with us to make a new colony based on equality between the different species."

Spath's Weyr started out as a solid Basalt and Granite mountain created by continental drift rather than volcanic action. It eventually became home to the first dragons to arrive seeking sanctuary from Earth. After an initial corridor had been vaporized high up on the side of the mountain, a huge 6,000-foot diameter cylinder was created inside that was 6,000 feet high. The huge blocks of rock that were carefully removed during this construction were set aside for future use in the construction of various other structures across the surface of Pern. Notable among these additional structures were Holds and emergency shelters, but more on those later.

The Weyrleader set requirements for immigration to Pern soon after he announced its existence. Each new immigrant, wishing to live on Pern, must take a magically biding inter-species oath, not to harm any other inhabitants of Pern. For anyone wishing to work for the Weyrs, he also requires them to be able to successfully answer a series of questions under a light dose of Veritaserum.

Dragon Eggs (Transportation Capsules):
Immigration was only possible because a means of 'mass transit was developed. Passenger Capsules called Dragon Eggs were developed that could transfer cargo, people, or a mix in useful quantities. The first Capsules commercially developed were used as ambulances. This led Dragon Transport & Tourism (DT&T) to develop variously sized capsules, named for the number of dragons used for their transport. Some of the different capsules and their capacities are shown in the table below. Entries are Type, Crew, Length, Width, Height, Comment.

Ambulance: 3, 8'x9'x8', 1 Pilot, 2 Emergency Techs, 4 patients
Tour Egg: 2, 40'x13'x8', 22 Passengers all seated against the side and back walls.
D2-1: 1, 40'x19'x9', Prototype used to transport Weyr employees.
D2: 2, 40'x19'x9', 40 passengers, 10 rows of 4, or 80 tons cargo.
D5: 4, 40'x41'x9', 80 passengers, 10 rows of 8, or 160 tons cargo.
D9: 8, 70'x30'x17', 240 passengers, 2 layers, 20 rows of 6, or 400 tons cargo
D12: 2, 120'x50'x20', 800 tons cargo only
D12P: 12, 120'x50'x20', 1,200+ passengers. Space enhanced on the inside and fitted out with 400 apartments to handle families of 3 or more people each. May be used as portable emergency housing. Created specifically for the Pern Tour by the Hogsmeade School for 'Gifted Children', Oct 2, 2015.
D24: 4, 240'x50'x20', 2,000 tons cargo only
D36: 6, 160'x52'x81', 6,000 tons cargo only
D36P: 40, 160'x52'x81', 5,000 passengers, specially modified for the annual trip to Disney World on Earth. 10 layers, 50 rows of 10. (Used first: Aug 21, 2023)
Wagon: ?, 18'x4'x11', Typical Conestoga type wagon, used by Pern Traders. Instead of the stretched canvas cover over the top, each wagon had a small house built into it. Complete with a door at the rear and windows.

After the discovery of Pern was announced, all capsules designed to transport passengers were manufactured with the capacity to be retrofitted with everything necessary for interplanetary/intergalactic travel, i.e., larger air tanks, breathing collars for the dragons, additional sensors, etc. Most of the required equipment was usually mounted in the front and rear walls of the Egg. This added to the overall length of each Egg by about 5 feet.

The Tour Egg was a prototype, rarely used, that would seat a single line of passengers along each wall and the back of the Egg. A large, bullet-proof window was inserted into the sides and back of the Egg where each of the passenger seats were located. The seats on the sides could be rotated towards the windows or towards the front of the Egg. The two seats in the rear could be rotated through 180° to face either forward or backward towards the windows. There was no window on the front but there was a forward-facing camera providing a live feed to the wall to wall, floor to ceiling video display in the front where the two crew sat. One crew was the Dragonrider who controlled the dragons, the other was the tour guide. Even though the Tour Egg was technically capable of space travel, it was never placed into production because the passengers were afraid to fly in something that looked so flimsy. It seemed that the large windows on the walls and especially the large, long window underfoot along the central aisle which allowed unrestricted views, also caused a fear of falling out of the Egg in its passengers.

The passenger modules contained rows of seats, 4, 6, 8, or 10 across, with wide, 5' aisles between each set of two seats. Each passenger was allocated a space 3' by 3' which included the comfortable, non-reclining chair they were seated in until everyone was boarded. A 40 passenger module would then be 10 rows of 4 passengers giving 30' of length and 17' width internal for the passengers with an additional 10' length for crew and equipment. The external dimensions would then be 40' long by 19' wide by 9' high for a D2. A D5 measures 40' by 41' wide by 9' high.

The larger, cargo-only Capsules are basically open racks that air-tight cargo containers are attached to securely. All Eggs have large handles for dragons to grab hold of with a nearby breathing collar. The only part actually pressurized is the crew module.

Transport time using any of the approved Dragon Eggs, or just a dragon for that matter, takes a flat 2.6 seconds, regardless of the distance.

By comparison, the typical Conestoga type wagon, as used by the Pern Traders could hold up to 6 tons of cargo, and travel 15 miles a day over good roads and only 5 miles a day or less over unimproved terrain.

The Solar system:
Within the first year of its installation, the telescope on top of Spath's Weyr was instrumental in the discovery of the "Red Star", the rogue planet that dumped thread on Pern periodically. During this time, many facts about the Pern solar system were discovered as outlined in the following table: (Data, Comment)

Earth Year: 365.25 days: 12 months of varying length.

Pern Year: 362 1/6 days: One possibility = 12 months of 30 days + 2 days holiday (3 days, every 6 years) at the end of the year.

Pern: 3rd of 5 planets. 90% of Earth's gravity, 15° axial tilt, large deposits of diamonds, The northern continent has adequate lodes of Iron, Copper, Nickel, Tin, Vanadium, Bauxite, Gold, and Germanium, but not in sufficient quantities for a large scale mining operation. About 107% of Earth's average density.

2 Moons: Belior and Timor (in order of distance)

2 asteroid belts:

1 Ort Cloud:

1 Rogue Planet: The "Red Star" which brings thread. Actually a 6th planet in an orbit out of the ecliptic.

In the Rukbat system, the Pernese star is also known as Alpha Sagittarius, the star is a class G (yellow) star. There is a much brighter class B (blue) dwarf star, nearly three times as massive as Earth's sun, galactically near Rukbat and almost on a line between it and Earth, meaning that Pern's sun would almost be invisible from Earth. In the Earth star charts, Rukbat actually refers to the Blue star.

Mildred Lupin determined the Pern day and year by the simple expedient of physical measurement. The day length was determined by measuring the time the surface of the planet rotates one full rotation as measured by observation of a fixed star. Starting when the local sun is directly overhead one day goes by when the local sun is again directly overhead. This is called a Solar day. She measured when the sun crosses directly over the equator to determine the planetary year. This is known as a Tropical year.

After The Weyrleader finds that the Pern year is 3.25 days shorter than the earth year he decides to "cheat" so they can "normalize" the Pern year to the Earth year. On December 31 of each Earth year, a single messenger dragon/rider pair will jump to Pern with the "current" jump image. On January 1 of each Pern year, the replacement wing will jump to Earth using the jump image from the messenger to jump to Earth by January 1 Earth time. When they arrive, the wing being replaced will then jump back to Pern using the same imagery as the original messenger, thereby arriving slightly after the messenger left.

Over an Earth year, a Pern resident will then become 3.25 days younger than their Earth counterparts. One year won't make much difference but over multiple years, the difference will slowly become noticeable … if someone pays close attention.

Thread:
Thread remains dormant in inner-system space as a small, icy ovoid (a Zebedee), but is reactivated by passage through the atmosphere. Heat and atmospheric friction burn off the outer shell, releasing "thread-like" strings which float down to the surface in sheets, tangles, and clumps. The size of a single strand is initially comparable to a long, silver strand of yarn. However, while feeding, Thread grows visibly, being described as a "heavy hawser" rope or "wriggling sausages" about 10 cm by 3 meters in size.

Structurally, Thread is composed of many thin, tightly wound filaments within a very fine outer shell or film. Complex proteins (presumably including proteases, nucleases, glycolases, and adipases linked to molecular motors and fibrils) allow Thread to consume any carbon-based substance through direct physical contact as well as providing wriggling mobility. Contact with Thread results in "Threadscore," similar to a chemical burn.

A small clump of Thread can devour a fully-grown cow in moments. Feeding Thread grows rapidly, pulsing with sickly grey and green colors as it consumes. The exterior shell thickens with growth, and Thread dies from the inside out, suggesting that Thread's explosive consumption interferes with its metabolism. The shell thickens and hardens in death, while the inside undergoes an "unraveling/melting" process that leaves a foul stench. Water drowns Thread quickly, leaving a "soggy, bubbling mess".

Thread has no brain and is not sentient. The majority of Thread dies after landing, due to starvation. However, if Thread survives to begin its feeding cycle on the organic component of soil, the result is a burrow that multiplies extremely rapidly. A single burrow can devastate multiple square miles of land before perishing.

Close examination of Thread ovoids under near-vacuum pressures and subzero temperatures reveals a frozen shell embedded with cometary matter (rocks and dirt), requiring specialized tools to cut. Dissection reveals a mass of tightly wound fibers, tubes, and a yellow viscous substance. Captured Thread ovoids require the friction of atmospheric entry to emerge as what is termed 'thread'. When exposed to warm laboratory conditions, they maintain their shape and are harmless.

Thread is brought to Pern by another planet in its solar system, the inexactly named Red Star. The Red Star has a two hundred and fifty Turn (Pernese year) elliptic orbit around its sun, Rukbat. When at aphelion, the Red Star travels as far as Rukbat's Oort Cloud, the natural habitat of Thread. As the Red Star moves through the Cloud, some of the Thread falls into the planet's gravity well, remaining there as the Red Star leaves the Cloud on its journey sunward. As the Red Star approaches perihelion, gravitational perturbations, and outgassing from the Red Star's interior launch Thread on trajectories that leave them floating in space, only to be captured in Pern's gravitational field when the planet reaches that portion of its orbit.

Threadfalls occur on Pern for about fifty Turns while the Red Star is near Pern's orbit. This is called a Pass, while the two hundred Thread-free Turns during which the Red Star is farther away are called an Interval. Twice, the Red Star did not come close enough, leading to a Long Interval of four hundred and fifty Turns. Long Intervals are of such duration that, by their end, most of the Pernese population believes Threadfall has permanently ceased.

Geology:
Pern bears three continents, four major oceans, and a large number of islands. The largest continent, the Southern, is noted for large areas of grassland and jungle, as well as high tectonic and volcanic activity (probably due to the two moons, although this increases with the coming of the Red Star). The Northern Continent, in contrast, is relatively infertile, composed primarily of 'shield' bedrock, and is the most tectonically stable landmass on the planet. Not much is known of the small Far Western Continent, as it has never been explored; its existence is known only from orbital satellite surveys and maritime expeditions.

Pern is noted for its high incidence of cave systems, particularly in the Northern Continent. This feature heavily influenced the development of human society on the planet, as humans forced to take shelter in these caves eventually developed an intricate culture associated with cave-dwelling in a feudal society at a medieval to Renaissance level of technology.

Pern is relatively lacking in most major metals. Nonetheless, sufficient deposits of petroleum and metals exist to supply a high-technology agrarian society, though not a high-technology industrial society.

Although Pern has four major oceans, the only ocean of major concern to most inhabitants of Pern is the Southern, which separates the Northern and Southern Continents. Few expeditions have explored the Western and Eastern Oceans to either side of the main continents, and the Ring Sea is known only from satellite observations.

The Southern Ocean is noted for its volatile weather and strong currents, which present a challenge for mariners. At least one tropical cyclone has occurred in the ocean in the course of the books.

Rubicon river: a river, lined with steep cliffs, that has the end of its course in the Sea of Azov on the Southern Continent.

Firestone is a phosphorus-bearing rock found on Pern. Dragons and fire lizards are able to produce spontaneously flammable phosphine gas from firestone and burn Thread out of the air by emitting the gas.

There are two firestone varieties. One is highly unstable, prone to release potentially explosive gas on contact with even the slightest bit of moisture, which makes it extremely dangerous to mine, store, transport, and consume. The second variety is relatively stable and must be "digested" in a dragon's second stomach to produce phosphine. The stable variety was discovered on the beaches of the Southern Continent soon after Landing, by observation of the native fire lizards.

Golden queen dragons cannot produce phosphine from firestone. They help fight Thread by deft spotting and flying with riders who use mechanical flame throwers.

Firestone is believed to render female dragons sterile, which is considered beneficial for the green females. They are the smallest dragons, and sexually active, which would produce too many too small dragons if they were fertile. Eventually, it was discovered that green dragons are sterile and gold dragons are unable to use firestone by design. Evidently, that knowledge was lost and the folk explanation was generated, before the Third Pass at the latest. (Both the gold and green female fire lizards are fertile, and both use firestone to flame Thread. There has been little study of fire lizards since the early days, however, and wild green clutches produce few young because greens do not defend their nests or carefully choose secure sites.)

Ecology:
Pernese biomes have been profoundly affected by the cyclical appearance of Thread, a spore that destroys organic material. This has resulted in a relative dearth of terrestrial plants and animals. However, as Thread dies in water, Pern has a much more populous and thriving aquatic ecology.

Pernese biomes contain both indigenous Pernese flora and fauna and introduced species from other worlds, primarily Earth.

Indigenous species:
Flora:
The plants best known to humans residing on Pern are those that are useful. There are several types of plants that are edible to humans: the redfruit tree, which produces a red, plum-like fruit, and the klah tree, whose bark is infused, like coffee beans, into a stimulant beverage reminiscent of chocolate, coffee, and cinnamon. Native medicinal plants include dragon's tongue, which produces a gel similar to aloe; the Needlethorn, whose hollow thorns can be used as hypodermic needles; Numbweed, a strong analgesic plant that is made into a cream after boiling in large pots for 3 days that numbs small wounds completely and dulls larger wounds; and Fellis, which produces a juice used as a soporific drug. Text in Dragonquest indicates that the flower of the Fellis plant produces a strong yet pleasant odor, and is used as a decoration for special occasions. The following table is comprised of Name: Appearance/ Uses/Caution.

Aconite: fibrous roots; erect stems; palmately divided or cleft leaves. Flower: most are blue or purple, some yellow or white; bilaterally symmetrical with five parts, with the uppermost portion being shaped like a hood./ root is used in powdered form as a pain reliever (anodyne), heart palpitations. Caution: Excess amounts can cause restlessness, salivation, nausea, weakened heartbeat, chest pain, prostration, possibly death

Adonis: finely cut, alternate leaves, flowers are red or yellow./used as a pain reliever, for heart palpitations.

Alfalfa: small purple flowers on tall stalks, extensive root systems./ in a tea as a diuretic.

Aloe: short stems, fleshy, lanceolate leaves crowded in rosettes at the end of the stems; red or tubular flowers in dense clusters./ sap of leaves used for the treatment of burns.

Ash: tree, small clusters of greenish flowers with or without sepals and petals./ bark used as a diuretic and to reduce fevers (febrifuge).

Asparagus: thin spears, delicate, lacy foliage./ part of a cure for hangovers.

Barley: grain on top of a tall stalk, golden in color when ready to harvest./ brewed in tea to relieve cystitis.

Basil: ovate green leaves on a mid-sized stalk./ used as antispasmodic.

Borage, Borrago: rough hairs on stems and leaves; flower cluster is spirally coiled and unrolls as the flowers open; flowers are radially symmetric with five-lobed corollas (fused petals) that are funnel- or bell-shaped; fruit matures into four nutlets./ used to relieve coughs.

Box: hedge; small, oval, opposite, leathery leaves, dark glossy green on the upper surface, lighter beneath, petalless flowers./ used to relieve coughs.

Comfrey: unknown./ used for burns, coughs.

Coriander: lower leaves are divided into fine, thread-like partitions, white and pink flowers grow in small clusters./ for relief of abdominal discomfort.

Cucumber: trailing herb, the fruit resembles a long green cylinder./ sliced, used for burns.

Dragon's Tongue: mottled leaves, bears yellow flowers./ used for burns.

Ezob: unknown./ used to relieve coughs, as diaphoretic.

Featherfern: multiple green fronds./ in tonic to relieve fever.

Fellis Tree: small, branchy, drooping tree; fragrant clusters of yellow or pink flowers with pointed petals; clusters of berry-like fruit./ juice from the fruit used as a narcotic painkiller. Caution: Moderate to large dosages can cause irritation of the digestive tract and possibly death. Can be addictive, very large doses can be lethal.

Garlic: flowers have six whitish petals; fruit is a capsule containing kidney shaped black seeds; bulb is covered in a papery skin, and can be broken into constituent bulblets, called cloves./ used as a cold remedy, controls high blood pressure, as a digestive stimulant, antispasmodic, diuretic. Also used in cooking and pickling.

Glovecap: unknown./ used for pain relief.

Hissop: Narrow, woody stems, elliptical, aromatic leaves; bluish-purple, red, or white flowers./ used in tea for coughs.

Hops: vines; rough stems; heart-shaped leaves, with five to seven lobes./ used for relief of pain and in the brewing of beer.

Ilex: unknown./ used to treat pneumonia.

Istan Vines: vines./ sap from bruised leaves will neutralize insect stings.

Lavender: narrow leaves, small purple flowers containing oil of lavender./ oil used in lotion or salve to relieve headaches.

Lovage: dark green leaves, composed of many leaflets, are shiny with toothed tips; tiny yellow flowers grow in clusters./ used for coughs.

Meadowsweet: white and blue flowers./ pain reliever.

Mosstea: unknown./ for dressing wounds against infection.

Needlethorn: several cactus-like stalks from a single base, three stalks, three leaves; succulent bush with toxic brown spines; the skin of the plant has fine hairs that may cause irritation, inflammation of the skin./ needles are used as syringes for injections and to draw blood. Caution: plants are carnivorous.

Nettleweed: fern-like, stems and leaves may be covered in hairs filled with stinging liquid./ used in a tonic.

Numbweed: bush; plaquey, thorny greenery; opposing leaves are arrowhead-shaped, with a terminating leaf at the end of each branch; gray-green color; tufts of blossoms similar to Statice./ used raw or in salve, numbs pain. Caution: Moderate to large dosages can cause irritation of the digestive tract and possibly death. Can be addictive, very large doses can be lethal. Too much will cause bleeding and scarring.

Pink Root: unknown./ relief of bellyaches.

Red Willow Salic: unknown./ pain relief.

Rosemary: grows close to the ground, produces small blue flowers./ medicinal.

Sage: densely covered in hairs, produces colorful tubular, aromatic flowers./ in teas with willow and wintergreen for headaches.

Seaweeds: long, leaf-like, underwater plants./ boiled juice from stalk used as a preventative for bone ailments.

Spearkeek: white bulb./ reduces fevers.

Sticklebush: A fruit-bearing plant that has sharp, hairlike thorns./ Berries are harvested in the Autumn and made into jam. Caution: They are hard to see in the spring while the sap is rising, this sap can harm humans. The spines can be dangerous as they can cause infections or enter the bloodstream. They can be deadly as their long thin spines worm their way into one's flesh and possibly get to your heart.

Sweetroot: yellowish tuber./ in crystal form, used to reduce fever, headaches.

Tansy: deeply dividing leaves, yellow heads./ as a tonic, to relieve heart palpitations.

Tarragon: green stem and leaves, small greenish composite flower heads./ medicinal.

Thymus: narrow leaves, whitish or reddish flowers in whorls; wild variety has oval leaves and purple flowers./ used for coughs.

Tussilago: unknown./ for coughs.

White Bulb: unknown./ reduces fevers.

White Thorn: unknown./ pain relief, heart palpitations.

Willow: tree, simple flowers./ used in tea to control arthritis, used in tea with wintergreen and sage for headaches, used in crystals as willowsalic for headaches.

Wintergreen: short shrub with creeping stalks; glossy, leathery, serrate leaves; white or pinkish flowers, scarlet berries./ in tea with sage and willow for headache relief.

Witch Hazel: woody plants./ extract from leaves used for burns.

Yarrow: finely divided leaves, clusters of small red or white flowers./ for acne.

Fauna:
Pern is host to a number of invertebrate species, including the insect-like trundlebugs, rollers (analogous to a woodlouse), VTOLS (a type of fly), springs (a type of parasite), and spider-like creatures called spinners, sometimes referred to as crawlers.

Bloodfish: One of the most insidious creatures on Pern is the bloodfish. A primitive, heavily armored sea fish, bloodfish attach themselves to a host animal by sinking a long proboscis into its flesh and locking it into a blood vessel from which it then feeds. All attached bloodfish are female, for the first Turn of life the 'fish' are free-living, feeding on smaller creatures and the eggs of other fish, and in this phase they are male, maturing quickly and mating with any attached adult female whose host brings them close. Hosts are selected because the bloodfish detects their body heat. They do not discriminate between Pernese and Terran species, although a bloodfish feeding on a red-blooded host is quickly sterilized and cannot breed. To a small host, a bloodfish is a painful and dangerous parasite, but a larger creature such as a bigmouth or dimglow may barely notice them.

Bellclaws: Not dissimilar to spiderclaws, bellclaws are more rounded animals with a hard carapace and large, powerful claws with a distinctively bulbous shape. They are highly regarded as food animals and are caught for that purpose where they can be found along rivers and coastlines.

Bigmouths: These are large, very large, fish analogous to Terran basking sharks, feeding on the tiny creatures that drift freely in the waters of Pern's oceans by straining them out of the water using fine gill rakes. Several species of bigmouth, generally smaller than those of the great oceans, are found in the Sea of Asov, where they are hunted by the locals. Not known for their intelligence, bigmouths give birth to live young rather than eggs and are valued meat animals. Bigmouths are usually drab brown or grey-blue in color and have a horizontally flattened tail.

Blurwings: These are the smallest of wherries, found in the tropics of the Southern Continent. Barely the length of a man's finger, blurwings have brilliantly colored plumage and long pointed beaks that they use to probe flowers in search of nectar, hovering in front of the bloom on tiny wings. Males feed only on nectar, but females have a slightly more varied if lesser-known diet. In order to produce eggs, they must find a more protein-rich food source during the breeding season and so use their long beaks to take blood from beach-breeding longnecks or any other large green-blooded animal they can find.

Bonefish: Large marine fish with bony nodules and scales embedded in its skin. Edible, it can easily break out of fishing nets and so much be caught using a strong line. The scales are often used in jewelry in Seaholds.

Burdenbeast: An ox (NOT burden beast)

Buzz Fly: a stinging fly native to Pern.

Canine: Also, dog. Canines have been carefully bred to fulfill a number of needs, from utility (herding, hunting, guarding holds against wherries and snakes, kitchen labor), recreation (racing, fighting), and sometimes even as extra protein for the stew pot. Even lap varieties have been bred to serve as ladies' pets.

Cark: a dangerous, aggressive native fish common to southern seas.

Crawler: biting six-legged pests native to Pern; web builders.

Crawlie: A native lizard-like creature similar to the Terran gecko; they have six legs with bulbous toes adapted for sticking to sheer walls and ceilings, and limited color-changing ability. They mainly eat insects, capturing them with sticky tongues. They live almost exclusively in tropical areas and can become pests if they grow too numerous, though generally they are kept in check by various breeds of tunnelsnakes and other predators.

Darters: Small wherries that feed on insects and crawlers, darters of one form or another are familiar to just about everyone on Pern as they are extremely common, often brightly colored animals that often live close to human settlements. Their numbers have been somewhat dented in recent Turns by the spread of fire lizards, which consider darters to be the right size for hunting; they are also taken by cats and tunnelsnakes. Some species are valued for their intricate songs and are kept as cage pets.

Dimglows: large aquatic air-breathing herbivores, dimglows are named for their somewhat limited intellectual capacity. Marine species are found around the oceanic coasts and the Southern inland sea, feeding on sea plants; freshwater species inhabit deeper rivers and lakes. Secretive animals, dimglows never leave the water and are valued for their meat and oil, for which they are hunted. They are fairly squat in appearance with low dorsal ridges, six limbs (the front pair adapted for pulling foliage towards the mouth, the two rear pairs as flippers), and a horizontally flattened, fluked tail.

Divers: these are slender fish-eating wherries not dissimilar to the Terran cormorant. Sociable, if noisy animals, they may be tamed if caught young and in some areas, they are trained to fish for their owners, being fitted with loose collars that prevent them from swallowing larger fish. Fairly intelligent, they have long-toothed bills, dense feathers, and - in the case of the domesticated examples - an air of almost palpable arrogance.

Dolphin:
The people of our Pern, have only recently become aware of the dolphin's intelligence. (Some people still do not believe in it.) Dolphins, together with those of the Dolphineer Craft, play a key role on Pern's seas. Usually beloved by Pernese, and are never fished. Note that "Shipfish" is considered insulting by the dolphins themselves, though it is still in wide use by those who are not in close contact with them.

Despite their apparent similarity to fish, dolphins are warm-blooded mammals who need to breathe air to survive, give birth to their young and nurse them with milk. Try to tell Pernese dolphins that they are shipfish, and they will correct you!

Pern's dolphins are the descendants of mentasynth-enhanced, intelligent dolphins of the future. Consequently, they are different from the dolphins we know on Earth today. The biggest changes however came with the development of enhanced intelligence and didn't affect bodily functions. Thus, we can assume that the general biology of Pernese dolphins matches closely that of today's Earth dolphins while their behavior might have undergone changes as their self-awareness increased with the mentasynth treatment.

Dolphins have a streamlined body for easy and fast movement through the water. A dolphin's head consists of the melon (forehead) and beak (jaws). They breathe through a blowhole located between their melon and the dorsal fin on their back. A dolphin's tail is called the fluke, its pectoral fins (essentially the dolphin's 'hands') are called flippers. A dolphin's reproductive organs are hidden in a fold between the navel and fluke, making it hard for humans to tell the gender of a dolphin by sight. Humans can most easily identify individual dolphins by the shape of their dorsal fins and the color and scar patterns on their rubbery skins.

Most of the following information pertains to the bottlenosed dolphin, one of the species brought to Pern and one of the best-studied species on Earth. Bottlenosed dolphins are generally dark bluish-grey or brownish-grey on top with a lighter belly and might develop spots with growing age. They show a wide range in size between individuals, with some adults almost twice as long and heavy as others and a reported maximum length of fourteen feet.

Resting: Dolphins do not sleep as we do. They are 'conscious breathers' who, unlike humans, need to stay awake to keep breathing. (This is also the reason why they cannot be anesthetized.) If they need to rest, they float close to the water surface, sometimes swimming along very slowly, and one side of their brain always stays awake to control breathing while the other side relaxes. Often they will close one eye during these times. They nap like this for numerous short periods throughout the 24-hour cycle, in contrast to humans sleeping through several hours at night.

Pern's dolphins have always been puzzled by the concept of the Great Sleep taught to them by their elders. The idea that their ancestors slept for fifteen years in cryogenic tanks before reaching the planet is as alien to them as the concept of space travel itself.

Lifecycle: Dolphins are born tail-first after a pregnancy that lasts about twelve months. Newborn calves are usually about a third of the length of their mothers. Twins are extremely rare. A newborn dolphin synchronizes its swimming and breathing patterns with its mothers and swims at her side for the first few weeks. Once the calf grows older, synchrony declines and it swims preferably underneath its mother. For the first six to twelve months after birth, the calf feeds exclusively on its mother's rich milk. Even after starting to eat fish, it continues nursing for at least another year (sometimes for as long as eight years) and stays with its mother for at least three to five years.

Female dolphins usually become reproductively active between the ages of ten and thirteen years, with some females starting as early as five to six years of age. (Such early pregnancies often cause problems, as the female is not yet fully grown.) The males usually mature between twelve to fourteen years of age, with the quicker ones becoming active around eight to nine years of age. Due to the long calf-rearing times, females breed only every few years and after weaning their previous calf. They are receptive about twice to seven times a year, with peak times for mating and birthing in spring and fall.

The average dolphin lifespan is forty to fifty years, with females having a longer life expectancy than males. The age range for Pernese dolphins might be higher, due to the pre-selection of genetically unimpaired individuals to accompany the settlers combined with the unpolluted oceans on Pern. (We can see a similar effect in Pern's human population during Intervals.)

The Pern Dolphin Contract:
Dolphins must:
1 Answer the call of the sea-bell when it rings or rings the bell if they need help or have information to pass on.

2 Guard any intelligent species on or near the water, to the best of their abilities.

3 Assist in all sea rescues of intelligent species.

4 Inform humans or any other concerned intelligent species of oncoming sea hazards, including the presence of dangerous sea creatures.

5 Aid humans or any other concerned intelligent species with their abilities to detect earthquakes and track tsunami waves.

6 Upon request, spot schools of food fish and inform fishing boats where they are to be found.

In an honorary capacity, dolphins also escort the bodies of the human dead, buried at sea, to their final resting place.

Humans and other intelligent Species must:
1 Teach and talk to any dolphin.

2 Rescue any dolphin who is in distress.

3 Restore to the sea any dolphins that accidentally beach themselves.

4 Cure sickness and mend wounds.

5 Remove all bloodfish.

Dolphin Traditions on Pern:
After learning human speech, the dolphins adopted the names they had been given and formed a tradition of passing them on to their offspring. Many of these names were originally taken from places and historical figures on Earth (for example Amadeus, China, Oregon, Theresa). They have been set to dolphin music, and this Name Song is sung on special occasions and on longer journeys in the Great Currents. Pernese dolphins use human speech not only to communicate but also in their Songs, which are sung to entertain as well as inform, just like the Teaching Ballads of the human Harpers.

To honor Captain Jim Tillek, the pods adopted the name "Tillek" for the acknowledged leader of all dolphins on Pern. This tradition has been handed down until the present day. It is the Tillek's responsibility that all young dolphins learn Speech and know their duties towards the humans on Pern and the meaning of the ringing sequences of the sea bell. She will firmly discipline dolphins who are disrespectful towards humans or question the Dolphin Contract. The Tillek is also the keeper of dolphin history and hands it on to the next generation. With the Songs, dolphin history is taught in human speech. Young dolphins will first be taught by their mothers, then by their pod leaders, and finally be chosen to travel to the Northwest Sea to be taught by the Tillek herself.

Dolphins gather annually around Turnover in the Northwest Sea to exchange news and train the young. Although the pods are autonomous, they assist each other and hold friendly competitions among themselves to help keep them sharp. The probably most important of those dolphin traditions is the swimming of the Great Subsidence. This is a right of passage all young dolphins must go through to complete their training with the Tillek. The big challenge takes place in a treacherous whirlpool in the arctic waters northwest of High Reaches Head, although some use the smaller subsidence in the Eastern Sea. Considered challenging, exhilarating, and dangerous, it is not witnessed by humans.

Before the young dolphins attempt to cross the Subsidence, the Name Song is sung in its entirety, giving honors to those dolphins that arrived with the settlers. Then the young dolphins have to prove themselves by swimming many hours and dragon lengths across the great whirlpool of the Subsidence, fighting against a vicious undertow threatening to yank them down. It requires strength, timing, and daring, and not everyone who tries makes it. It is suspected that when a dolphin is killed during this ritual, his death is explained as "unknown."

Earthworm: self-explanatory. Native to Pern.

Eels: like their Terran counterparts, Pernese eels are long, sinuous fish that are highly regarded as food animals. They are found in both fresh and saltwater and some species can grow to great size.

Feline: also, cat. Commonly kept to hunt local vermin.

Fingerling: small minnow-like fish native to Pern.

Firefly: small, pretty native insects, similar to the Terran variety.

Fire Lizard:
Fire Lizards are one of the best-known Pernese species. Attaching themselves to human companions and providing the genetic material from which the dragons were developed, fire lizards are smooth-skinned carnivorous creatures that have beaks only in the hatchling form, where they are used to break out of the egg. In the wild, the two natural species are found only in the tropics, although the larger, engineered varieties can live in all regions.

The original Pernese "dragons", fire lizards are a tropical species with a highly organized social structure based around different castes defined by genetically determined colors. Each group, or fair, of 'lizards' is led by a golden-yellow queen who defends a hunting, breeding territory, permitting no other adult queen to trespass. Of the other colors, the small and numerous greens are female, while the blues, browns, and bronzes are male. The males, especially the browns and bronzes, stay close to the queen and vie for her favor, while the greens spread throughout the territory - their small, undefended nests often mark the edge of a fair's territory. Both golds and greens are fertile, but the greens have little maternal instinct and their eggs are thus more vulnerable to predators than those of the golds; those that do hatch, however, produce hatchlings as fit and healthy as any queens.

When a queen's clutch hatches, the fair collects small prey items and feeds the emerging hatchlings, imprinting and binding them to the fair as they do so. Young fire lizards reach maturity at two Turns of age; greens, blues, and browns remain with the parental fair, but young bronzes of this age leave to settle with other fairs (spreading genetic diversity) and young queens are driven out by their dams, who won't tolerate rivals for their males and their territory. A young gold may challenge her dam for her territory, but more usually leaves to seek her own. There is a high casualty rate amongst eggs, even those of a queen, and amongst young and inexperienced lizards, especially those who leave to seek new fairs and territories.

One of the most notable things about fire lizards, and the thing that made them suitable for creating the dragons, is their mental abilities. A fair is held together by empathic and telepathic ties that are established at birth, and the hatchling lizards will bond to humans, or any other intelligent species, as readily as to others of their own species. So far as can be established, fire lizards regard a human companion (and any other lizards that humans may have) as their "fair"; queens regard their human as representing their "territory", albeit one with few good clutching sites; those humans who own more than one gold lizard may find themselves with problems! Fire Lizards can also teleport from danger, a tremendous advantage for a small animal. Another defense mechanism is the ability to metabolize firestone to produce a flaming gas - the "second stomach" used to break down the stone is actually a development of the wherry crop.

All lizard castes can flame; the inhibitions that prevent queen dragons from flaming (and those that prevent green dragons from breeding) were engineered into them when the dragons were first created. Neither Pern-standard dragons nor fire lizards are capable of becoming invisible like their Earth-standard brothers and sisters.

Fishersnakes: large tunnelsnakes with short, dense fur, fishersnakes inhabit the edges of rivers, streams, and lakes. Not especially well equipped as swimmers, the 'snakes' have elongated forelimbs with huge claws and also have excellent eyesight; they choose fishing points beside their chosen body of water and stand perfectly still, waiting for a fish to pass by. Once the prey has been spotted, the forelimbs are used to quickly grab the fish from the water to be dispatched by the 'snake's teeth before being consumed.

Flatfish: fish that, as the name suggests, have a flat body form. Usually found hugging the seafloor, Pernese flatfish resemble Terran rays more than plaice or sole. There are many species, the majority of which are important food fish.

Flameflies: nocturnal fireflies found in the tropical and semi-tropical latitudes of both the Northern and Southern continents.

Fliptails: small, hard-skinned animals related to the bellclaws and spiderclaws, fliptails have a curved body that they spring straight in order to rapidly escape predators. Found in both fresh and saltwater, they are an important food source for many creatures and can be eaten by humans once cooked and shelled. They are often found in huge numbers and may be caught using fine nets.

Gossamer Spinner: spiders

Grabbers: An unusual group of fish, grabbers are one of the most important groups of marine carnivores. All have powerful, vertically flattened tails and two pairs of fins, one at the midpoint of the body, the other towards the rear. There are also a pair of front limbs adapted into grabbing claws not dissimilar to those of a tunnelsnake. When not in use, these tuck into a streamlined pouch below and behind the formidably toothed mouth. When hunting, a grabber uses the claws to seize the prey, which may be a whole fish or a chunk of an unwary larger creature. Some oceanic species can grow to huge sizes, those of the coastal regions are generally smaller but can be dangerous to humans as they lurk amongst the rocks, waiting for prey to pass by.

Greystalks: shelled marine animals that attach themselves to rocks by a long, fleshy stalk, leaving the rest of the body to catch small particles from the water. They are edible, if not entirely pleasant-looking.

Grubs: There is also a type of worm or millipede called a grub, which was genetically engineered by Tubberman to consume Thread. They are unintelligent, sickly grey, limbless creatures which resemble large maggots. During Intervals, grubs survive on parasites that feed off of plant life, turning the soil as they feed, providing an excellent organic stimulation for growth so that grubbed soils result in healthier crop yields. However, it has only flourished in the Southern Continent and its existence was forgotten by most of the inhabitants of the North for many years. The Rubicon river, on the southern continent, was considered to be a major barrier for the Tubberman grubs. The grubs either went around or were carried across the river as larva in the digestive tracts of wherries and some of the other sport animals that were let loose, as grubs were found all across the southern continent.

The only people who knew about the grubs had been eradicating them whenever they appeared in the North; an error in records interpretation led them to believe they were parasitical instead of beneficial. After the error was corrected, the grubs were encouraged to flourish - indeed, it was noted that areas sown with the grubs prospered better due to the grubs aerating the soil and preventing Thread from destroying the crops or potential infestations forcing the burning of the field.

Herdbeast: also, cattle; polled and non-polled strains both exist. They have been bred into varieties to provide an excess of milk as well as meat and hide.

Ice Wherries: this is a name given to a wide range of flightless fishing wherries that live in the colder regions of Pern. The wings of ice wherries are adapted as strong paddles that propel the animal through the water as it hunts, seizing fish with its beak and strong foreclaws. A good, if fatty, source of meat, ice wherries are hunted by longnecks and seawhers.

Lizardhawks: bearing some resemblance to Terran hawks, lizardhawks are a group of species spread across Pern; the tropical examples sometimes take fire lizards in the wild, hence the name, although tunnelsnakes and other wherries are the more usual prey. Reasonably intelligent carnivores, they may be domesticated and trained if caught young and are sometimes used to hunt other wherries.

Longnecks: these are air-breathing carnivores, feeding on fish, spiderclaws, and watercrawlers. A small, often beaked, head is balanced at the end of a long, sinuous neck connected to a thick, streamlined body; there is one pair of flippers, a heavy, vertically flattened tail used for propulsion, and a prominent dorsal ridge that is often fairly ornate in some marine species. Found in all of Pern's major seas and oceans, marine longnecks are egg-layers, the females seeking out traditional beaches to lay their two eggs and raise their young to the point where they can swim and feed independently. There are also several species of longneck found in freshwater rivers and lakes, these tend to be much smaller and shorter-necked than their marine relatives and are almost all capable of giving live birth.

Lopers: these are the largest of wherries, flightless herbivores with small, almost vestigial wings that are used by the males in mating displays. Reaching up to twice the height of a man and named for the steady gait that allows them to cover huge distances, lopers have a very wide distribution and can eat almost any kind of plant matter. An important meat animal with an impressive breeding rate, lopers may be farmed; indeed, one of the smaller species is the familiar ostrich-sized "farm wherry". Color and density of plumage differ between species and even within species across their geographical range.

Orangegills: small, numerous fish that live in huge schools, feeding on smaller animals such as fliptails. Caught in nets, they are a valued food source in coastal holds; they are also frequently used as bait for larger fish.

Packtail: squat, bottom-dwelling sea fish with a thick fleshy tail and poisonous spines along its back. A valued food fish, although care must be taken in handling it.

Paddlers: these are a group of flightless tropical species similar in body form and lifestyle to the icewherries of colder regions, although the two groups are not closely related. The plumage of paddlers is much sparser than the fine, dense coat of the cold-water animals.

Redbellies: large, meaty river fish that breed in the shallows of lakes, often migrating hundreds of miles to do so. Adults sometimes venture into saltwater to feed, but always return to fresh in order to lay their eggs. An important food fish, especially during the breeding season when they are easily caught. They prefer colder waters.

Rockmite: a native crustacean similar to Terran crabs. Good eating and very common, with fresh and saltwater subspecies available.

Rocksnakes: A generic term applied to a large number of species spread all across Pern, rocksnakes are generally slender, agile animals that live amongst the rocks and in caves, these are the 'snakes' that most often plague human settlements. They will eat almost anything they come across and can cause massive spoilage to stored food. Some are poisonous and will bite if disturbed.

Roller: the Pernese equivalent of the woodlouse. Pests.

Runnerbeast: also, horse or runner. Draft, riding, racing, and pony types have all been bred. On Pern, 'Horse' is just as common a term as 'runnerbeast', and both are used interchangeably.

Sandrocks: clam-like animals that live under the sand of beaches, from where they may be dug up at low tide.

Sandworm: self-explanatory. Native desert-dwelling pests.

Seapickles: elongated creatures covered in sharp spines to protect their soft bodies, seapickles browse the seafloor in tropical regions. They are edible, although human divers must take care in collecting them.

Seawhers: air-breathing predators, seawhers are probably the most intelligent of the native inhabitants of Pern's ocean. Although some species are smaller than dolphins, these tend to be shy and are rarely seen by humans. The larger species are better known and are Pern's equivalent to the Terran orca, if somewhat less friendly. Those of the oceans travel in large pods, hunting bigmouths and dimglows, although they have been known to "finish off" boats and ships damaged in storms and will willingly eat any human or dolphins foolish or unlucky enough to get too close. However, they will not approach undamaged vessels, preferring to keep their distance. Seawhers can be highly protective of other pod members; hunting seawhers from dragons is not an option as a dragon in the water would be seen as fair game. Seawhers are streamlined creatures with a powerful vertically flattened tail that is used for propulsion. The rear limbs are reduced to solid stabilizers; the middle limbs are adapted as large steering fins while the front limbs are much reduced to small flaps in front of the main fins, and are used only in mating. A series of dorsal ridges run along the back, with one elongated to a triangular fin at the midpoint. Female seawhers give birth to live young, usually two at a time, and the whole pod is involved in raising the young.

Seasnakes:- the creatures most commonly referred to as "seasnakes" are actually very large predatory eels that sometimes hunt in packs in deep water. The name is also sometimes applied to certain species of tunnelsnakes that hunt in water, some of these are highly poisonous and should be avoided.

Shipfish: See: Dolphin.

Skimmers: large, flat sea fish that feed on small floating creatures by skimming them out of the water. Similar to the Terran manta ray.

Slashers: Southern carnivores, most species of slasher are flightless, although some of the smaller types still retain the use of their wings. Ranging in size from creatures the size of a chicken to those as tall as a human, slashers have an impressive set of slicing teeth, the beak is either much reduced or completely absent, but their main weapons are their claws. Both the fore and hind limbs are equipped with sharp, strong claws that are used in bringing down prey; the usual hunting method involves the prey being seized by the foreclaws before being disemboweled by the powerful hind limbs. Many slashers are pack hunters and are considered dangerous, taking farm animals as readily as those in the wild, they would probably attack a human if given the opportunity. Fortunately, they are wary of dragons.

Snowsweepers: large squat animals completely covered in dense, dark grey fur, snowsweepers are herbivores that feed in the tundra regions of the South. They are named for the manner in which a family group of five or six animals will form a line and move slowly forward over the ground, browsing continuously as they go. They are usually accompanied by hairpeckers, small wherries that pluck parasites from the sweeper's fur and which act as lookouts, warning their hosts of the approach of predators such as icewhers, slashers, and wild dogs. If predators do attack, the snowsweepers form into a tight huddle and defend themselves with their broad, hardened beaks and their forelimbs, which are adapted into curved, cutting blades.

Spiderclaw: enclosed in a hardened carapace, spiderclaws live on the seafloor, hunting and scavenging for food. Most have small bodies with long legs tipped with small claws, but some are more elongated, almost resembling oversized fliptails. An important food animal.

Springers: short-bodied herbivores with stiff tails held above the ground, springers have large hind legs which give them a characteristic bounding gait. Ranging in size from mouse to sheep-sized, they are found throughout the warmer regions of the SouthernContinent, where they feed on ground plants and nest in burrows beneath the ground, often in family groups. Springers and edible and are often taken from the wild as food animals; fire lizards often feed on the smaller species that humans regard as pests of crops.

Sprinter: somewhat smaller than the lopers to which they are closely related, sprinters are slender flightless wherries that can be as tall as a man in the larger species. Omnivores with toothed beaks, they are nervy animals continually on the lookout for danger, fleeing at high speed should they feel threatened, they are one of the few creatures that can outrun a wildcat.

Stabbers:- slender, long-necked wherries with long beaks, stabbers frequent the edges of rivers and lakes, feeding on small fish and watercrawlers that they pluck from the shallows.

Thread: Thread is a non-sentient extraterrestrial spore that originates from the cometary tail of the Red Star. On flesh, it leaves phosphorus burn-like wounds when the consumption can be stopped in time.

Warning: Thread works fast! Only Dragonfire, water, freezing cold, and agenothree (HNO3) will kill Thread; a quick skip between will freeze it to char. Only metal and rock are impervious to it. Once in contact with the ground, Thread will begin to burrow and feed, consuming all organic matter it touches and leaving behind a shell that deteriorates rapidly. Thread burrows at an explosive rate as the spores feed, and are difficult to eradicate once a burrow has established itself. Although a Threadfall is often described as a "silver rain" in the sky, it actually falls in irregular clumps rather than in rain-like sheets.

Treehoppers: these are furred, arboreal 'snakes' with long, heavily furred tails. They strongly resemble six-legged squirrels. Found wherever there are trees for them to feed on and live in, treehoppers are widely considered to be vermin, causing damage to orchards and eating their way through nut and berry crops. They are a favorite prey of domestic fire lizards and cats and are often found in stews, but despite this, they breed so rapidly that their numbers never seem to reduce. Treehoppers can grow to the length of a man's arm and range in color from pale grey-brown through russet to near-black. In temperate regions, they hibernate during the winter months.

Trundlebug: a native insect that does the pollinating work done on Earth by dung-beetles, bees, earthworms, and ladybugs (all of which died out on Pern).

Tunnel Snake: Tunnelsnakes are almost the generic Pernese animal, showing the warm-blooded, six-limbed body plan from which all the "higher" creatures have developed. Some are scaled, others have smooth hide or are furred. They can differ wildly in diet and lifestyle; herbivores, omnivores, carnivores, scavengers, all are represented, although all are egg-layers. Most are pests, although some are edible.

Vtol: another native insect, one which can leap into flight from a vertical position.

Yellowfins: large, powerful deep-sea fish, yellowfish travel in schools, feeding on smaller fish. Their meat is of very high quality and much valued, although catching them takes skill as they can rip through most nets. In some places, schools passing close to shore are herded into inlets and butchered there.

Watch-Wher: one of the self-perpetuating "mistakes" produced by the settlers' attempts to produce dragons, watchwhers are the familiar guard animals of the Northern Continent, where they are also used by the Minecraft belowground. Reasonably intelligent and with some minor telepathic abilities and a strong sense of loyalty to their human friends, watchwhers are low-slung ugly creatures with malformed eyes that cause them to be photophobic; they also have a strong, unpleasant odor. They show the same range of colors as the fire lizards and dragons, although, as in the dragons, only the golds may breed, the greens having been engineered to be sterile. Golds are mostly kept by the Minecraft, who breed them for work in the mines, and young males are often sold to Holds who want them as guard beasts; greens are often culled at hatching as their unpredictable mating heats make them unsuitable for work or guard beasts, although the Minecraft tends to keep some to provide sexual relief for the males that work in the mines. All the "wild whers" on the Northern Continent are feral watchwhers. Although rare, it is not unknown for golds to escape and breed in the wild. These wild examples are solitary animals but can cause considerable damage to livestock and will attack humans if disturbed. The Southern Continent, on the other hand, has its own species of wild wher that is distinct from the watchwher; see below.

Watersnakes: a name applied to any number of tunnelsnakes that feed in rivers and streams. Most are harmless but some are poisonous and should be treated with care.

Waterwherries: the Pernese equivalent of ducks and geese, waterwherries of various species are common sights on rivers and lakes. They are sometimes kept in captivity for their eggs and meat; the feathers are also used to stuff upholstery and pillows.

Wherry: Wherries are Pern's native birds, with the middle set of limbs adapted into membranous wings. Most have a covering of "featherfur" (insulating but not too similar to the feathers of Terran birds) covering their bodies, including the wings. The powerful hind limbs are adapted for springing or running, while the forelimbs are used for grasping. Most wherries have beaks of some variety, but some also have grasping teeth - they do not have chewing teeth as they have a crop containing grinding stones.

Wherries come in all shapes and sizes and there are many thousands of different species inhabiting many ecological niches. Many have lost the ability to fly and are instead powerful runners; several of these species have been domesticated and are farmed extensively on both the Northern and Southern Continents for their meat, eggs, and hides ("wherhide" is actually the tanned skin of large running wherries). Others are taken from the wild as food animals for both humans and, in the case of the larger animals, dragons.

Not all wherries are herbivorous, however. Carnivores include those that feed on fish (such as divers) or small animals and wherries (such as lizardhawks). Larger carnivores capable of killing animals such as herdbeasts do exist though, generally in the more untamed regions of the South.

Whers: Another of the hiccups in the dragon breeding program, whers are a totally wild species found only on the Southern Continent, where they were left after the Second Crossing. Like watchwhers, they show the full range of dragon colors, and once again the greens are sterile and cannot reproduce. However, whers are "better designed" than their domestic cousins. Although mainly nocturnal they are not photophobic, they have legs long and powerful enough to carry their heavy bodies clear of the ground, and they have little discernible scent.

Whers have a wide range across the entirety of the Southern Continent and show a complex social structure. Golds control large territories in which they construct breeding dens; a single gold territory typically contains five or six smaller territories controlled by males who fight to maintain their borders and to attract the gold to their patch when she is ready to mate. A result of this is that the small blues are very rare as the larger bronzes and browns quickly kill them in territorial fights. Greens do not hold territories and wander freely through those of the males; as greens are small and agile they can generally avoid detection unless they are in mating heat, in which case the males welcome them. A mated gold lays 7-10 eggs in an underground den, keeping them warm by piling rotting vegetation around them; after hatching she feeds the young for a month before abandoning them to find their own territories. Gold whers can be fairly large (similar in size to a Terran lioness), while bronzes and browns are maybe two-thirds that size. Greens and blues are about half the size of a gold or smaller, but adult blues are extremely rare. One aspect of the small size of the greens is that they can use their wings to glide small distances - in all other colors, the wings are functionally useless.

Whers are active hunters but will readily take penned domestic stock if given the opportunity; as a result, they are unpopular with the Southern settlers who must nonetheless treat them with considerable respect as whers consider humans a prey animal as much as any wherry.

Whersport: the closest natural relatives to the fire lizards, whersports are a much less notable species with little in the way of mental abilities. They have only two color phases, brown in the male and green in the female, with the smooth hide having a far more mottled appearance than the fire lizards, and are larger than their cousins, with the large males reaching the length of a man's arm. Usually shy animals, they live in tropical forests where mated pairs defend hunting territories. They take small wherries and other animals, but the bulk of their diet is made up of the eggs of other species and, especially, crawlers. Whersports have heavily clawed forelimbs that they use to rip open the rock-like nests of certain tropical crawlers, collecting the inhabitants with their long sticky tongues. Their wings are functional but they rarely use them except in emergencies, they are poor fliers and vulnerable to aerial predators, rarely leaving cover if they can help it. They are edible and their flesh is considered a delicacy by humans, reflecting the fact that they are not easy to find and catch.

Whitewings: seawherries that inhabit coastal areas, nesting in cliffs and feeding on fish. A common sight around most coasts, there are actually several species of whitewing, all very similar though they can be told apart by their differing sizes and details of their plumage.

Wildcat: Also Cheetah. Wildcats are genetically engineered predatory felines that were created with the intention of developing an intelligent, Impressionable guard/hunt companion. Unfortunately, the scientist doing the experimentation wasn't a qualified geneticist, and his prototypes killed him before escaping into the wilds of the Southern Continent. Wildcats, as they have been named by the most recent settlers of Southern, are about 3.5 feet tall at the shoulder and about 5 feet long, with the conformation of a jaguar/cheetah hybrid. Its coat is a rich, tawny yellow, spotted with black rosettes. The body is massive and powerfully muscled, with a relatively small head and long legs built for explosive sprinting power. Over short distances, the wildcat can attain speeds of up to 45 mph; it is also an adept climber and excellent swimmer, making it capable of taking a range of aquatic, arboreal, and terrestrial prey. Wildcats are aggressive, territorial, and highly intelligent. Pairs will mate for life; unmated individuals will remain solitary. In the tropical areas of the Southern Continent, they appear to mate in any season, although elsewhere they mate during the spring. After a gestation period of eight months, the female of a mated pair will bear one to two cubs, who take an estimated three years to gain full maturity. The lifespan of a wildcat is estimated to be approximately 30 years; territorial disputes between wildcats often result in death. Wildcats can be tamed if captured as kittens. If taken into human care early enough, wildcats will imprint upon humans, making them reliable and highly intelligent hunting companions/guardians. However, if taken after the kittens have imprinted on their natural kin, wildcats will be very difficult to train and highly likely to turn on their trainers - which is nearly always fatal for the trainer. In the wild, wildcats usually avoid humans and human habitations, but they will hunt and kill lone humans who stray into their territory or prey upon domestic livestock. Therefore, humans often hunt or drive away wildcats whenever the two species encounter one another.

Woolbearer: also, sheep or woollies. Several subspecies have been bred, but none are highly regarded for anything resembling intelligence.

Yellowstripe: a small, native fish with yellow racing stripes.

Yellowfins: a medium-sized native fish with bright yellow fins.

Yellowtail: a small, native fish with a yellow tail and dorsal stripe.

Native Pernese vertebrates have a body structure with six limbs. Flying creatures, such as the fire-lizards and wherries (carnivorous creatures not dissimilar to large birds), have two wings and four legs. Ground-bound creatures like most tunnelsnakes have six legs, which may include specialized digging feet or hunting claws. Some tunnelsnakes are aquatic or semi-aquatic and have one or more sets of fins or flippers in place of legs. Wherries are edible, and have been domesticated for food; some tunnelsnakes are edible, but they are primarily considered a pest animal in Weyrs and Holds.

The native dragonet was genetically engineered using advanced high-tech Eridani techniques, such as a mentasynth enhancement, by settlers into the much larger and more intelligent dragons. Other experiments resulted in the enhanced fire-lizards, which would come to play an important role in Pernese society as companions and message carriers, and the watch-wher (wher rhymes with 'there'), a stunted, photophobic cousin of the dragon. Fire-lizards proved compatible with the original dragonets, but the enhanced genetics of the fire-lizard proved to be a much bigger advantage, and dragonets eventually bred out of existence. Whers are used in mining and as guards of Holds and were long thought to be a mistake made by Wind Blossom, the Eridani geneticist who was credited with (or blamed for) developing them. It was later revealed that their 'flaws' were deliberate: they were designed to fight Thread by themselves on the few occasions when it fell at night. Their infrared eyesight not only allowed them to see Thread but to discern live Thread from Thread that had been frozen by the night atmosphere, and the shorter wingspan was intended to minimize Thread damage. Unfortunately, this information was kept from the general population and soon lost, and it became customary to chain whers up, which prevented them from playing their intended role in the fight against Thread. The Watch-wher's role is finally realized when they play a critical role in the fight against thread after the creation of a specialized Wherhold.

A wide variety of fish-like creatures dwell in Pernese seas, many of which are edible to humans, including the oily-fleshed packtail, the prized redfin, and the easily preserved whitefish.

Introduced species:
Flora:
Most of the plants introduced by Pernese colonists are providers of food, fiber, or medicine. Most grains, vegetable crops, and fruit trees were imported to Pern, as were a wide variety of herbs and fiber plants such as flax and cotton. Notably, the Pernese lack cocoa, tea, and coffee plants.

Fauna:
The original Pernese settlers brought a wide variety of animals (transported in coldsleep or as ovum and sperm to be bred in the revived birthing stock) and plants with them when they originally settled the planet. However, due to both the disastrous threadfall and the natural Pernese landscape, some animals never adapted at all. Deer and other forest-dwelling animals did not fare well in Pern's warm, tropical climate. Other animals required "genetic adaptation" but survived in some form or another. One type of genetic adaptation needed was the altering of the digestive processes of animals like cows to allow them to digest the boron-heavy grass successfully and without ill effects.

The Pernese tend to categorize animals by use more than by species. Herdbeasts are animals kept in large numbers for meat or leather and include bovines, ovines, and caprines (which became the standard Pernese terms for cows, sheep, and goats). Milchbeasts are the same species as herdbeasts but kept for milk. Draybeasts are donkeys, oxen, or draft horses. Runners are a particular breed of horse developed by the Pernese, a riding/racing beast vaguely analogous to the Anglo-Arabian. Burdenbeasts may be donkeys or llamas.

Cats and dogs, called felines and canines, are kept for pest control or, in the case of dogs, as herd or guard animals. The felines and canines have adapted to fit the colder climates of Pern, having developed thicker, shaggier coats. A large feline (a cheetah) was engineered by a renegade settler for the purpose of being an intelligent helper, but they turned on the settler and went wild on the Southern Continent. Eventually, The Weyrleader came into contact with the Cheetahs and managed to invoke an enforced peace between them and all other intelligent species on the planet. He used their dread of the Pern fleas they had been infested with and an enforced magically binding oath on all Cheetahs, both current and future populations, to gain this peace.

The giant Pern cats are found to have intelligence almost on a par with the dragons once they have been cleaned of the Pern flea infestation. It takes a while but, once free of the maddening flea bites, the cats prove to be similar to the mature dragons in that they can make friends with individuals of any species. They are much more independent though. While they are grateful to the humans for the removal of the fleas, they are quite happy on their own. While it takes a while to get through to any individual cat once they are pest-free, they eventually come to understand Harry's requirements for living on Pern with the other intelligent species and agree to take a magically binding oath to uphold those requirements … as long as they continue to receive aid against the fleas. They agree to leave all intelligent beings alone and even offer a limited form of help in a few instances, but they generally prefer their nomadic existence over being partners with anyone. In exchange for the cure of flea infestations and medical aid when needed, they agree to limit their numbers to what can be easily supported by the native Pern wildlife. They further agree to leave all the imported animals alone … unless offered. After they are taught the rudiments of animal husbandry, they start their own herds of food beasts so they will never be troubled by famine again. They can communicate the same way as dragons and Harry has the ability to call to any of the felines, singly or as a group. He uses this ability to call all the infected cats to a specially prepared area where they may be sedated and treated for fleas. Ultimately, the treatment lasts 5 to 6 months and the cats are told they need to renew the treatment before it expires or they will become infested again. Eventually, the fleas are all but wiped out; new infestations are actively hunted out and eradicated with the enthusiastic help of the cats. After many years, as young kits grew up familiar with the other intelligent species and free of the intense pain invoked by the agonizing flea bites, many of the younger Cheetahs became slightly closer to other species. As cats, though, they ever remained aloof and apart, only ever doing something beneficial for other species if they felt like it.

A genetically altered breed of dolphins, subsequently called shipfish by the native population (due to their tendency to follow ships), accompanied humans to Pern. These dolphins had greatly increased intelligence, including a degree of telepathic ability, and had developed means of verbally communicating with humans because of the genetic metasynth enhancement. Unlike many of the other animals that accompanied humans, dolphins took to their new home well. They were trained to come to the sound of bells, help troubled sailors in the oceans, and inform sailors and fishermen about the currents and fish. Unfortunately, intelligent contact between dolphins and humans was soon lost following the first thread fall, as the humans struggled for survival.

For much of Pernese history, they were not known to the human population as intelligent beings and were considered as merely another animal, though forbidden and unlucky to harm. While the dolphins were forgotten about by the humans, the dolphins remembered the contract between the two species (made when the two species originally arrived on Pern) and continued to help sailors in distress, and return lost cargo to shore, awaiting the day when humans would remember and again honor the old contract.

After their rediscovery by unbonded dragons searching for fish to eat north of Sakushima Weyr, Pern, the dolphins led ships safely to the shoals of fish and away from reefs and warned of storms. One of the acts humans performed in return was scraping off parasitic bloodfish.

Derived from 'conversations' with AIVAS:
Some of the previous planetary information was obtained or derived from an Artificial Intelligent computer called AIVAS (Artificial Intelligence Voice-Address System) when it was discovered on the Southern continent. (See Nutan's Weyr) The AIVAS was designed on Earth and brought along with the expedition that would eventually colonize the third planet in the Rukbat system. Once settled, AIVAS was installed at the site that was appropriately named "Landing" on the Southern Continent. When the space-borne organism known as "Thread" became a major threat, AIVAS made the elimination of that threat its prime directive, one it would maintain millennia later.

Landing was abandoned by the settlers due to the eruption of two active volcanoes near the Landing site. The last message received by AIVAS was from Captain Ezra Keroon, reporting that Fort Hold was operational. It was received at 1700 hours on the fourth day, tenth month, eleventh year after Landing. Nevertheless, AIVAS continued its observations of Threadfall and came to conclusions regarding its source and how it could be stopped, but there was no one there to hear it. By then, volcanic ash had completely covered the site; during the First Interval, they tried to reach the Admin Annex and couldn't find it.

A potentially Long Interval was caused when Earth dragons were sent back in time by AIVAS to install starship engines on the Red Star's surface and, using AgNO3 (HNO3, Nitric Acid) to destroy the antimatter containment pods, and explode them. The resultant explosion perturbed its orbit, causing the difference. A second attempt shortly after, completed the calculated change in the Red Star's orbit, ensuring that thread never again threatened Pern once the present pass is completed.

In addition to the shifting of the Red Star, AIVAS also devised a plan to destroy the Thread organism at its source. While the engines were being set on the Red Star's surface, a series of disimproved Thread ovoids infected with "zebedees", as AIVAS called them, would be left on the surface so that they would infect the Oort Cloud and the organisms growing there when the Red Star passed through it in its orbit, wiping the organisms out. This portion of the plan, AIVAS termed "Overkill".

Recent Years:
Eventually, after The Weyrleader became much better at delegating responsibilities, he divested himself of much of the responsibilities for the Weyrs and Holds of Pern. Even though his offices and those of his Staff were located at the very top of Spath's Weyr, he came to understand the wisdom of delegating someone else to run its daily affairs. Spath's Weyr Weyrleader was eventually assigned to the rider Dronth felt best able to handle such a huge responsibility. The switch of Weyr leadership was only allowed after Harry was able to convince Dronth that, while Harry would no longer be in direct charge of Spath's Weyr, he would still be in overall charge of everything on Pern.

From the information that follows, I hope you will agree with me that Ronan was able to meet and, in some cases, exceed, The Weyrleader's requirements. Spath's Weyr on Pern was so huge, it could easily hold over 10,000 bonded Dragons and riders as well as a like number of unbonded dragons. The initial requirement to hold all dragons and riders was met and exceeded. Eventually, Spath's Weyr would end up mostly empty because Harry, felt it safer not to keep all his "eggs in one basket", so the different Weyrleaders from Earth were sent out to found new Weyrs on Pern based on Spath's Weyr but on a much smaller scale.

Spath's Weyr Layout:
Exterior:
Everything outside the huge surface entrance to Spath's Weyr eventually became Spath's Hold. See "The Development of Holds on Pern, Spath's Hold" below.

Observatory:
The top of Spath's mountain was leveled off and a remote-controlled observatory was installed. The building that housed the 300-inch main telescope could be pressurized if someone had to work there for any length of time, such as for the initial installation of the telescope, fixtures, and Wi-Fi-enabled electronics that controlled everything. A rough stone wall was erected around the site, camouflaged to look like the rest of the mountain top, that would help to better hide it from the surface and even from a low altitude search. This is the only exterior part of the Weyr that is still considered a part of the Weyr.

It was this observatory that made the discovery, on April 12, 2011, of the rogue planet which brought threadfall when it passed too close.

Interior:
The interior of the new Weyr was carefully planned out so that none of the created spaces inside would cause any instability in the structure of the mountain. From the initial Tunnel, situated a little over 3,000 feet up from the base of the mountain, the internal cylinder was opened both up and down from that initial entry point. The interior was laid out in levels with specific purposes. The initial entry point eventually became Level 11 of 20. Level 1 was later determined to be about 35 feet higher than the outside ground level away from the base of the mountain.

Every level had similar features to every other level. These included, but were not limited to, Ring corridors, 16 Spoke tunnels (numbered from "0" to "15") which divided the Weyr into Sectors, stairwells for foot traffic, a "Turbolift" system using magic to teleport people and supplies not only to any level but to any sector, and all ventilation was provided using Goblin magic. Each living/working space had its own small Hot Rock power generator and, after certain difficulties had finally been worked out, indoor plumbing which included hot and cold running water for cooking and washing as well as flush toilets! For those who craved their electronic toys, a Weyr-wide network was installed consisting of a main server on the Admin level and powered by multiple Wi-Fi repeater nodes which allowed 10TB access to most of the inhabitants of the Weyr, no matter what level they resided on. This was linked to and coupled with a satellite phone system which gave worldwide coverage.

For those who preferred to use more conventional means of getting from place to place, there are 16 flights of stairs. They are located off the Ring 2 corridor at the junction with each of the Sector tunnels on the outer side of the Ring corridor and counter-clockwise side of the Spoke tunnel. The stairs have cushioning wards installed so that, if someone falls, there will be no serious injuries. Most people find the Turbolift system much more convenient, however. Most of the Turbolifts are located directly across the Spoke tunnel from the stairwells. The Turbolift access room is entered through a heavy brass door controlled by a single button. The Turbolift arrival room is right next to it but doesn't have a door, being open to the corridor for easy egress. Anyone appearing in the Turbolift arrival room simply needs to remember to turn left to go towards the central cavern or right to go towards the higher numbered rings or, if on Level 1, towards the outside of the Weyr.

There are a series of 10,000-gallon reservoirs that supply water to the entire Weyr. If hot water is required at the point of use, the cooling exhaust from the Hot Rock power generator is siphoned off at an appropriate point. This is possible because some of the cooling water is recirculated and some of it comes in fresh. The reservoir overflows come out of the mountain above the shielded entrance, giving the appearance of a waterfall coming out of the rock face, which eventually joins with the stream coming from the gardens. All along its course, filters are installed that ensured the water is free of debris and suitable for drinking if necessary. There are similar water tunnels up above the top of the main chamber so there will be water available for drinking, cooking, and bathing. All greywater and sewage is ported directly from its source in any apartment to the reclamation center where the sewage is treated and reclaimed for odorless fertilizer phosphate recovery.

The floor of each Level was 300 feet from the floor of any adjoining Level. The following table shows the height of each Level floor above the ground floor, Level 1, and a short description of the main use for each level.

01= 0'. Non-rider apartments and shops.
02= 300'. Hospital and Medical Staff only.
03= 600'. Dragon/Rider apartments.
04= 900'. Dragon/Rider apartments.
05= 1200'. Dragon/Rider apartments.
06= 1500'. Dragon/Rider apartments.
07= 1800'. Dragon/Rider apartments.
08= 2100'. Dragon/Rider apartments.
09=2400'. Dragon/Rider apartments.
10= 2700'. Dragon/Rider apartments.

11= 3000'. Dragon/Rider apartments.
12= 3300'. Dragon/Rider apartments.
13= 3600'. Dragon/Rider apartments.
14= 3900'. Dragon/Rider apartments.
15= 4200'. Dragon/Rider apartments.
16= 4500'. Dragon/Rider apartments.
17= 4800'. Dragon/Rider apartments.
18= 5100'. Dragon/Rider apartments.
19= 5400'. Dragon/Rider apartments.
20= 5700'. Admin Level, Track, and Gym.

Apartment Addressing:
The cavern end of each Spoke corridor has a 4-digit number next to it indicating its level and sector. Sectors are numbered starting with "00" at the northernmost side of the cavern to Sector "01" which is 22.5 degrees clockwise around to Sector "15" which is 22.5 degrees counter-clockwise from Sector "00". Thus the main entrance to the Admin level and The Weyrleader's office is near "2000".

The number of Ring corridors varies, depending upon the Level. Ring 1 is always the ring closest to the central cavern and, usually, opening directly into it. Ring 1 at level 2 and above had a wide ledge that can be used, if desired, to walk from any Spoke tunnel to any room between the different Spokes. Ring 2 is a 50-foot wide by 50-foot high corridor with an inside edge that starts 500 feet from Ring 1. Each inside edge of any Ring corridor started on multiples of 500' from the inside Cavern wall, which was considered Ring 1. This 500-foot spacing is the standard as long as any room opening off of it was well inside the surface of the mountain. Level 1 through Level 12 has 4 rings, Level 13 through 17 has 3 rings, and Levels 18 through 20 has 2 rings. Shortly after construction finished, Ronan authorized a further level 0, 300 feet under Level 1, to add additional housing for the immigrants. This level was added before the external apartments had been started. Because of the huge influx of immigrants, more space was needed and this level was created solely for non-rider housing. Level 0 contained 5 rings giving it 63 more apartments per sector than Level 1. It later reverted mainly to storage areas where hermetically sealed containers held food and medicine against any future need. The floors of all tunnels, corridors, and many of the central garden walkways are coated with a special, spongy material that is much easier to walk on than bare stone.

Ring 1 has rooms or apartments only on one side since it opens into the central cavern. Each of the other Rings had apartments that open on both sides. Ring 1 apartments are numbered 01 through 12, increasing clockwise within each Sector. The inside apartments (I) for Rings 2 and higher were odd-numbered starting with 13. The outside apartments (O) were even-numbered starting with 14. Ring 2 (Inside) only has 12 apartments as at the intersection of the Ring corridor and the Spoke Tunnel is where the stairwell ( counter-clockwise side) and the Turbolift rooms (clockwise side) are placed. The Fostering Barracks is located on Level 1, the Hatching Ground Spoke (6), in Sector 6 (clockwise of Spoke 6), on the inner side of the ring, opposite the Turbolift (Apartment 13), so its address is 010602-13 in the order LLSSRR-room # where LL = Level, SS = Sector, and RR = Ring.

Turbolift control buttons: (Button=Use)
0-20 in two columns
= Level 0 (sub-ground level) to Level 20 (Admin level)
0-15 in a circle= Sector 0 (north) to Sector 15 (just counter-clockwise from Sector 0)
Open= Open the door without going anywhere.
Exit= Port immediately to the ground-floor Exit tunnel.
Hospital= Port immediately to ER1 or ER3 selected alternately.
Port= Activate port for buttons selected.

Buttons added later under an illusion spell, high above the other buttons:
Gringotts
= Ports to the Entrance to Gringotts, Pern, at the end of Spoke Tunnel 8.
Milling= Ports to the Entrance to the Foundry, at the end of Spoke Tunnel 2.
RTL= Ports to the Entrance to the Research and Testing Laboratory, at the end of Spoke Tunnel 10.
Dry Dock= Ports to the Entrance to the 1,500 ft. diameter cavern containing the Dragon Nations dry dock on the opposite side of the RTL from the Weyr.
University of Pern= Ports to the Entrance to the University, on Level 1 at the end of Spoke Tunnel 12.

The total number of apartments is shown for a typical Dragon Apartment Level in one of the Sectors in the following table. The subtracted apartments in the second ring, inner side [2(I)] indicate where the Turbolift and stairwell sections are located.

Typical Number of Dragon Apartments in one Sector:
Level 3:
Ring 1: 12
Ring 2(I): 14-2 = 12
Ring 2(O): 16
Ring 3(I): 18
Ring 3(O): 20
Ring 4(I)): 24
Ring 4(O): 27
Total = 129

Level 13:
Ring 1: 12
Ring 2(I): 14-2 = 12
Ring 2(O): 16
Ring 3(I): 18
Ring 3(O): 20
Total = 78

Level 18:
Ring 1: 12
Ring 2(I): 14-2 = 12
Ring 2(O): 16
Total = 40

Layers 1, 2, 11, and 20 are special circumstances and will be explained later.

Total Dragon Apartments:
Level 0:
16 sectors x 192 apartments/sector = 3072* total apartments.

Level 1: 12 x 127 = 1524* + 2 ER + 2 Kitchens. As well as apartments for non-riders, this level held 2 Emergency Rooms for multiple species, 2 large ramps leading up to Level 2, and 2 kitchens, one on either side of each Spoke tunnel.

Level 2: 14 x 129 = 1806* + 2 ER. Hospital-Level. Apartments reserved for Medical staff only unless they had housing elsewhere (Dragonriders). 2 Emergency Rooms and multiple patient recovery rooms for anyone from dragons to House-Elves. 2 large ramps lead down to Level 1.

Levels 3 → 10 + 12: 129 apartments/sector = 2064 Dragon apartments only. 18,576 apartments for the 9 levels.

Level 11: 15 x 129 + 1 x 121 = 2056 Dragon apartments only. This Level had a zigzag entrance to the side of the mountain with wider than normal corridors. Any Dragon Apartment opening onto this entrance was hidden behind fidelius charms so no one entering via this entrance would even know they were there.

Level 13 → 17: 78 Dragon apartments only. 1248 per level = 6240 for the 5 levels.

Level 18 → 19: 40 Dragon apartments only. 640/level, 1280 for both.

Level 20: 12 Office/apartments/sector, 192 for the level. Only Ring 1 contains Dragon Apartments, which are reserved for The Weyrleader, Wing Staff, and guests.

Total Dragon Apartments: 28,344

* These are not very accurate numbers, as many of the Level 0 and 1 apartments have been space enlarged into barracks or multi-family apartments. The Emergency Rooms (ERs) on Level 1 contain space for roughly 50 beds for patients who require close monitoring while Level 2 ERs contain space for at least 16 dragons who require close monitoring.

Even excluding levels 0, 1, 2, and 20, there are over 28,000 dragon apartments available, which more than met The Weyrleaders' requirement for the number of dragons to hold. Each "apartment" was basically a cube 50 ft on each side with a similar 12-foot cube attached to one side. The 50-foot cube had most of the floor countersunk in order to line it with low emission Hot Rock pebbles and sand to make a dragon bed. The remaining area made a small walkway to the 10-foot cube which was fitted out with a bedroom, bathroom, and study for the rider. The entrance to each apartment had a moveable door, similar to a muggle garage door, that allowed the inhabitants to gain some privacy if they desired. The large doors had sound quieting runes inscribed. There was a smaller door between the dragon bed and the rider's apartment but the riders usually just left that door open.

Early on, it was decided to make every apartment the exact same dimensions as a dragon apartment, even if it was eventually going to be used by a different species. In the case of humans, the sand floor was covered with a finely finished wood floor and then entire buildings were created inside the space. Each human-sized apartment "building" could then be used for single or multi-generational families and were usually 3 stories high.

Level 1 was always planned to be the housing area for non-riders since they would have no easy way to travel down to the kitchens and shops located there. All Level 1, Ring 1 apartments were reserved for those families or groups who wished to maintain a business in the Weyr. As such, these 140 apartments, 10 per sector, were rented at a nominal fee rather than provided and, prior to moving in, they were offered the option for a space enhancement to allow for storage of merchandise, tools, and/or parts. If someone went out of business, they were expected to vacate the Ring 1 apartment and move into one of the higher numbered rings.

The large Spoke tunnel running through the Hospital Emergency entrance at Level 1, Sector 0, has the kitchens on either side of Spoke 0 set further away from the Spoke tunnel to leave room for the Emergency Room entrances. Each of the other Level 1 Spoke tunnels opening into the main cavern chamber, however, has a large kitchen close to the Spoke tunnels, on both sides of the tunnel opening into the main cavern. The kitchens are identified by spoke number and "L" or "R" depending upon which side of the tunnel they are on as seen from the main cavern.

These 32 large kitchens each have their own Hot Rock ovens, extensive dry and cold food storage rooms, and preparation areas. Outside each kitchen, on the floor of the main cavern, are large dining areas capable of seating 1000 people at a time with room for even more if necessary. Each kitchen is equipped to provide nourishment as well as favored dishes for all the intelligent species that followed Harry to Pern. Standard fare is available 24/7 but, if someone wanted something special, they only needed to request it and it would be prepared. If it was something that wasn't currently in the Weyr, then they only had to wait for it to be imported from Earth … usually only a maximum of 48 hours as there was still daily commerce between Earth and Pern. House-elves almost had a monopoly in the kitchens with only a few human and goblin chefs working with them. It is not uncommon to see a general mixture of species enjoying each other's company during meals.

Several apartments on Level 1 were left unfinished initially so they could be space enlarged horizontally, to create barracks for those as yet unmarried. Each barracks, when finished, was capable of holding over 300 people in individual rooms which combined a bedroom/study in a single room. Each barracks is 3 stories, holding 100 people to a floor, and had two large bathrooms with shower facilities on each end of the floor. The Weyrleader maintains that what people did in the privacy of their own "homes" was of no concern to anyone but themselves, as long as it harmed no one, so the barracks were not segregated in any way other than bathroom usage.

Eventually, due to the huge influx of immigrants, Level 0 was added 300 feet below Level 1 to act as expanded housing for at least some of the new people. While it was used extensively when first constructed, it was ultimately mostly converted to storage when most of its inhabitants moved on to surface Holds.

Security:
Early on, The Weyrleader decided he was never knowingly going to allow anyone to go to Pern that they could not trust. Because of this, the immigration requirements were extremely strict. If you didn't comply or you failed the requirements, you didn't go to Pern. Along with the requirements to be healthy and to at least be trainable in some area the Weyr needed, you had to take a magically binding Oath. Those Oaths differed depending upon what you wanted to do once you arrived on Pern. If you simply wanted to go to Pern and live there, an 'Equality Oath' was required. If you actually wanted to work for the Dragon Nation, you were also required to take a 'Loyalty Oath'. Later, once the system of world government had been initiated, if you were going to be a member of the Legislative, Judicial, or Executive Branch, you were required to also take an 'Oath of Office'. The three oaths are reproduced below. They were quite simple but, backed by a magically binding oath, still quite effective.

Required Magically Binding Oaths:
Equality Oath:
Immigrating to Pern, trading with or working directly for the Dragon Nation on Earth.

"I do swear and affirm that I will refrain from any and all actions which may cause physical harm to any other intelligent species. The only exception to this allowed is if my life or the life of another intelligent being is involved. Under such circumstances, I will take the least amount of action to stop said harm and do my best to incapacitate such attacker until properly sanctioned authorities arrive to take said attacker into custody."

Snape's Oath: Given specifically to Snape in order to allow him as much freedom as possible while curtailing his normal tactics as a Professor.

"On my blood and magic, I do swear and affirm that I will refrain from any and all actions which may cause physical or mental harm to any other intelligent species. The only exception to this allowed is if my life or the life of another intelligent being is involved. Under such circumstances, I will take the least amount of action to stop said harm and do my best to incapacitate such an attacker until properly sanctioned authorities arrive to take said attacker into custody.

"Further, if I ever teach again, I will do my utmost to impart the knowledge I am trying to teach with no verbal or physical abuse of any kind. This particular paragraph of the oath will degrade from 5 the first year to 4 the next year. This progression will eventually drop to zero warnings by the sixth year."

Loyalty Oath: Working directly for the Dragon Nation.

"I do swear and affirm that I will never knowingly allow any harm to come to the Dragon Nation, either physically or through espionage. Any information that is considered a 'Weyr Secret' will never be divulged. If forced to the point of breaking to divulge such information, I will immediately lose consciousness and will remain so until I am safe from aggression. If I manage to escape my captors, I will do my best to help sanctioned authorities to capture said aggressors.

If, at any time in the future, I decide I wish to terminate my employment with the Dragon Nation, I am free to do so but will be required to have any 'Weyr Secret' information removed from my memories, at which point this Loyalty Oath will no longer be in effect."

Oath of Office: When elected to any of the three branches of government.

"I will do my best to always remain impartial to any defendant, regardless of race, species, affiliation, or religion. I will interpret laws with a good dose of common sense in mind, as it relates to the case, the defendant, and the plaintiff. If a law doesn't make sense for the case being brought forth for judgment, I will so state, thereby throwing the case out of court. If a law doesn't make sense in one circumstance, that will not necessarily invalidate said law if different circumstances apply. I will uphold my honor and the honor of my planet by always doing what is right, lawful, and proper, to the best of my judgment, for so long as I serve."

End of Magically Binding Oaths

Within Spath's Weyr, additional security was enabled early on, before there were any laws other than those enforced by the Dragons and Riders on The Weyrleaders' behalf. One of the ways to at least see what had happened was to mount video cameras, hooked together via the Dragon Net, all over the Weyr. External cameras would give different views at different altitudes for those wishing to see the current Pern scenery. Internal cameras pointing inward towards the Weyr gardens would give sector slice views of the gardens and any current activity.

With the huge influx of immigrants, it was soon decided to add additional cameras, on a secure sub-net, that would allow monitoring of all corridors, tunnels, and public spaces in the Weyr. The monitors were set up in a shielded room on the Admin level where they could be monitored in person if desired or, as was most often the case, simply recorded on large terabyte hard drives for a week and then archived to video disk. If no recording was deemed necessary after a year, it was destroyed. No residences or other private areas were ever recorded.

The Hold had strategic cameras located to give long views of areas that might harbor problems.

Only specific Dragonriders or Staff were ever allowed into the Security room where the viewing and recording took place. So far, none of the other Weyrs or Holds that have come after Spath's Weyr have decided to implement Security cameras, though all of them have live feed cameras which show the surrounding area. It was considered almost a requirement to help the new inhabitants retain their sanity. Modern humans were just not meant to live in caves. Giving them different live video feeds they could watch through Dragon Net, helped give the illusion of windows to the outside world, no matter how deeply buried one was under tons of rock.

The Hospital:
The entire second level is associated with the hospital and it has 2 wide ramps leading up to it from Level 1, one on either side of the Spoke tunnel. There is also a wide entrance on Level 2 with a ledge that a dragon can easily land on. The dragon ledge gives entrance to the second-floor Emergency Rooms (ER#2 & ER#4) and, if the dragons can manage, they are encouraged to come in on the ledge. Otherwise, for whatever reason, they can land in the main chamber and enter through the ground-level entrance. Next to both entrances are stored large Goblin carts that are designed to hold dragons quite comfortably while they are waiting to be seen by a doctor. In cases of emergencies, the duty doctors are usually waiting in a nearby "Ready Room" so they can start treatment right away if necessary. A special "triage" system has been created especially for dragons, so the waiting time is usually measured in seconds. "Emergency Care" is usually considered to be mainly bleeding and pain control, however, there is also a basic dragon surgery located in each ER. More extensive surgeries are located further inside the hospital and are generally used after a dragon is no longer in immediate danger.

Since there are 4 ERs, any dragons that are injured, are taken to the nearest unoccupied ER for treatment and released to a healing "stall" as soon as possible. In case no ER is available, the entrances outside each of the two ERs on each floor can be used as well as the Floor of the first level. That should never happen, as the first thing the ER staff does is stabilize their patients and move them to an in-patient stall as soon as practical to make room for the next Emergency.

The wide ramps near the ERs have a 30% slope which is 200 feet wide and 1000 feet long. It's really too steep for comfortable foot traffic but that isn't what it's for. There are 3 goblin trolleys side-by-side on each ramp which can be used to either gently transport patients from one level to the other or to quickly shift supplies up or down. The Goblin carts are configured so they can deliver their load to any E. R. (first or second Level) or apartment on the entire second level. The ride is smooth and steady, the doctors don't want to take any chances of injuring a critically wounded dragon, or any other patient for that matter. The cart's direction and speed are controlled by an operator at either end of the cart. If they need to switch directions, they simply transfer control from one end to the other and then move to the new set of active controls. It drives somewhat like an automobile in that there are pedals that control speed and braking, but steering is controlled by a joystick since the cart direction at any time is limited to the track it is on and the junction it is approaching. The rails are sunk into the floor so they do not impede foot traffic and they either gently push any obstacle [or humans] aside, using a magical cushioning charm, or wait until the obstacles can be removed.

Each ER has its own "Ready Room" where the duty Hospital staff can sleep, relax, or otherwise just wait during their shift so they can be nearby in case of need. There are 24 additional, fully equipped ORs along the Ring 2 outer corridor in Sectors 0 and 15 so, in case of emergency, any patient can be moved there with minimal delay if the ERs are full.

At each crossing of Ring corridor and Spoke tunnel, space is set aside for a duty nurses station. They are charged with caring for any patients in their sphere of duty. In all, there are ample private rooms for over 500 dragon patients, more than twice that for humans or smaller, and about 100 spaces for special patients, like giants, dolphins, and mer. Larger rooms are also available for those patients who require less personal care and don't mind sharing accommodations. If both a dragon and their rider are injured, they will always share a room until both recover. Many of the rooms for dragons have been space enhanced so we can accommodate a dragon with its wings fully extended if necessary for wing injuries.

The rest of Level 2 is taken up with individual quarters and dormitories for Doctors, Nurses, and other hospital support staff who don't have alternative quarters already, i.e., Dragonriders. The operating theaters and dragon recovery rooms are stocked with every piece of equipment that could be thought of that would help dragons. The other recovery rooms are similar but most have much smaller accouterments.

Bonded dragons are told to try to always go to the hospital in the system they are currently assigned. Unbounded dragons are told they may go to either, as long as there is room for them. One of the pieces of information passed back and forth between Earth and Pern is the current patient status of both hospitals. Above the main entrance to both hospitals is a large open grid metal framework, capable of supporting a dragon. It is treated with cushioning and levitation charms so that, if anyone or anything falls from anywhere above the ledge, they will float there until retrieved, protecting anyone who may be below.

Above the Level 2 hospital entrance is painted an image of Pern as seen from a high altitude. Under this is a digital clock showing the Earth Standard date and time. Under that is painted "Spath's Weyr Pern, World Weyr #2". This is the primary jump image for all dragons coming to this is a similar setup on Earth.

Administration:
The Level 20 Administrative offices are located off each Spoke Tunnel and attach directly to Staff member's living quarters. All Staff apartments are actually suites comprising not only living space but room for small (20 people or less) conferences, Admin Assistant Offices, waiting rooms, etc. The Weyrleader's suite was the only one that contained not only two offices, one off of Ring 1, the other next to the main conference room, but two private dragon entrances.

Ring 2 was made twice as wide as a normal Ring corridor and coated with a thicker, tougher lining to make it more suitable for running on. All "apartments" opening onto Ring 2 are hidden behind illusion charms and used for bulk storage, as needed. Many of them are space enhanced. One space enhanced room off Spoke Tunnel 0 contains typical gymnasium equipment for any who wish to use it.

Beyond Ring 2, on Level 20, at the outer end of Spoke tunnel 0, there is a huge Conference room that can easily hold 5,000 humans, as well as a couple of hundred areas for larger species, if they wish to use them. There is room along the back and sides for any Weyrleader/Wingleader dragons who wish to attend any meetings in person. Meetings are usually videoed and a video disk is made available to any who wish to have a copy by requesting it from The Weyrleader's Admin Assistant.

The Gardens:
Once construction of the rest of the Weyr was completed, the center of the ground floor, starting about 1,000 feet from the walls, was excavated further to a depth of about 70 feet below floor level. Before the soil was added, a small lake, about 1,000 feet in diameter, was created in the center of the area by fusing rock blocks together so they were waterproof and allowing the water from the reservoir overflows to collect there before it flowed away. It is large enough that it can house Mers if they need to visit for some reason. The water is kept fresh and circulating by a combination of gravity feed and magic. A series of filters were added when it was discovered that the bottom was collecting dirt and debris from the surrounding forest area. It has become a popular swimming area for those Weyr dwellers who enjoy such.

The rest of the central area was filled with a layer of low emission level Hot Rocks, then a layer of rough rocks and fine gravel to a depth of 50 feet, and, finally, purified organic soil heaped up and compacted to 20 feet higher than the floor level in the center and slightly below the rock border of the lake. Once everything settled, young trees, bushes, and plants of every sort that would be beneficial or pleasant for the inhabitants were imported. The thickest part of the forest is in the center thinning to the edges until it becomes a band of almost formal gardens over 500 feet from inside edge to outside edge. Winding pebble walkways, benches, and even wandering streams are strategically located throughout. The house-elves especially enjoyed creating and working with the Jungle and gardens.

Water is supplied by the simple expedient of having the Goblins locate an appropriate water source slightly higher than the cavern floor and open a small tunnel, with associated plumbing fixtures, to allow it to flow in a closely controlled manner. At the point 180 degrees from the water intake was a similar tunnel that allows the water to flow out. The outflow is allowed to fill special, shallow channels which gave the appearance of wandering streams through the gardens. These streams also allow for irrigation of the local plants. At the outer end of the streams, the water was brought together into a single, slightly larger stream that flows out through the large ground floor entrance.

A huge, globular Hot Rock set to glow at a spectrum similar to Earth's sun is attached to the ceiling in the center of the main cavern. It not only provided light but heat as well. It is contained inside a special heat-resistant container developed for the Hot Rocks power generators. The heat-proof container is enclosed on the top and sides but has shutters on the bottom that can be opened or closed in stages to allow anything from full exposure to full coverage. 90% coverage is usually used during Pern's night cycle and full exposure during the working day.

Ventilation for not only the main cavern but every major space inside is provided by Goblin magic.

Finding your way around:
Apartment addresses are designated by numbers indicating Level-Sector-Ring-Room. Harry's extensive Office/Quarters suite is designated "2000-1-1" for Level 20, Sector 0, the inside ring 1, and room #1. The Weyrleader's suite is the only one that has an inside and outside view as well as an inside and outside dragon entrance. The outside entrance is heavily warded against accidental discovery. It also has special wards that shunted any "visitors" without the proper authorization to a special holding cell, automatically space enhanced to be able to handle a variable number of "guests" until they are released. The Weyrleader's Inner Office has a wide, if somewhat distant, view of the inner cavern.

The Main Hospital entrances into each of the ERs are "0100-1-1", "0115-1-1", "0200-1-1", and "0215-1-1".

Inhabitants:
The ground floor cavern apartments house all the non-riders assigned to the Weyr: Cooks, maintenance workers, craftspeople, merchants, etc. The rooms are generally sized for human occupants with doors that would accommodate anyone up to Hagrid's size. Size enhancement charms can easily be applied to create more room, if necessary, depending upon the needs, and species, of the ultimate inhabitant.

The house-elves, working with the goblins and Gringotts dragons who were constructing the Weyr, created special, semi-hidden rooms for their own use. Because of their previous experiences they were painfully shy. They wanted to be as far from most activity as possible and all together, so they talked to the Goblin Miners who created a small lounge area with multiple smaller private rooms opening into it. The lounge was mid-way between the first and second level, beyond the last ring of normal apartments. The space would easily accommodate hundreds of house-elves and their families. There was only a single, quite narrow, winding tunnel connecting the Elves' housing to a small pantry off two of the kitchens. The Elves didn't mind the long, awkward entry. They simply ported wherever they needed to go. As they came to accept that their new relationship with humans was indeed mutually beneficial, they eventually came to trust some human riders enough to even invite them into their new homes. Eventually, house-elves were born in the Weyr hospital and taught alongside other species in the schools and some new elf families even lived on the surface next to human neighbors.

There are human, goblin, elf, and centaur nurseries as well as schools equipped to handle all the surface air-breathing creatures as well as rooms for their teachers and the administrators associated with schools, both mundane and magical. Every non-magical intelligent inhabitant that makes it to Pern is carefully taught about magic, magic users, and other species so they will be able to coexist peacefully.

Awards:
The Weyrleader came up with the idea to give the Dragon Kin Medallion and 1,000 Galleons to any settler, new or old, human or not, who came up with an idea that made life for everyone on Pern easier. Sometimes it was a little idea, sometimes a big one, it just had to make Pern life easier for most of the inhabitants in some way, physically, mentally, or financially.

One of the happiest days for all the inhabitants of Spath's Weyr was when Brad Tomlinson and his team were all rewarded Dragon Kin Medallions and 1,000 Galleon bonuses for their work in solving the "indoor plumbing" problem in Spath's Weyr. The Weyr now had access to hot and cold running water for cleaning, cooking, showers, and ... flush toilets. The system was retrofitted into all the Holds and Weyrs the Dragonriders and Goblins created, including those on Earth, such as Disko Island, but Spath's Weyr was first.

The Awards are given out publicly at a special Dragon's Mast at the beginning of each year that is televised worldwide. Each awardee is given a large Medallion of a Dragon and Rider in flight on a wide, multicolored ribbon. A smaller Dragon Kin Pendant is placed around each of the winner's necks as well as all their family members. The Pendant is enchanted to protect against bodily injury and any magical or physical attack energy just makes the magical protection that much stronger. They are also presented with a bank draft made out in their name through Gringotts Pern for 1,000 Galleons cash.

Foster Barracks:
On the day that Children's Day was inaugurated (March 10, 20270, The Weyrleader found out there were 15 orphans living as best they could in various holds across Pern. Being the man he was, he immediately set about ensuring that no current or future orphan was ever left feeling alone and unloved. He learned about the Fostering system in use by the native Pernese for centuries and folded that into his plans by creating a Foster Barracks.

The original Lord Holders would send any children after the oldest to other Holds to learn how to be Holders or to learn other crafts. It was a thinly veiled attempt to ensure the oldest son of the Lord Holder took over when his father died or retired. Basically, they got rid of the younger children so they wouldn't have to take care of them. What they seemed to fail to realize was that other Lord Holders were doing the same thing.

The Foster Barracks that The Weyrleader created was a huge, space enhanced, human apartment block located on the Hatching Ground Spoke, Level 1, in Sector 6 (clockwise of Spoke 6), on the inner side of the ring, opposite the Turbolift (Apartment 13), so it's address is 010602-13 in the order LLSSRR-room # where LL = Level, SS = Sector, and RR = Ring.

What he was attempting to do was formalize the practice, even though he didn't approve of it. The upside is that any orphans in the Weyr, Holds, or Cotholds could now be mixed in with the Fostered children and housed in the same place, in the Foster Barracks. Before, a few unlucky Fostered children and many of the orphans were simply given a ragged blanket and told to sleep near the kitchen ovens for warmth. Here he wanted them all to be treated equally, as valuable members of Pern society, treated fairly with equal opportunity for each one, male or female. So far, no non-human orphans have been discovered.

Every child entering into the system was interviewed to determine what their desires were and, where possible, matched up with families who were in a position to help them achieve their goals. Some fostered children lived with their foster families, but most preferred to live in the Foster Barracks as it gave them a sense of independence.

They weren't totally on their own, however. The Weyleader created the position of Weyr Fostering Mistress. The initial holder of that position was Tegan Andrea Ross, maternal grandmother of the young non-magical orphan, Tegan, that The Weyrleader and his wives adopted. The Foster Barracks includes a semi-private suite specifically designed for the new position. Strategically located next to the only entrance to the Barracks, it gives the Fostering Mistress the opportunity to closely observe the comings and goings of her charges. It also includes a large lounge area where the residents can gather for "Family time" or unofficial counseling.

Hatching Grounds:
The Hatching Grounds are a circular cavern 2,000 ft. in diameter and are accessed via an extension of the Level 1, Spoke 6 tunnel. The hatching grounds are not quite as extensive as those on Disko Island but they are more than sufficient to handle over 200 eggs per hatching as well as accommodate an appropriate number of guests and observers.

There are two open bay barracks, one on either side of the tunnel just outside the hatching grounds. The barracks would hold 200 prospective riders each, one for male and one for female candidates. On the opposite side of the hatching grounds are 250 individual small caves and sleeping nooks for newly bonded dragons and riders, all opening off a small cavern large enough for everyone to gather for common lessons called The Weyrling Commons. They are a lot more comfortable than what had been first available on Disko Island, Earth, and they are used only to house the new Dragonriders and their dragons while they learn about being an effective team.

Initially, The Weyrleader required all hatchings to take place on Earth. He was afraid that using Pern for the hatchings would cause the dragons to lose some of the abilities that they had developed on Earth. Eventually, he allowed a few select Pern hatchings to occur with no perceived deviation from the norm for earth dragons. He still requires constant monitoring and testing to be conducted between Earth-standard, Pern-standard, and Earth-standard-hatched-on-Pern dragons.

Research and Testing Lab (RTL):
All the research equipment all the way up to the heavy milling machines was brought to Pern from Earth. The Research and Testing equipment was installed in a specially constructed under the ground-level cavern about a mile southwest of the Weyr. It was accessed from the Weyr via an illusioned extension of Level 1, Spoke Tunnel 10. There is also access via special, disillusioned Turbolift buttons located in specific Turbolifts of the Weyr. Any special equipment needed by the Weyr, especially the Hospital and the transportation Eggs, is researched, developed, and manufactured by RTL.

All the heavy foundry equipment along with the heavy milling and manufacturing tools were located in a separate cavern located on the other side of Spath's Weyr, at the end of a long access tunnel leading from Level 1, Spoke Tunnel 2. It is also accessible via the same select Turbolifts that access the RTL.

There is even one associated cavern that contains several outfitted dry docks. At 1,500 feet in diameter, it is large enough to hold a modern aircraft carrier but there is no way in or out for such a large vessel except by going Between using dragons to transport it. The largest dry dock, in the center, stretches almost from one wall to the opposite wall, with numerous smaller dry docks situated around it. It is accessed via a short tunnel from the RTL cavern or from select Turbolifts equipped with disillusioned buttons.

Gringotts Pern:
Once the Goblins finished helping with the construction of Spath's Weyr they asked for and received permission directly from The Weyrleader, to build an extension of the Gringotts Bank on Pern. What has become known as Gringotts Pern is accessed via an extension along Level 1, Spoke 8 and most of it is well below Level 1. There was also access via Level 11, Spoke 8 to the Gringotts Executive Offices. What they have built there is a secret known only to the Goblins and the Weyrleader, as it relates directly to the Pern economy.

On Earth, their bank exclusively uses torches and candles for lighting. On Pern, they used their own Hot Rock Power Generator to power hidden electrical lighting to create an almost shadow-free area for their bank lobby. They also embraced video recording technology to maintain a watch on their customers and employees alike.

Instead of their ever terrifying goblin carts for transporting clients down to their vaults, they built a separate turbolift system, similar to the turbolifts throughout the Weyr, into their tunnels to be their main method of transportation. Your vault key is still required to get down to your vault, it's just a much easier 'ride' now.

Pern uses the same Galleon system like Earth's UK, as follows:
One Knut is: 1 Knut = 0.3448 Sickles = 0.002028 Galleons
One Sickle is: 29 Knuts = 1 Sickle = 0.05882 Galleons
One Galleon is: 493 Knuts = 17 Sickles = 1 Galleon

The University of Pern:
In 2028 Hermione Potter asked herself why there seemed to be no advanced education for witches and wizards. Upon investigation, she found that there was, just not in the United Kingdom where she grew up and went to school. Her initial questionnaire generated an intense interest in her initiative and many existing Universities started to think seriously about changing their curriculums to more closely knit the magical and non-magical worlds together. In particular, no one had previously thought it necessary to let the basic magical schools know what was required for entrance, it was just 'assumed' that any basic magical education would be sufficient. As it turned out, that was a fallacy that was the downfall of many a prospective student.

She further investigated in Canada, the United States, Germany, Japan, and Australia and took the best of what she learned there and, adding her own personal touches, improved upon what existed. The result has been acclaimed to be the best mixture of magical and non-magical advanced education the world has ever seen. Unfortunately for Earth, it was ultimately decided to create the new educational venture on Pern for reasons of student safety and access to the newly regenerated planetary magical field which was found to be stronger than the one on Earth.

A large cavern was created at the end of spoke tunnel 12 from level 1 to level 5, which gave 1,200 ft of height to work with. Inside, a stone castle was constructed against the wall farthest from the connection to the Weyr, wired for electricity and plumbed for running water, similar to the residential apartments on Level 1, but not exactly. Large channels were created in each layer of stone as it was laid down. Pipes and heavily insulated wiring were fitted into the channels. All the floors of the University building were mirror images of each other.

Each classroom has tiered, theater-style seating, looking down upon a combination lecture and demonstration area. One side of each demonstration area is composed of special spell hardened rock where spells could be demonstrated and practiced safely. There is a large demonstration table between the instructor and students that have electrical outlets on the side and a gas outlet that could be connected to a large natural gas container under the table. Behind the instructor is a large whiteboard for writing. It can be raised by pulleys to reveal a large HD TV for group lectures where more than 30 students at a time need to receive information since each classroom would only hold 30 students comfortably.

Each of the 30 floors contained 20 Professor/Instructor offices/quarters, male and female bathroom facilities with showers, and a library annex where just about any book required could be ordered and delivered in a matter of minutes. Close by each Library Annex is a large lounge where students can gather during their free time to talk quietly among themselves or read. Four sets of stairs and a Turbolift are available for non-magical students and staff to use, but apparation is allowed from point to point within the University to make things easier on the magical students.

The classrooms and lecture halls are large enough to accommodate Centaurs if they desired to attend but, due to a desire to accommodate as many students as possible, the grand structure of the rest of the Weyr was not repeated. Dragons would not be able to attend any of the classes in person. If they wished to learn something offered in one of the classes, they would have to attend remotely.

Housing for students was initially deferred until they knew how many students would want to live in the Weyr, close to their classes. Ultimately, all the apartments on Level 3 in Sectors 11 and 12 were designated as "student apartments". Each of the dragon apartments in the area was expanded to contain multiple human or centaur sized apartments along the lines of the habitation for Spath's Hold that were capable of holding 50 students per apartment for a maximum total of 12,900 students, though it was never thought that the University would host near that many students at once. A walkway from the end of each Spoke Tunnel 12, Level 1 through Level 5 led to a different entrance to the 30-floor University.

All students are expected to eat in the common dining facilities on Level 1 of Spath's Weyr.

Successful graduates will be authorized to wear a small lapel pin on their left side, near their neck, which looks like an upward pointing arrow. The arrow will be rising from a small coin representing Pern which will be embossed with lettering to indicate the degree earned.

Construction was completed a little over a year later and the University was certified by Earth and held its first classes starting Sept 1, 2030.

Hermione's Questionnaire:
Please answer this questionnaire as truthfully as possible. There are no 'correct' answers, as I am attempting to determine the Dragon Nation's best course of action with regards to an advanced educational system. We want to offer what is best for those newly graduating from regular magical schools but, only having our own personal experiences to draw on, feel we need to expand our quest for knowledge to those who probably have a better idea than we do currently.

1) If the quality of education offered was of sufficient quality, would it matter where the University was located?

2) The University will mix magical and non-magical courses of instruction. As such, a witch or wizard not familiar with the non-magical world will find themselves at a disadvantage. Should we offer a preparatory school where only non-magical, real-world information is offered?

3) We will require an entrance exam to determine if any person applying has the basic educational background to be able to complete specific courses of instruction. We plan on making those available to magical schools so they will know what we require for entrance and allow them the opportunity to create new courses tailored to getting into our University. Is this normal for other advanced Universities on Earth?

4) So far, we are considering courses in Master Level Spell Creation, Creating Real World Artifacts using Non-magical Means, Astronomy, Advanced Arithmancy, Advanced Wards, Advanced Charms, Dragon Physiology, Advanced Defense Against the Dark Arts, Dueling, Wandless Magic, Healing Magic Combined with non-magical Processes, and Medicine and Physiology of human and non-human Intelligent Magical Species. What additional courses would you like to see created that perhaps are not even available right now?

5) Do you personally know of any Professors capable of teaching any new courses you have listed in #4 above?

6) In our first years, we plan on awarding many Scholarships that will pay for tuition, room and board, and a small living stipend to any educationally qualified applicants, regardless of blood status. If someone doesn't qualify for a Scholarship, what would you consider to be an appropriate amount for yearly tuition?

Typical Courses:
All Course Requirements:
Every student, as they will be coming to Pern for their education, must take The magically binding 'Equality Oath' just as every Pern Immigrant. They must have a Certificate of Completion from an accredited Educational Institution with above-average O-Level mundane grades and exceeds expectations for any required N.E.W.T.s taken.

Advanced Arithmancy (AA):

Requirements: Basic Requirements for entry to the University. Requires an 'E' N.E.W.T. in Arithmancy.

Advanced Charms (AC):

Requirements: Basic Requirements for entry to the University. Requires an 'E' N.E.W.T. in Charms.

Advanced Defense Against the Dark Arts (ADADA):
Requirements:
Basic Requirements for entry to the University. Preferred applicants should also be a career Auror or Certified Government Hit Witch or wizard with at least 10 years of exemplary service. Exceptions are allowed on a case-by-case basis.

Advanced Wards (AW):

Requirements: Basic Requirements for entry to the University. Requires an 'E' N.E.W.T. in Wards.

Creating Real-world Artifacts (CRA):

Requirements: Basic Requirements for entry to the University. Requires an 'E' N.E.W.T. in Muggle Studies.

Dragon Physiology (ADP):
Requirements:
Basic Requirements for entry to the University. Requires an 'E' N.E.W.T. in Care of Magical Creatures.

Dueling with an emphasis on Magic (D):
Requirements:
Basic Requirements for entry to the University. Preferred applicants should also be a career Auror or Certified Government Hit Witch or wizard with at least 10 years of exemplary service. While Magical Dueling was the main thrust of the course, muggle techniques were also covered, including physical fitness, strength training, agility training, and muggle weapons. Exceptions are allowed on a case-by-case basis.

Law and Contracts (LC):
Requirements:
Basic Requirements for entry to the University as well as a basic background in Law, either mundane or magical. This course concentrates on what is required to write binding contracts between two parties, either side being magical or non-magical. It covers requirements if a non-magical participant is not aware of magic and who to get involved if a reveal of magical abilities is required.

Legilimency (OL):
Requirements:
Occlumency II. Preferred applicants should also be a career Auror or Certified Government Hit Witch or wizard with at least 10 years of exemplary service. Exceptions are allowed on a case-by-case basis. The ability to extract emotions and memories from another person's mind. Although the word literally translates as 'mind-reading,' this is considered a naive interpretation of the art by its practitioners. Someone who practices Legilimency is known as a Legilimens.

Master Level Spell Creation (MSC):
Requirements:
Basic Requirements for entry to the University. Requires an 'E' N.E.W.T. in Spells.

Occlumency I:
Requirements:
Basic Requirements for entry to the University. The art of magically defending the mind against external penetration, sealing it against magical intrusion and influence — the defensive counter to Legilimency. Initial classes will stress meditation and creating a 'Mind Map' which will allow greater clarity of thought and memory.

Occlumency II (O):
Requirements:
Occlumency I. The act of magically closing one's mind against Legilimency. It is ancient and has existed since medieval times. It can prevent a Legilimens from accessing one's thoughts and feelings, or influencing them. A person who practices this art is known as an Occlumens.

Wandless Magic (WM):
Requirements:
Basic Requirements for entry to the University. Preferred applicants should also be a career Auror or Certified Government Hit Witch or wizard with at least 10 years of exemplary service. Exceptions are allowed on a case-by-case basis. Requires an 'E' N.E.W.T. in Transfiguration and Conjuration.

Food:
Flora:
Not only vegetables but medicinal herbs were mostly grown in greenhouses just outside the Weyr. Once sufficient compost had been generated by the Weyr, other areas were plowed and the compost mixed in to find if crops could be grown on Pern. In general, it was a successful experiment, though anything grown outside of a greenhouse, with its primarily Earth mixture soil, contained a higher than normal mixture of heavy metals due to the Pern soil mixed in. The percentage wasn't high enough to warrant concern but it was monitored for many decades.

Fauna:
Over the initial years, The Weyleader had brought to Pern, hundreds of thousands of head of cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, and other animals that could be raised for food or other uses, like wool and milk. The majority of the animals are maintained in huge tracts of open country, fenced in by 12 foot high, warded chain-link fences. Sufficient surface rock shelters, similar to barns, were set up so that all such animals could be protected in case of threadfall and they were, over time conditioned to return to the shelters each evening for an extra feeding of enriched grain. There also, any milk-producing animals, without young to take care of, were milked for the benefit of the colonists. Over time, the herds on Pern came to be even greater than those on Earth, since they had more room. The grasslands of Pern proved to be more nutritious even than Earth grass and, once some started appearing on Earth, the unique flavor caused a demand for more.

A breeding herd of horses was even imported eventually for the use of those with no access to dragons for their transportation across large distances. This became important as the various holds were created across southern Pern to hold the excess non-rider population.

The Dragons of Pern:
History
The race was intentionally engineered to fight Thread, a deadly mycorrhizoid spore that devours all organic matter that it touches, after it first caught the human colonists on Pern unawares, with devastating results. Geneticist Kitti Ping Yung designed the dragons by manipulating the genetic code of the indigenous fire-lizards that had been acquired as pets by the colonists. The dragons were named after their resemblance to European dragons from the legends of old Earth. Later genetic manipulation by Ping's granddaughter, Wind Blossom, also resulted in the watch-whers, ungainly, nocturnal creatures who bore a slight resemblance to dragons. During the Third Pass, the watch-whers were found to be more useful than commonly thought. On Pern, time is measured in "Turns", or years, and "Passes", which are about fifty Turns long and occur when a planet named the "Red Star" is close enough to Pern for Thread to traverse space between the Red Star and Pern. Thread only falls during Passes. Periods between Passes, when the Red Star's orbit takes it away from Pern, are referred to as "Intervals"; usually lasting about two hundred Turns.

Physiology
Dragons are warm-blooded, oviparous, carnivorous, sentient creatures with DNA formed with a triple-helix molecularly based on boron rather than carbon. Like all of Pern's native large fauna, they have six limbs, four feet, and two wings. Their blood, referred to as ichor, is copper-based and green in color. Their head and general body type are similar in shape to those of horses. On their heads, they have small headknobs, similar to those of giraffes, and no visible ears.

They have protruding, multifaceted eyes that change color depending on the dragon's mood. The eyes are protected by two nictating membranes to protect the eye from the elements; one membrane is clear, the other semi-opaque. Their multiple eyes in each orb combine fields of vision onto one. The refractive lenses make the eyes seem to glow. Dragons see well in fog and darkness.

Unlike the dragons of Terran legend, they have a smooth hide rather than scales; the texture of their skin is reminiscent of suede with a spicy, sweet scent when clean. They have forked tail ends with a defecation opening between the forks; however, most artistic renderings depict their tails as having spade-shaped tips. The dragons usually get from one place to another by utilizing a teleportation process known as "going between".

Kitti Ping designed the dragons to gradually increase in size with each generation until they reached pre-programmed final dimensions. The dragons of the first Hatchings were not much bigger than horses. Pern dragons are not expected to reach their full stature until around the time of the sixth would still be considerably smaller than Earthborn dragons. AIVAS, an artificial intelligence still in operation after all this time, notes that all of the primary Earth dragons, Chekiath, Comaloth, and Trath, are notably larger than Kitti Ping's specified end-size for the dragon species.

From mating to clutching take twelve weeks or longer, while gestation on the sands takes four to five weeks. Clutches normally contain 20 to 40 eggs with larger queens producing larger clutches. Newly hatched dragons are the size of very large dogs or small ponies and reach their full size after eighteen months. Because young dragons grow so fast, their riders must regularly apply oil to their hides to prevent the skin from cracking or drying out.

Dragons, like their fire-lizard ancestors, can breathe fire by chewing a phosphine-bearing rock, called "firestone", which reacts with an acid in a special "second stomach" organ. This forms a volatile gas that can be exhaled at will and ignites upon contact with air. The flame is used to burn Thread from the sky before it reaches the ground. However, the chewed firestone must be expelled from the body after it is used up, for the dragons cannot digest it.

Dragon Eye Colors:
Color Meaning
Black Fear
Blue Love, joy, happiness
Purple Extreme distress (death of rider)
Green Neutral, content, amusement
Red Hunger, rage, anger
Grey Pain, sadness, illness, grief
Yellow Stress, alarm, anxiety, confusion (flecks) fear, or worry
Pale Yellow Anxiety for their rider
White Terror

Dragon Vocals:
Dragons don't constantly make noises to express every emotion, but sometimes they can't control themselves either. Dragons are not computers, personality will influence their choice of expression.

Vocalization Meaning
Bellow
A "yell" that gets attention or voices frustration.
Bugle Greeting or triumph.
Croon Pleasure, reassurance, apology
Growl Threat, dislike.
Hum A "pre-birth-lullaby." A low-frequency hum, just within human audible range, that dragons produce collectively to signify imminent hatching. It has variable emotional, psychic impact on humans.
Keen A response to death. As with humming, it can spread through a large network of mentally linked dragons.
Moan Dismay, misery, anxiety
Roar Anger, pain
Rumble Pleasure, amusement. A loud rumble is the closest equivalent to laughter. (Dragons can voluntarily imitate laughter, but don't actually laugh.)
Trill Excited amusement, enjoyment, satisfaction, intense affection
Wail Grief, helplessness, fear, pain
Warble Gratitude, appreciation

Psychic abilities
Despite their relatively low intelligence, fire lizards communicate through a form of weak telepathy. They also imprint on the first individual who feeds them after they hatch, creating a telepathic bond with them; the Pernese call this phenomenon "Impression". In creating dragons, Kitti Ping intensified the creatures' telepathy, greatly increased their intelligence, and gave them a strong instinctive drive to Impress with a human. Upon hatching, each dragonet chooses one of the humans present (usually) and Impresses to that person; from that moment on, the pair are in a constant state of telepathic contact for as long as they both live. Dragons also use telepathy to communicate with each other and with fire lizards. They are capable of speaking telepathically to humans besides their own riders, but not all of them will do so, except under unusual circumstances.

Dragons and fire lizards can also teleport. They do this by briefly entering a hyperspace dimension known as between. Both humans and dragons experience between as an extremely cold, sensory-deprived, black void. After spending no more than eight seconds in between, the dragon or fire-lizard can re-emerge anywhere on Pern, along with any passengers or cargo they carried. This ability is presumed to have evolved in fire lizards as a defense against Thread; not only does it allow them to quickly escape from Threadfall, but the intense cold of between kills any Thread that has already burrowed into them. If a dragon attempts to teleport without a clear mental image of the place where they intend to reappear, they may simply fail to emerge from between and thus, be gone forever.

Going between allows dragons to travel through time as well as space, as long as they have a clear picture of what a particular place looked like (or will look like) at the desired time. However, the practice is highly dangerous to both dragon and rider and is severely restricted. Existing in two places at once for extended periods of time, or in close proximity, causes severe weakness and psychological disturbance for humans but not for dragons. In addition, while teleporting through space always takes the same amount of time, when a dragon travels through time, the amount of time they spend in between increases depending on how far away in time the destination is. Thus, traveling to remote times poses severe dangers from hypothermia and oxygen deprivation.

Dragons are also capable of telekinesis. A dragon can carry whatever it thinks it can carry. This is likely an extension of the telekinesis, mentally "lifting" the extra load. This is the most likely explanation for the great loads that dragons sometimes carry during emergencies. This ability was discovered as a conscious ability when a dragon was observed while playing with trundlebugs. It is speculated that the undersized wings were intentionally created in the dragons by Kitti Ping to reduce the surface area of a dragon that is exposed to possible Thread injury and that the telekinetic abilities were intended to make up for the loss of wingsail.

Psychology
Unlike their fire-lizard ancestors, dragons are fully sapient. They communicate fluently in human language (although only telepathically), and have personalities and opinions distinct from those of their riders. However, their intelligence does seem to be somewhat lower than that of the average human. In particular, their long-term memory is severely limited.

Dragons' telepathic communication is usually limited to contact with their rider and with other dragons, however, a dragon sometimes communicates well with a person with whom their rider has close emotional ties. They do understand spoken human language and occasionally reply telepathically to people whom they choose to speak.

As a safeguard against the possible damage that could be caused by such powerful creatures, Ping engineered dragons to be profoundly psychologically dependent on their riders. Any dragonet that fails to Impress a human shortly after hatching will die. If a dragon's rider dies, the dragon immediately suicides by going between without a destination. The only exception is when the rider of a queen dragon dies while the queen is gravid; the dragon waits just long enough to lay her eggs and see them hatch before disappearing between. Humans who lose their dragons typically commit suicide as well. However, some do survive, although the experience leaves profound psychological trauma.

Ping also designed the dragons to be fairly calm in temperament. They never fight one another, unless two queens come into estrus at the same time. They are also not dangerous to humans except shortly after hatching when it is common for confused and frightened dragonets to maul or even kill humans hoping to Impress.

When a dragon hatches, they announce their names to their new riders upon Impression. Pernese dragons' names always end in -th. A watch-wher's name will end in "sk".

Brain:
Dragons have relatively human intelligence, but poor memories, with only a three-day event recall, after which, when and how something happened isn't always clear to them. Long-term memory extends only to the most familiar of things. Dragons seem to follow a program, and instinct, perhaps due to the fact that they were wild animals before their intelligence was augmented. Their way of perception is sometimes referred to as "the now of dragon thought," as they don't normally concern themselves with threats and concepts that are not immediate.

Something within the dragon's huge brain enables them to manipulate space-time to an impressive degree. They can teleport - a trick called "going between." They are also telepathic and can make any human hear them this way if necessary, though they rarely do it with anyone but their rider. Certain people are receptive to dragons' thoughts the way the rider is to his companion, or the way dragons are with each other, but it is an uncommon ability. To complete their list of psionic abilities, dragons are telekinetic, however, dragons don't use this ability on a conscious level. When a dragon chooses to do something that defies physics, like carrying huge loads, it will usually succeed as long as they don't know it shouldn't.

What is Impression?
"The moment when a newly hatched dragon links minds with a suitable human partner; a bond of such complexity and depth that no other union can be compared with it; almost overwhelming in the initial moment of recognition, and certainly the most intense emotion a dragon rider will ever experience"

Draconic choice will always be somewhat of a mystery. Immediately after hatching, dragons desperately seek a compatible human to "impress" upon, or they will soon die. In the egg, they require their mother's protection and nurturing - perhaps even on telepathic levels. A hatchling dragon is, therefore, highly volatile and unpredictable until the moment of impression. The less certain they are of where the human they seek is, the more frightened and dangerous they'll be. Allowing Candidates to frequently touch the eggs so the dragons can sense the candidate's minds is a good way to prevent such confusion at hatching.

Dragon Colors
On Pern, barring rare mutations, female dragons and fire-lizards are always either green or gold in color, while males are blue, brown, or bronze.

Gold dragons, also called queens, are the largest dragons (40–45 feet long) and the only fertile females. Gold dragons are by far the rarest dragons on Pern, at just less than one percent of the population. They are dominant over all other colors; any non-gold dragon will invariably obey a queen's orders, even against the wishes of its own rider. Queens are incapable of digesting firestone and producing flame (see below); however, they do fight Thread, they fly in the lowest wing, with their riders armed with specially-designed flamethrowers to flame any Thread missed by the wings flying above. An egg that is going to hatch a gold dragon is notable: It is gold-colored and larger than other eggs. A gold dragon will always Impress a heterosexual female and is believed by most Weyrfolk to prefer young women who were not raised in the Weyr.

Bronze dragons are the largest males (35–45 feet long), although they are generally significantly smaller than the queens. Bronzes account for about five percent of all dragons. They are almost always the ones to mate with queens, as the smaller colors generally lack the stamina to chase and catch the gold dragons when they rise to mate. Due to the 5-1 bronze/gold ratio and the infrequency of gold mating flights, they often mate with greens (the losers of a gold flight almost always seek a green for their needs), but their size often puts them at a disadvantage in chasing the agile, smaller females. The senior bronze of a Weyr is determined through which bronze wins the mating flight of the senior gold. The rider of a bronze dragon is always a heterosexual male.

Brown dragons are the next largest color (30–40 feet long). About fifteen percent of all dragons are brown. They may occasionally mate with queens, although this is rare.

Blue dragons are the smallest males (24–30 feet long) and make up about a third (thirty percent) of all dragons on Pern. They are nearly as agile as greens, but unlike the greens, they often have enough stamina to last for an entire Threadfall. They mate only with greens, as they are simply too small to keep up with a massive queen over a long mating flight. Some assume the position of teaching the new riders after their Impression. Blue riders are typically homosexual or bisexual, though some are heterosexual.

Green dragons are the smallest normal color (20–24 feet long) and make up about half of all dragons on Pern (fifty percent). They are female, but unlike the queens, they are infertile, due to the chronic use of firestone, and can produce flame. They are extremely valuable in Threadfall because of their agility, but they lack the stamina to last an entire Fall and generally fly in two or three shifts. Originally, greens Impressed only girls; however, after various natural disasters and plagues decimated Pern's population, women were needed to help repopulate the planet. Since going between during pregnancy can induce miscarriage and because removing pregnant riders from the Wings reduced the effectiveness of the Wings, it became impractical to present large numbers of women as candidates for Impression. Thus, green dragons began Impressing homosexual boys; by the time of the end of the Second Pass, female green riders were becoming rare. Females of any sexual orientation may Impress green.

The larger a color is, the less common it is. For instance, there are more blues than browns, and there are more browns than bronzes. Half the dragon population is female, with green dragons being roughly fifty percent of the population and golds being one percent or slightly less.

Riding a larger color of dragon confers higher social status in Pern's extremely hierarchical society, color rankings following the dragons' own strict instinctual hierarchical organization based on fire-lizard structures. Perhaps as a result of this, it is commonly believed that the larger colors are more intelligent, although this does not appear to be true.

The Pernese believe that chewing firestone makes female dragons sterile; they, therefore, refuse to allow queens to use it. Greens, on the other hand, are so common that if they produced offspring it would quickly lead to overpopulation. They always chew firestone, and because of their numbers and agility, they are vital to any Thread-fighting force. However, AIVAS revealed that Kitti Ping, possibly motivated by old-fashioned ideas about gender roles, deliberately engineered greens to be infertile and gold dragons to be incapable of producing flame in order to protect the gold dragons, the only reproductively fertile females, from the dangers of Thread fighting.

Mating and reproduction
Mating
Both gold and green dragons experience a periodic mating urge. During a Pass, a gold dragon will rise roughly once per Turn, and more often at the beginning of a Pass, yet less often towards the end of a Pass. During an Interval a gold dragon may rise to mate only once every four or five Turns. Greens will rise to mate three or four times a Turn, whether this increases or decreases depending on whether or not it is a Pass is unknown. Greens will mate with any male, usually blues or browns. As they are smaller and have less stamina, a green mating flight is much shorter than a gold one.

When a female comes into estrus, interested males compete to catch her in a mating flight. Usually, the female chooses the male who impresses her the most with his skill in the flight, although inexperienced females may be caught before making their choice. The pair actually mate in midair; thus, the higher they get during the flight, the longer their mating can last. The Pernese commonly believe that longer matings result in larger clutches. For this reason, queen riders are strongly encouraged to restrain their dragons from eating heavily just before a flight, instructing them to drink blood instead for a quick burst of energy.

Effects on rider sexuality
Due to the intense psychic bond between rider and dragon, Dragonriders are overcome by the powerful emotions and sensations associated with mating flights. The riders of the mating pair engage in sex themselves, to varying degrees unaware of what they are doing. This contributes to a much looser attitude toward sexuality in general among Dragonriders than in the rest of Pernese society.

For much of Pern's history, all green riders were male. During these periods, all green mating flights resulted in homosexual intercourse between the riders of the dragons involved. This homosexual intercourse is accepted in the Weyr as being separate from the rider's sexual orientation unless the rider has shown otherwise. Mating flight sex between two riders, one of whom is not the other's chosen partner (known as a weyrmate) is not considered to be "cheating". It is understood within the Weyr that sex during mating flights is not optional for the rider. "The dragon decides, the rider complies." Dragons do not usually consider the orientation of their riders when considering what female they wish to chase, or, for a female dragon, what male dragon might catch her.

Effects on non-rider sexuality
Both green and gold dragons broadcast their sexual feelings on a wideband during mating flights. Weyrfolk tend to become somewhat inured to this and therefore can hold their sexual reactions until an appropriate place and time. However, flights are usually not over the Weyr itself and sometimes the flight path of the mating flight brings the mating dragons over Holds or Farmholds where the average people occasionally find themselves engaged in unexpected activities. This is especially common among young teens working out in the fields who react to the sudden, unexpected, and overwhelming urges with potentially embarrassing results.

Riders of the losing dragons usually seek sexual relief after the intense flight; if they do not have a chosen partner they may seek the comfort of any willing and available partner of their sexual orientation. The weyrfolk tend to happily accommodate these riders, especially if they have been affected by the flight's sexual urgency. This is one of the major reasons for the Weyr's reputation for being sexually very open.

Mating considerations
Dragonets use pheromones to determine the sexual orientation of the humans to whom they Impress. According to this, greens Impress only women or "effeminate" homosexual men. Blues Impress primarily homosexual or bisexual men with "masculine" temperaments, or possibly masculine or lesbian women; browns similarly Impress primarily heterosexual men, but sometimes bisexual men. Bronzes and golds Impress exclusively heterosexual men and heterosexual women, respectively.

Significance
As the primary line of defense against the Thread, dragons are a requirement for the survival and prosperity of humans, not to mention other forms of land life, on Pern. However, the great beasts require a good deal of maintenance, to the degree of requiring a large part of Pernese infrastructure, especially cattle farming, to be centered around their upkeep. This has been known to cause resentment among those doing the supporting, especially at times when Thread is not falling.

Biological functions:
• Dragons may appear to have reptilian traits, but they are not really reptiles.
• Dragons salivate excessively when tempted with food, but otherwise don't have very wet mouths.
• Green copper-based blood, known as ichor
• Silver-green muscles
• Multiple hearts
• Two stomachs. The second stomach allows fire-breathing.
• Dragons' anuses are located at the base of a fork in their tail. It's not a spade as the cover artists depict.
• Dragons are purely carnivorous but can eat bread and certain human foods. They typically waste nothing of their kills and often like to start with the entrails.
• They require boron in their diet, so the herd animals they feed on have been genetically modified to absorb it from the native Pernese plants.
• When dragons chew a phosphine-bearing rock, dubbed "firestone," their body reflexively directs the substance to their second stomach after swallowing. When it meets the acids therein, it creates a gas as it breaks down. As the dragon belches, the gas ignites in contact with air. Perhaps it is their powerful lungs that help propel the gas outward at such impressive distances, which keeps the dragon from charring its own face. After the firestone has broken down, and the chemical processes that produce the gas have been exhausted, they vomit up the firestone, which has been reduced to soggy, stinking black sand.
• A dragon's esophagi are not connected to the airway until the back of the mouth.
• Boron bones form a much stronger cellular structure than ours, and "ball and socket joints" protect from dislocation during landing and take-off.
• The rib cage is fused and does not expand. (The wing muscles encasing it are probably far too powerful, and would influence breathing too much.) Thus the abdomen caves in under the ribs and expands when they breathe.
• Dragons can actually survive periods of time in a vacuum, and extreme cold. They can basically tolerate the conditions of space as long as they can hold their breath. It isn't fully understood why or how, but it would only make sense for that to have to do with their psychic abilities.

The Dragons of Earth:
History
The history of dragons on Earth has already been covered in my previous book, "The Weyrs of Earth", published in 2040.

Physiology
Earth dragons are extremely similar to Pern dragons with a few notable differences. Earth dragons are much larger than their Pern counterparts, usually on an order of one and a half to more than twice as large for each particular color. Unbonded dragons are also larger than Pern dragons, but sometimes only marginally.

An ideal rider should be between 13 and 20 years old and be sensitive to telepathy. Most adult dragons can determine if a particular person could be a rider, but only the hatchlings can make the final determination. Newly bonded dragons and riders tend to stay in almost constant physical contact for the first week after bonding. This is part of the bonding process and is normal but it will not hurt the bond if they are separated for short periods of time.

From the mating flight, it takes roughly a month before any eggs are laid. It takes roughly another month for dragon eggs to harden enough to hatch, once hatched, dragons are capable of carrying their rider Between at 30 days of age. This means that they have grown not only large enough to fly while carrying their rider but have grown mentally enough to accept, and act on, a jump image.

Earth dragons do not require firestone to breathe fire and have much finer control over not only the temperature of the flame but its 'type'. They can just breathe fire, at whatever temperature they wish, or they can concentrate on making "everglow" flames. Such flames have the ability to convert whatever material they flame to glow for an extremely long time, measured in decades, at the temperature they set.

Earth dragons have scales instead of hide, which they continually shed as they grow until they reach their adult length. Adult dragons cannot replace their scales, so Earth technology was used to create artificial scales that could be riveted to an adult dragons surrounding scales in case of severe injury. It is their scales, which have a magically conductive nature, that allow wizards to cast area effect spells directly on their dragons, rather than using their wands, with much greater effect. This also allows protective runes to be carved on mature dragons, affording them protections not available to their Pern counterparts.

They also do not have the hard, facetted, jewel-like outer layer over their eyes of the Pern dragons. Since the Earth dragons didn't need to deal with Thread, they slowly lost the hard shell in favor of a soft eyelid. However, they retained the emotive coloring and the twirling of the pupils.

Psychic abilities
Earth dragons seem to have advanced in their ability to travel Between. So far, no discernible time difference has ever been recorded from time of departure to time of arrival for any Earth dragons jumping Between. The trip, whether to a nearby Hold or between planets, is always 3.6 seconds.

On February 22, 2019, The Weyrleader discovered another very important aspect of dragons; they are telekinetic, in other words, they can use the power of their minds to interact with the physical world. They can move objects from a distance, they can affect the weight of anything touching them, in fact, it is theorized that this is behind their ability to carry such heavy weights when flying.

When flying with a rider, the dragons generate a shield that protects the rider from the airflow.

Psychology
Earth dragons, unlike their Pern brethren, are just as intelligent as their riders. In fact, since the Earth dragons have a photographic memory and can remember information from previous related dragons, they may even be more intelligent than their riders. This helps to explain the maturing effect on the riders that impressing a dragon has.

Dragon Colors
Bonded Earth dragons are still changing to more closely align with Pern standard colors. Unbonded dragons, however, still retain the individual coloring they developed on Earth over the eons. Sizes for bonded dragons are shown in the following table, based on their color:

Bonded Dragon Lengths:
Color - Length(ft) - Wingspan(ft) - Notes
Platinum
- 160-200 - 250-208 - Merged Dragon and rider. (1)
Gold - 90-100 - 138-155 - (F)
Bronze - 90-100 - 138-155 - (M) (2)
Brown - 80-90 - 123-138 - (M)
Blue - 60-70 - 92-108 - (M)
Green - 40-58 - 62-90 - (F)

Note: Wingspan is roughly 1.54 times length.
1 Cannot breed, must break up into their component parts to breed.
2 Chekiath, The Weyrleaders dragon, is the largest in the world at 110 feet long with a wingspan of 160 feet.

Unbonded Dragon Lengths [Abbr, Name, WT(tons), Length, Comment]:
(AOE)
Antipodean Opaleye, 2-3, 20'-27', It resides in valleys, which is unusual as dragons typically reside on mountains. It was generally considered one of the most beautiful dragons, with pearly scales that line its body, and glittering multi-colored eyes that have no pupils. The Opaleye's eggs are pale grey and have been known to be mistaken for fossils and its flame is a vivid red. It is not particularly aggressive, rarely killing unless it was hungry, making it the easiest of dragons to train. Its prey of choice is sheep, but it has been known to attack larger animals.

(CFB) Chinese Fireball, 2-4, 19'-39', The Fireball is scarlet and smooth scaled with a fringe of golden spikes around its snub-snouted face and extremely protuberant eyes. Its name is derived from the mushroom-shaped flame that comes from its nostrils when angered, along with the large mushroom-shaped flame it shoots from its mouth. It is aggressive but, unlike other dragons, it is more tolerant of its own kind, and will sometimes consent to share its territory with up to two other dragons.

(WG) Common Welsh Green, 2-3, 18'-28', This dragon is a relatively subdued breed and a native of Wales. It prefers to prey mainly on sheep and other small mammals and avoid human contact altogether. The Welsh Green's roar is rather distinctive and somewhat melodious and it issues its fire in narrow jets. The eggs of the Common Welsh Green are earthy brown, flecked with green.

(HB) Hebridean Black, 2.5-3, 25'-30', The Hebridean Black is a dragon species native to the Hebrides Islands of Scotland. It has dark rough scales, razor-sharp ridges along its back, and a tail tipped with an arrow-shaped spike. The Hebridean Black has brilliant purple eyes and can grow to be up to thirty feet long. Its favorite food is deer, although it has been known to carry off cows. It is more aggressive than the Common Welsh Green and thus requires a territory of as much as one hundred square miles each. The MacFusty clan takes responsibility for the dragons and has done so for centuries.

(HT) Hungarian Horntail, 4-5, 40'-50', The Hungarian Horntail is a dragon native to Hungary and is considered to be one of the most dangerous dragon breeds. It has black scales and is lizard-like in appearance. It also has yellow eyes, with vertical pupils like a cat's, bronze horns, and similarly colored spikes that protrude from its long tail which it will gladly deploy in combat. Its roar is a yowling, screeching scream, and its flame can reach about fifty feet. While having a very far-reaching flame its breath can also reach extremely high temperatures. Its eggs are cement-colored and particularly hard-shelled. The Horntail's foods of choice include cattle, sheep, and goats. Horntails are also known for being one of the most vicious and aggressive breeds of dragons and that is saying something since all dragons are known to be ferocious. This breed is especially aggressive when protecting its young. Along with their viciousness, tail spikes, and fiery breath, Horntails are shown to be extremely fast in flight while able to go from 0 to 150 miles per hour in 10 seconds.

(NRB) Norwegian Ridgeback, 2.5-3, 24'-29', resembles the Hungarian Horntail, except for the black ridges on its back, the browner texture in its scales, and its less hostile attitude. It has venomous fangs, and its food of choice are large mammals, including water mammals, which is unusual for a dragon. Its eggs are black, and young Ridgebacks develop the ability to shoot flame earlier than any other breeds (around one to three months). Female Ridgebacks are generally more ferocious than males.

(PV) Peruvian Vipertooth, 1-1.5, 10'-15', Its scales are smooth and copper-colored. It also has black ridge-markings and short horns on its head. Its fangs are venomous. It is the smallest and fastest known breed of dragon.

(RL) Romanian Longhorn, 3.5-4, 35'-40., The Romanian Longhorn is a dragon native to Romania. Its habitat is the Carpathian mountains. The Romanian Longhorn has dark green scales, and two long, glittering golden horns. The Longhorn prefers to gore its prey with its horns before roasting it. The Longhorn is seen as being very bulky and large despite being a fairly medium-sized species of dragon they appear to have larger muscles. It is also the only dragon that has horns that go straight out like a bull. These long horns and the small one just above its nose in the official artwork make somewhat resemble the triceratops, a dinosaur known and named for its three horns.

(S3) Swedish Short Snout, 3-3.5, 30'-35', The scales are silvery blue, and its powerful flame is also a brilliant blue color - and hot enough to reduce timber and bone to ashes in seconds. It prefers to live in wild, uninhabited areas. The Short-Snout is a dangerous species due to its agile flying and extremely hot fire.

(UI) Ukrainian Ironbelly, 4.5-6, 45'-55', It was a bipedal breed, metallic grey in color, with an immense wingspan, long talons and rough scales said to be as hard as steel. It was the largest breed of dragon which reaches up to six tonnes, with deep red eyes. More rotund and slower in flight than other dragons, the Ironbelly was nevertheless extremely dangerous, capable of crushing the dwellings on which it lands. The Ironbelly can produce jets of flame up to 3,560 degrees Fahrenheit (1960 degrees Celsius), over sixteen times hotter than the boiling point of water.

Mating
The first time an Earth dragon mates, his or her rider experiences an overwhelming urge to mate. If unfulfilled, it can lead to severe injury or death. After the first time, however, the rider's intellect takes control and they are able to override the mating urges, though few mated couples chose to do so when with their mates.

Effects on rider sexuality
Earth dragons will only impress with the same-sex human, therefore, all mating flights generate heterosexual mating in their human counterparts.

Earth Dragons Organization:
A full Wing of dragons was finally set by The Weyrleader to be 60 bonded dragons with a similar number of unbonded dragons to help with various tasks the bonded dragons weren't comfortable allowing their human counterparts to participate in. Due to the space available in Spath's Weyr, one full Weyr would fit on a level if it were limited to 600 dragon/rider pairs and their associated unbonded dragons. A normal Weyr would then take up 1 full level with quite a few dragon apartments left over for any attached unbonded dragons. Each Weyr is set up as follows:

Designation - Components - Bonded Pairs - Comment
1 Unit
- 2 bonded pair - 2 - 1 Unit Leader, 1 Wingman
1 Flight - 6 Units - 12 - 1 Flight Leader, 1 Flight Second
1 Wing - 5 Flights - 60 - 1 Wing Leader, 1 Wing Second
1 Division - 5 Wings - 300 - 2 Div Leader, 1 Div Second
1 Weyr - 2 Divisions - 600 - 1 Weyrleader, 1 Weyr Second

The Wing Commander/Weyrleader, his second, and all other "command level" riders are always in different Flights spread across the two Divisions so there will always be a chain of command in case of loss of a bonded pair. Each Flight leader is tasked to provide their own command chain, below their Flight Second, in case he/she is incapacitated and the responsibilities are often rotated on a weekly basis for training. Communication and coordination are never a problem given the instantaneous telepathic link shared by the dragons.

After the Pern colony had settled down quite a bit and the number of bonded Earth-type dragons started to rise steadily, The Weyrleader, with the help of his Staff, decided that a maximum of 7,200 bonded dragons and a smaller number of unbonded dragons could easily survive on Pern. He then assigned four Weyrs to Earth, two at Dragon Isle, one at Joensuu, and one at Minnewanka. The Weyrs at Dragon Isle were on a strict 6-month rotation with a three-month offset such that, every three months one of the Weyrs was replaced by one from Pern. The Weyrleader initially jumped back and forth between the two planets, but after tensions settled down, he tended to spend more of his time on Pern and relied more and more on the on-site Weyrleaders to handle any situation that came up on Earth.

Joensuu and Minnewanka required more knowledge of the local operating conditions, so The Weyrleader only requested they visit Pern periodically to maintain a recent jump image in case of need. Because of this, anyone wishing to spend most of their time on Earth eventually transferred to one of those two Weyrs.

A normal airborne watch period was a little over three hours as there was a required 5 minute, in-place briefing required when turning over the watch. Sometimes this happened on the Island, sometimes in-flight, but always in "person" between the off-going watch pair and the in-coming.

The Weyrleader's Staff:
The Weyrleader finally decided he needed to separate the Weyr leadership from the Planetary leadership. Because of this, he created what came to be called The Weyrleader's Staff. It basically became the Administration Wing for the entire planet. All members of The Weyrleader's Staff were those directly responsible for one or more aspects of the Weyrs on both planets' well-being, either financially, legally, or structurally, i.e., housing, etc. Each section Head in The Weyrleader's Staff has Seconds in each of the other Weyrs they are training up to replace themselves … and as insurance, just in case. All the Weyrs were standardized to be a set size and structure. Each then volunteered to develop specific planet-wide needs for all Weyrs. Since each Weyr has a similar administrative structure, they can be truly independent but The Weyrleader's Staff is the only group that can set Planet-wide policy for Earth or Pern.

The Weyrleader's Staff has a flight solely assigned to The Weyrleader. This is so that, no matter where he is, he will always have someone to not only look out for him but to help him handle all the myriad administrative tasks required when basically ruling a large group on two different planets. Typically all non-urgent communications were funneled through one of the 11 "Attachés" of The Weyrleader's Flight.

All major departments were represented by the 11, Agriculture, Astronomy, Engineering, Exploration, Finance, Immigration, Magic, Manufacturing, Meteorology, Public Affairs, and Research. The Attachés are only the representatives of the various department heads but are updated daily on any important information The Weyrleader might need to know. There are many more departments but, if they aren't specified as one of the 11 shadowing The Weyrleader, they send their reports to one that is. Housing, for instance, usually connects through Engineering, Finance, or Immigration, depending upon the major impact of the report. All off-planet reports are brought in by messenger every day, off-planet being determined by The Weyrleader's current location. Initially, he fought against having 11 extra riders assigned just to him but eventually gave in when it was pointed out to him just how much there was that had to be accomplished.

Earth Contact:
Contact with Earth would be much harder if it were not for the foresight of The Weyrleader in having Dragon Isle constructed in the middle of the Pacific Ocean on Earth. Now there is a central point for all communications originating on Earth. Bonded dragons and their riders are used for messengers between Earth and Pern and various other duties that seemed to require a human touch. It was quickly surmised that dragons lost communication with Earth when jumping to Pern simply because there had to be a time component to the jump as well as a distance. If it were only distance, they should still be able to communicate. The time factor was never officially shared with Earth. Harry decided to let them erroneously think the lack of immediate communication between the planets was due to the distance involved. There was a career Office Manager both at Dragon Isle and Spath's Weyr whose main job was to maintain local records on everything of interest to the Dragon Nation and bring items of any special interest to the attention of The Weyrleader.

Riders and their dragons are also used on a rotating basis in some of the new museums and dragon training centers that have cropped up at some of the old Weyrs when they were abandoned. At least a full flight goes to each as a group for mutual support … just in case. There are always at least two dragons with their riders airborne at all times to check for any possible problems and usually, a flight of unbonded dragons would also go along.

One museum, at Lac Logipi Weyr, still displays the three T-72 main battle tanks originally melted down at Harry's orders along with a retired T-72 tank for comparison. The museum at Sakushima Weyr was set up by the Japanese immediately after the dragons left Earth. They wanted their people to know about their connection to dragons. The Chinese did something similar with Maziang Weyr soon after for similar reasons but they also kept the old mud huts to show the lengths that "their" people had gone to in order to keep dragons safe and un-culled. They never knew about any of the newer buildings that had at one time been on the site as those were removed to Pern along with Maziang's entire population.

It was decided to keep three of the original Weyrs active. Joensuu Weyr in Finland was maintained at Ismo Sippola's request as the premier Earth-side resort for Dragonriders. He eventually visited Pern with a Division of his Weyr, conducted a survey, and created an additional resort on Pern.

Another Weyr to be maintained was Minnewanka Weyr where Mildred Lupin's telescope was set up for the initial search for Pern. That search still goes on but it is coordinated by others, as Mildred has found Pern.

The hatching Weyr at Disko Island is the last of the old Weyrs that was maintained. It is still the primary dragon education location for anyone wishing to learn more about dragons and what they can do to help mankind or to learn how they can use dragon technology to improve their lives.

The only other full-time Weyr is the Dragon Nation Weyr on Dragon Isle in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. It is mainly a cargo processing location but it also has extensive meeting rooms and quarters where commercial contacts are initiated or continued. It contains permanent housing for the Earth-based Dragon Nation staff and the current Dragonrider Division charged with coordinating any efforts on Dragon Isle. There is also temporary housing where the immigration applicants may stay while they are being processed. Some move on to Pern, a few are denied an exit visa, so must leave Dragon Isle and be taken to whatever country they wish to go to that will allow them entry. Sometimes, a request is odd enough that The Weyrleader himself is the only one able to decide.

The caldera at Dragon Isle is large enough that all dragon apartments for the staff, as well as a large number extra for visiting dragons, will fit on the same level. They all face into the caldera and there are no Turbolifts. The dragon apartments are only reachable by dragons or apparation.

All other facilities, including the temporary guest housing for prospective immigrants, colonist training centers, kitchens, dining rooms, executive guest suites, and presentation and lecture areas are embedded in the walls of the caldera on the bottom level which is several hundred feet above sea level. There is a shaft containing a mechanical freight elevator that connects the living area with the docks and warehouses at sea level. Every chamber cut into the rock is checked for water-tight integrity before doors are added. At sea level, all doors, no matter how big, are watertight.

There are approximately 50 house-elves more or less permanently assigned to Dragon Isle at their request. They rotated in and out on their own whim since they are happily granted access to any Earth/Pern transport available. There are also approximately 2000 unbonded dragons, also volunteers, for the same reason. There is always a head Elf and a Head dragon with associated "runners" who can call for reinforcements if necessary.

Chapter 2: Other Weyrs on Pern New Weyrs:
Most of the new Weyrs, created after Spath's Weyr, were bored out of solid mountains, much like Spath's Weyr, but the central cavern is much smaller, usually only 2000 feet in diameter and only 4 levels with a much smaller central garden, usually with no lake in the center. Every one had all the other amenities pioneered by Spath's Weyr though, indoor plumbing, hot and cold running water, a Hot Rock "Sun" to heat and light the main cavern, and Hot Rock power generators everywhere they were needed. Level Two had only a limited dragon hospital with a human clinic on level one. The rest of level 1 is housing for any support staff and the rest of level 2 and all of levels 3 and 4 are dragon apartments.

Condron Sea Weyr, Pern:
Founded: December 13, 2011
Location: approximately 50° South and Time Zone 10.25, on the eastern side of the Black Rock River on a peninsula between the inland sea and Black Rock Lake.

Frank (Skip) and Kat Taylor, co-leaders of the old Condron Weyr, decided they wanted to try a non-desert climate for a change, so they searched west of Spath's Weyr until they came upon a great river whose bed had cut deeply into the surrounding rock. The Weyr is located in the high cliffs on the east side of the large river leading from a large inland sea to the ocean. Eventually, Earth colonists followed them and created Condron Sea Hold. The hold became the second point of contact for traders wishing to trade with Earth's Dragonriders and their colonists.

Red Butte (Maziang) Weyr:
Founded: July 1, 2018
Location: approximately 30° 20' North and Time Zone 8.1, on The Red Butte, almost due north of Keroon hold.

This Weyr is the only Earth Weyr created on the northern continent. It is almost directly north of Keroon Hold, east and slightly north of Igen Hold, and southwest of Benden Weyr. The Red Butte is a laccolithic dome that was so difficult to mistake that it was often used as a training landmark for weyrlings that were learning to jump between places. Lobsang chose this as the place to move his Weyr as it reminded him slightly of their old home on Earth, though it was not near as fertile. He and The Weyrleader agreed that the Red Butte Weyr should be about three times larger than absolutely required for Lobsang's Weyr so that it could act as an emergency refuge for anyone in the area. With that in mind, the 3 greenhouses from Maziang Weyr were augmented by an additional 47 to ensure there would be more than enough food for any possible inhabitants. Any excess was to be stored where possible or used freely in trade to gain those items all the Weyr's needed and Pern had to offer. It quickly became a popular destination for any trader caravans in the area, as the Weyr offered them safe and secure accommodations as well as any help needed with repairs to their wagons or tack and freely given medical aid if needed. In several instances, when the local Weyr clinic wasn't able to provide sufficient help, patients were dragon-lifted in a Dragon Egg to Spath's Weyr for treatment at no cost to the traders.

There is a wide switchback path with carefully carved steps at appropriate locations that leads from the lowest entrance to the Weyr down to the landing pad in front of the Holds main entrance.

Sakushima Weyr, Pern:
Founded: October 2, 2015.
Location: approximately 5° South and Time Zone 6.25, almost exactly 150 miles due south of Ista Hold.

This is one of the few Weyrs not created in a mountain. Located at the extreme end of a headland leading out into the Southern Sea and far to the west of Spath's Weyr, this was the third true Weyr to be constructed. It was constructed much like the Holds were constructed but, since this housed bonded and unbonded dragons, it became a Weyr. Since it was out on a headland, heavy rock pylons were sunk down to the underlying rock below the sandy soil and the first layer was constructed on the fused glass of the sandy bluff. The next three Layers of the Weyr were constructed above ground. When approached from the sea, it had the appearance of a forbidding, rock pillar, looming over the sea. Needless to say, this Weyr would never become a haven for random Pern denizens.

Almost 15 years after it was first constructed, the bottom level of Sakushima Weyr was converted to house Dolphins, their human Dolphineers, and a Wing of unbonded dragons assigned to work with them. A few years later, another level was added to the top of the Weyr to replace the space lost to the Dolphins on the bottom level. Since the Weyr had an interior area a mile across, the pool now at the bottom was actually a small indoor lake, suitable for the comfortable residence of hundreds of dolphins. It was equipped with an emergency Dolphin Operating and Aid station, barracks for 100 Dolphineers, and Dragon Apartments capable of holding a full Wing of unbonded dragons. There was a Dolphin Bell located at the end of a short pier near the Weyr end of the sea channel. If anyone, dolphin or human needed the other they only needed to ring the bell.

Since the Weyr had now essentially lost their bowl, a huge ledge was installed under what would have been their old second level. It only jutted out from the wall for 500 ft, leaving a huge opening overlooking the new Dolphin pool. There were magical wards protecting the edges so no one could accidentally fall in, but they could be overcome easily enough if someone wanted to try to dive into the pool, 300 ft below. Many of the resident dragons took advantage of this feature and would join the dolphins in the water to play. Once a foolish Dragonrider tried to join them. It was quickly learned that a 300 ft drop into the water was not something a human body normally survived.

The fish farm started in the new indoor lake eventually provided ample food for the many Dolphins that came to frequent the area as well as providing extra for the Weyr.

Isikara Yuko, Sakushima's Weyrleader decided this would be the perfect place for him to locate his Weyr. The members of his Weyr also appreciated the fine white sands of the adjoining beaches. Thus was one of Earth's Weyr's transported to Pern. After its construction, a group of immigrants with nautical experience founded a hold just to the east of the headland.

A lighthouse was constructed, on top of Sakushima Weyr, Pern, to facilitate navigation by those confined to surface travel.

Fire Lizards were later discovered by the Weyr inhabitants when they relaxed on the beaches near the ocean. No egg clutches were discovered for several years but the wild dragonets make friends with many of the Earth dragons and some of the riders, though they were wary of anyone else.

Nutan's Weyr:
Founded: November 25, 2024
Location: approximately 30° South and Time Zone 13.25, east and north of Spath's Weyr. It is located in the formerly active volcano called Two-Face Mountain.

When Nutan, the Pern-born rider of the Earth-standard dragon Crioyerth initially discovered the blown-out caldera on the south-eastern face of the mountain with an ancient buried city below it, The Weyrleader recalled his exploration team until the Goblins could ensure that the volcano would never erupt again. Once the Goblins had deactivated the volcano and created a unique Weyr on the side of the old volcano, Nutan was rewarded by being made Weyrleader of the newest Weyr and placed in charge of excavating and discovering the secrets of the old city.

Here was discovered the Artificial Intelligent computer called AIVAS (Artificial Intelligence Voice-Address System), which helped explain much about the original colony's goals.

A large floating dock was installed, at the base of the plateau where the old volcano sat, with huge cargo elevators installed to move cargo and passengers from the docks to the top of the plateau. From there Goblin carts were used to quickly transfer cargo or people from the top of the plateau to the interior ground level of Nutan's Weyr, where most of the research into the ancient city took place.

Over the years thousands of native Pernese have visited the home of their ancestors, a place called simply 'Landing'. As of the publication of this book, Nutan's Weyr was the last Weyr The Weyrleader had created on Pern, though he continued to help 'modernize' the existing Pern Weyrs so they were not only much more habitable and comfortable but also contained more up-to-date medical facilities.

The SPS (Southern Pern Ship) Dronth played an integral part in helping Nutan's Weyr become operational, using its overpowered Hot Rock Generator to provide interim power to the nascent Weyr until their own was finally delivered from earth.

Chapter 3: The Development of Holds on Pern
No discussion of the Earth's colonization of Pern can really be made without mentioning what they found already there, so this section will start with a light overview of the original Pernese colonists who were found on the northern continent.

Original Pern information:
The Pern of the Forth Pass is a highly structured society, consisting of four different groups of people, Weyrfolk, Holders, Crafters, and those without a permanent home, the Holdless and Traders. The Weyr, Hold, and Craft Hall are all separate from one another and the leaders of each are equal in rank. But in the same way, they are interdependent, and no one group could exist without the other two. Individual Weyrs, Holds, and Halls are autonomous, but generally, maintain good relations with one another.

Clothing insignia identify the role and rank of different individuals. In the stories of the Ninth Pass, these insignia include general colors, such as harper blue, and accessories described as shoulder knots. The color and pattern of knots denote geographical affiliation, Craft, and rank, such as apprentice, journeyman, or Master. Amongst the sailing members of Pern society, such knots can also indicate the rank of Captain.

Weyrs:
The Weyrs are the home of the Dragonriders of Pern. They are expansive structures, often situated in a cave-riddled extinct volcano, or along a mountain face, where there is enough space for the dragons, their riders, and the people of the "lower caverns", i.e. the staff which maintains the Weyr. Due to the unsuitable terrain of Weyr locations (volcanoes, cliff faces), Weyrfolk are generally unable to grow food. They depend on tithes of goods from the holds in order to survive, and in exchange, the Dragonriders have pledged to protect those holds from Threadfall.

Holds:
The Holds of Pern are where the majority of people on Pern live. Holds are literally castles, just not quite like the castles from the Middle Ages. There are three sizes of Hold: Major, Minor, and Cothold. Major Holds are ruled by a Lord and Lady Holder, and their family. The remainder of the residents are staff and workers who run the hold, and professional crafters; all told, they usually number around one thousand. The Headwoman is in charge of the inner hold and looks after all of the workings inside, while the Steward runs the outdoor parts of the hold. Major Holds tithe a portion of their produce to the nearest Weyr in return for protection from Thread.

Minor Holds are always beholden to a Major Hold, and tithe to them in return for protection from Thread and other dangers. They are run by a person who bears the title of Holder and are home to smaller numbers of people than Major Holds.

Cotholds are small, family-run holds, and usually, all those who live there are family or close friends. 'Family' on Pern generally means an extended family of several generations and branches, as opposed to the nuclear family common in Western societies on our own world.

Each hold is responsible for the discipline of its wrongdoers. Most times the Lord Holder will make the wrongdoer pay restitution and service to the wronged party. The next level of punishment is incarceration. The death penalty can also be used in response to heinous crimes. One of the greatest punishments is to be named holdless. This is where a person is stripped of all rank and status and thrown out of the hold. The most severe punishment of all is exile, usually to the island archipelago known as the Eastern Ring Islands. The reason this is the most severe punishment is that the holdless have nowhere to go during Threadfall and have no other human contact. This punishment is usually followed by a Shunning, which, in effect, causes the Shunned to be ignored completely by all humans. The Shunned are marked on their foreheads with an indelible dye for identification.

Halls:
The Crafthalls are the home to craftsmen; those Pernese skilled in a particular industry. The Crafts of Pern are Harper, Smith, Healer, Miner, Weaver, Farmer, Fisher, Tanner, Baker, Vintner, and Herder. For example, the Harper Hall is responsible for the arts (specifically music) and teaching young children the Teaching Ballads, which provide them with basic knowledge. When a child is ten or twelve, they can be sent to be an apprentice at a Crafthall if they show a flair for that particular craft. The Crafthalls train the crafters and send them out all over Pern to provide their skills to even the remotest hold. Note that it is not necessary for someone to be (for example) a trained farmcrafter in order to grow food; holders have a wide variety of skills, but it is the crafters who are the experts.

The most recent craft, Starsmith (astronomy) was created after The Weyrleader brought his dragons from Earth to Pern.

The crafts all use the same hierarchy. Everyone in each craft begins as an apprentice, usually from age twelve to eighteen, then becomes a journeyman (eighteen to thirty) with a great deal of hard work and dedication, attainment to the status of Master (thirty+) is possible. Not everyone makes it to Master, and some leave before even the rank of Journeyman is reached. Such a step from apprentice to journeyman is called 'walking the tables', based on the custom that apprentices and journeymen eat at different tables at a crafthall. The craft rank and hold they are beholden to are indicated by complicated knots which are worn on the shoulder.

The crafthalls are located near or in the Major Holds. For example, the Harper Hall and Healer Hall of the Northern Continent are both located in Fort Hold. At least some crafts have local crafthalls at other Major Holds; for example, there is a small Weavercraft Hall at High Reaches Hold, as well as a branch of the Healer Hall in South Telgar Hold.

The leaders of the Halls are called Mastercrafters, for example, the Masterharper is the head of the entire Harper Hall, and is not to be confused with a Master Harper, of which there may be several.

The Holdless:
People who do not live in an established hold, either by choice or due to punishment, make up the Holdless. They have no guaranteed protection from Thread, and the life of a Holdless is often dangerous.

Several nomadic groups were part of the initial colonization of Pern. Similar to European Gypsies and Irish Tinkers, they disdain hold life, choosing instead to live on the road, traveling from place to place. They tend to live in tightly knit family groups and are fiercely loyal to their group and way of life. They are extremely distrustful of outsiders and do not often take in strangers, especially ex-holders, without some proof of trust. Many are Traders (see below) and help organize trading caravans which travel from hold to weyr.

Gathers:
A Gather is a periodic, day-long event, similar to a county or state fair, held by Major Holds for recreation and commerce. Gathers may be seasonal, indicating that several are held yearly at each Hold. At a Gather, Pernese from Weyrs, Crafthalls, and Holds may mingle and enjoy various entertainments, including runnerbeast racing and physical competitions such as boxing and wrestling. The use of "Gather champions" as guardsmen is typical.

Gathers are also a chance for Craftsmen to offer their wares for sale, usually from Craft-run booths. On occasion, apprentices will sell items that did not meet their masters' approval "under the table" to make some pocket money to spend at the Gather. Food vendors also operate at gathers selling snack items. The hosting Lord and Lady Holder customarily provide a full meal to Gather attendees. Skilled Harpers, often Master Harpers and on occasion, the Masterharper himself, are invited to play both performance pieces and dance music for the attendees' pleasure.

Traders:
These are the people who take goods to trade to well-off holds, and to those people who often cannot reach a Gather. It is these isolated holders who need the traders and their trains of goods to keep them equipped with flamethrowers and farming equipment from the Crafthalls. Traders usually visit those holds that have few to no Marks, and so take produce instead of currency. It is very rare that a trader will carry perishable goods that can be found somewhere else such as grain or culled animals. The only way this will happen is if the good in question is local and/or exotic and will be highly valued by those with more marks in the larger holds.

Another way the traders serve the rest of Pern is by allowing Craft Journeymen or Masters to travel with them so that these talented men and women do not have to take the long and sometimes dangerous journey by themselves.

Currency:
Pern's currency is known as the Mark. Marks are circulated in the form of coins made of wood, apparently as a fiat currency (though, due to Thread, wood has traditionally been a scarce resource during most of Pern's history), whose value is set by a meeting of the political and economic leaders of the planet, apparently as a command economy. The coins occur in the denominations 1⁄32, 1⁄16, ⅛, ¼, ½, 1, 2, 5, and 10 marks, with a few 100-mark coins for very large transactions.

All the coins are the same size, denominations being indicated by a stamped number. They also have some sort of picture marking representing the type of hold or craft mark they are. If the number has a line above it, then it represents a unit fraction (that is, 32 would be 1⁄32), whereas a line below the number indicates an integer. The ½ and 2 Mark coins are the only ones that could be potentially confused.

Every craft produces its own marks, and the supply is kept constant, new marks only being produced to replace old ones. Some crafts' marks are valued over other crafts depending on the political climate of the time.

The Mark is a moderately large amount of money to the Pernese (somewhere around 10 galleons, 73.40 Pounds Sterling, or 99.86 Earth dollars), but an exact exchange rate is impossible to determine due to the differences between the Pernese and real-world economic systems. The Weyrleader artificially maintains the 1 Mark to 10 Galleon exchange ration from his own personal income out of a feeling of gratitude that the Earth Dragons initially came from Pern.

Creating Earth Holds on Pern:
In several diverse locations, Dragons cleared away topsoil down to a solid base of rock in a circle a mile across. In some cases, they were required to go down over a hundred feet. Once the topsoil was cleared, they started bringing in giant granite and basalt blocks, some larger than a school bus.

The rock floor was first smoothed to allow humans to walk on it without tripping, then walls, up to sixty feet high, were built up around the circumference. Roof supports were laid down and a roof of rock was positioned and fused into place. There are four equally spaced, rough-surfaced ramps, each wide enough to allow even a large dragon to pass easily, leading to the lower level. A total of four levels were created using magic to help support the massive weight until each level had been fused solidly into place.

When the final floor was above ground level, smaller blocks were brought in and fused to the sides to create a continuous low-grade ramp leading up to the floor. Over all this was positioned a final solid rock canopy, with large openings on all sides and again well supported as it also has a fifty-foot gap between its floor and ceiling. The bottom of the ramps dips down below the local water level and back up enough that part of a strategically located river may be diverted to fill the new channel. This creates an artificial wide, shallow, moving sheet of water all around the new construction. The canopy covers this as well. Finally, four ramps were placed leading up to the top of the canopy so any being wishing to traverse the location may do so in the open air if they wish. The top level, under the canopy, is also available for use at any time. Ward runes separate the type of beast allowed in each area, herbivore or carnivore, and any ramps leading to lower levels are hidden behind illusions of solid rock walls, only available in an emergency to non-magical beings.

Any being, intelligent or not, that needs shelter need only run across the shallow water and into the structure. The outside supports are set up in such a way that they do not block access to the interior for the water or anyone moving horizontally but will effectively block anything falling from above. The running water ensures that anything that blows into the cover from outside will land in water and get swept away with the flow. The water is even deep enough for some of the smaller local fish to easily navigate the center of the channel.

Each lower level has its own hot rock generator and lighting. Goblin magic is used to circulate fresh air, so exhaust and intake ventilation ducts are not required at the surface. There are multiple emergency Weyrs located on the surface of the planet in the southern hemisphere.

Magic was used to ensure that any below-ground levels remained watertight, a real concern since each one is constructed right next to a fairly large, flowing water source. Once any non-magical being arrives in its own appropriate space, it is "encouraged" to hibernate until the danger has passed when it will be encouraged to leave peacefully.

Bane's Hold:
Almost all the Centaurs agreed to come to Pern. On Ronan's suggestion, Harry assigned a division of unbonded dragons to live with them, help them when requested, and help keep an eye on things. Some of the younger Centaurs, over time, actually managed to finally make friends with some of the dragons.

The first occupied Hold was Bane's Hold after Bane, the Leader of the largest Centaur herd. He helped explore from Spath's Weyr, along the stream that flowed from the mountain there, on to the ocean. He decided it looked like a wonderful place to settle and requested The Weyrleader create a new hold on the eastern shore of the stream, near the ocean. When contact was made with the Pern Dragonriders, trade was initiated and this was one of the main holds that funneled the trade to Spath's Weyr.

Spath's Hold:
Canopy:
Paradoxically, the exterior of the Weyr was almost an afterthought. Originally it was planned that everyone would arrive on dragonback or via Dragon Eggs as passengers. Ronan eventually realized that the non-rider inhabitants just might like to go outside without the assistance of dragons, so caused a huge 500-foot wide tunnel to be driven out to the surface parallel to the interior ground level. When the tunnel finally broached the side of the mountain, its floor was found to be some 35 feet higher than the outside ground level. The floor of the tunnel was then excavated further so that it formed a gradual incline from the outside at ground level to the inside at Level 1. This came in handy later. The external entrance also proved beneficial later due to the huge influx of immigrants from Earth. The entrance canopy has become a very popular place for any type of gathering and, in fact, was eventually set up along the lines of a semi-permanent gather along lines recognizable to any original Pern inhabitant. There was even ample space allocated for temporary booths so that any visitors would have a place to set up and offer their wares.

The canopy's construction was trivial after creating the Weyr itself. Unbonded dragons were used to retrieve some of the large blocks of granite cut from the inside of the Weyr which were installed as a huge canopy that arced 1,500 feet out in all directions from the tunnel entrance to protect it. When finished, it looked like an extension of the mountain with a waterfall from the mountain to a small lake on top of the canopy which was allowed to flow off to join an existing river not far from the Weyr. The canopy was similar to shelters that were constructed elsewhere on Pern and looked like a small mesa next to the mountain. Most of the center of what was to become the lake was created using a huge expanse of solid clear quartz. This quartz was fused into place instead of granite blocks so that anyone walking under it could look up and see any life the lake might contain. It also allowed the underside of the canopy to be lit with natural light.

Once finished, it proved to be a popular area for dragons to play in, as the lake not only took up most of the surface of the "mesa" but had been space enhanced to be deep enough for a dragon to fully submerge if they wished. It is quite a sight to see a couple of dragons cavorting in the lake overhead.

After things started to settle down a bit on Pern, Harry decided he just had too much to do to want to control as much as he was. Part of what he divested himself from was the area external to Spath's Weyr. Everything from the canopy outward to the new stone shield wall apartments became Spath's Hold. The leadership of Spath's Hold was determined by a popular election. 75% of the vote of the entire population of those living in the specific location was required to gain the office of "Lord Holder" for Spath's Weyr. This differed markedly from the way any other Hold on Pern determined its leadership.

Greenhouses:
One hundred of the greenhouses that had been brought were lined up along the rock slope outside Spath's Weyr, their steel frame and thick glass construction proof against threadfall. The goblins constructed underground "streets" that corresponded to the surface streets and lead to stairwell entrances inside any building outside of the Weyr. One main thoroughfare lead to a wide, shallow ramp that came up inside the main Weyr entrance. The streets were well ventilated by Goblin magic and lit and, where needed heated, by a Hot Rock generator. Initially, as new Weyrs were created, it was thought that some greenhouses would be re-allocated to the new Weyrs. Eventually, it was determined that all of them would stay where they had been erected at Spath's Weyr since it was easier to simply have Dragonriders from other Weyrs assigned to specific Greenhouses for any work involved and then transfer any harvest by dragon-back or house-elf to the "sponsoring" weyr. They were aided by various house-elves who took it upon themselves to do most of the gardening work. The large greenhouses provided a welcome addition to the diet of the Weyr and surrounding area as well as much-needed medicinal plants not found on Pern.

Non-Rider Housing:
After the huge influx of immigrants, Ronan knew they needed to offer some form of safe housing outside the Weyr. Too many humans were adjusted to a life above ground to want to live under a mountain for the rest of their lives if they didn't have to. He decided to create Perns form of apartment buildings, townhouses, and strip shopping malls all at once.

There was already a surface street mirrored by an underground street that followed the installed greenhouses. Now Ronan drew up plans for a pair of long, stone, five-story structures on either side of the entrance canopy. The structures started from the canopy and reached along the mountain until they curved into the side of the mountain after the last greenhouse. On the side away from the mountain, it presents a solid smooth, unclimbable face to anyone or anything approaching from the stream. They would be the Weyr's first line of defense against any surface invasion and were, in effect, a shield wall around the entrance. The two structures were joined over the top of the canopy, in the middle. From the approach to the mountain, it had the effect of making the "mesa" in front of the mountain look quite a bit bigger than it actually was. Room was left underneath for the outflow from the lake to escape to the outside and, eventually, down the end of the canopy.

Each interior apartment had a thick, optical quality, bullet-proof picture window fused to the back, away from the mountain, and a series of smaller windows opening into any rooms that faced the mountain. While the exterior is rock, the interiors are wooden frame construction and could be customized to the size of the inhabitants, be they human, goblin, or house-elf. There are several entrances on the mountainside of each structure which correspond to stairwells leading to the underground street. Every fifth ground-level apartment was allocated to be a mini-shopping mall so the inhabitants didn't need to walk too far to get their daily needs. If they wanted something more exotic, they could descend to the underground street and ride the Goblin trolley to the entrance to the main Weyr. There are also interior, public corridors, that allow walking access for the length of the structure.

Initially, the only ones wanting to live above ground in the new apartments were the human immigrants. After several decades of peaceful coexistence, a few new families of house-elves decided to try the new way of living and became quite happy with it. The Goblins have never, so far, expressed any desire to live anywhere other than underground, though they are very visible around the shops and kitchens inside the Weyrs.

Condron Sea Hold:
Location: ~37° North, Timezone 8.

After Condron Sea Weyr was created, another hold was created east of where a large river led into a large inland sea and north of Condron Sea Weyr. This became the second point of contact for traders wishing to trade with Earth's Dragonriders and their colonists.

Red Butte Hold:
Location: ~51° South, Timezone 10.1.

This hold was specifically created on the northern continent, North of Keroon Hold, to house the new Planetary Legislative and Judicial Branches. Red Butte Weyr was completed at the same time, further up the slope of the butte, to house their supporting Weyr. There is a wide, flat area in front of the Hold entrance which provides a convenient landing pad for the Dragon Egg transport pods which provide transportation for members of the World Government. While serving, almost all the delegates and all the justices are required to live at Red Butte. The delegates make periodic trips to maintain contact with their home Holds so as not to lose touch with the desires of those who elected them.

Likewise, the Dragon Eggs can be used to transport to Red Butte those who wish to ask their delegates for help or bring a case before the justices. Unless a special need arises, Dragon Eggs make monthly scheduled trips from the other hold and weyrs on Pern to Red Butte.

There is a wide switchback path with carefully carved steps at appropriate locations that leads from the landing pad in front of the holds main entrance up to the lowest entrance to the Weyr.

Sakushima Hold:
Location: ~5° South, Timezone 6.5, almost exactly 150 miles due south of Ista Hold.

Found on the southern shore of the Southern Sea, just east of Sakushima Weyr, this was usually the first contact made with the seafaring folk of Pern. It differed from the other holds in that it was only a single "Layer" but that included a seawall and protected docks with enough clearance to allow fixed mast sailing ships of several hundred gross tonnes.

After the Weyrs became entrenched on Pern, The Weyrleader eventually had various ships and boats transferred to Pern. Any vessel brought to Pern was taken Between and put into a high Pern orbit to kill anything that might have gotten aboard. Any such vessel was eventually transferred by dragons to the RTL dry dock on Pern if any outfitting was required, otherwise, it was gently placed in the water off Sakushima Hold. Any ships or boats that did not have all-metal decks and non-biological fittings, were always tied up at the Hold's protected dock in case of threadfall.

The SPS Far Horizons:
The first all-steel vessel of the Southern Pern 'Navy' was an old freighter. It was a joint purchase between The Weyrleader and the Lord Holder of Sakushima Hold, Christopher Dalsgaard. An extra heavy-duty double hoist was installed against the possibility of a future addition to the fleet of a DSEV (Deep Submergence Exploration Vehicle). It was launched on Pern's Southern Sea on January 20, 2017.

After the discovery of Intelligent Dolphins on Pern, a floating diving platform was built by the RTL and maintained on the Far Horizons. If they were approached by dolphins in need while at sea, they only needed to lower the platform into the water to be able to easily interact with the dolphins. The platform included a metal mesh 'trough' that allowed dolphins to remain in the water but provided footing for humans to attend to them.

Over the years since the discovery of Intelligent Dolphins, many changes and improvements have been made to the platform, but its basic shape and usage remain very similar to the original platform.

The SPS Dronth:
The second all-steel vessel was an old World War II aircraft carrier, that was purchased by The Weyrleader for conversion to a trade/disaster relief mobile base/support vessel. Christened the SPS Dronth, the 820 foot long, 93 foot wide, 27,000-ton vessel had a draft of only 28 feet when empty and 34 feet with a full load (36,999 tons). At the flight deck, it was 872 feet long by 147 feet wide. It was totally refurbished in the RTL dry dock. It was launched on Pern's Southern Sea on November 10, 2018.

The propulsion was provided by a 1,000 MW Hot Rock power generator which provided electricity to four 50MW electric motors connected directly to each propellor shaft. The power generator also supplied 440v and 115v for ship's services. The generator was extremely overpowered because it was also capable of supplying power, through special cables to any shore installation it was docked near, in case of emergency.

Any compartment next to the hull was completely sealed off, the doors tightly closed, and the opening wheels spot welded. This was to give the vessel additional survivability, in case of accident or attack. It was felt that anything that breached the outer hull couldn't be fixed while afloat anyway. If such a breach occurred for any reason, the ship would be airlifted to the RTL dry dock for repair.

Most of the structure below the hangar deck was then stripped out and replaced with much larger cargo holds. Any compartment below the hangar deck was built to be watertight. A large wet/dry launching bay was built into the aft end of the vessel with huge, hydraulically operated doors separating the interior from the ocean. The onboard landing craft and other vessels could be winched down to the bottom using one of the two heavy-lift cargo cranes in the hangar bay and launched simply by slowly opening the doors. Boats could be recovered in a similar manner. Once a dolphin in distress was even rescued from an attacking Pern water snake by allowing it to swim into the bay and quickly closing the doors. The four large cargo bays at the aft end of the ship, nearest the launch bay, were reserved for emergency disaster relief supplies.

All the compartments from the hangar deck up to the flight deck were converted into support facilities of one sort or another. The main cafeteria-style kitchens were located midships and aft on the hangar deck level with seating for 600 in each. All tables were fastened to the deck and had raised edges to stop any loose plates from falling off during high seas. There were also machine shops and quick fabrication facilities specially designed to be useful during emergencies. Fore and aft of the aircraft elevators, on both sides of the ship, small housings with 50-caliber machine guns were located. They were not to project force at sea but as protection, in case something really nasty emerged from Perns depths. The aircraft elevators were refurbished and maintained as operational but were never used except as proof that they actually worked. Any cargo the ship carried was capable of being on-loaded and off-loaded using the internal cranes mounted to the hangar deck ceiling and, if necessary, the landing craft.

All the compartments above the hangar deck ceiling and the flight deck were converted to small apartments which could be magically space enhanced if required. Most of the apartments were designed for no more than two passengers or crew at a time. There were a few large family cabins created when traders started traveling on the ship permanently and there were three large stateroom suites for the ship's Captain and Executive Officer and one always reserved for The Weyrleader if required.

The island was reserved for operational electronics and ships navigation. There were also Meeting rooms that opened off corridors leading directly to the flight deck. Dragonriders could conduct briefings there prior to going out on patrol. All electronics aboard were heavily shielded against magic and were otherwise fairly standard shipboard equipment. Navigation and weather radar, multi-band communications, including satellite radio and telephone. The major difference was the satellite-connected Dragon Net Internet access and the huge, heavy quartz dome located in the bow. The dome not only housed a powerful sonar active and passive array but had a small 20-foot by 20-foot square room where the undersea could be viewed directly. It was heavily warded against pressure and any other physical damage but the room was also constructed of hull grade steel with heavy, hydraulically operated waterproof doors providing entrance from the ship side. This is where most of what we know about Pern's oceans was discovered.

DSEV (Proposed):
Just prior to the publication of this book, there has been increasing pressure from the nautical community to have two submarines specially commissioned for Pern. The first would be a Deep Submergence Exploration Vehicle (DSEV) would be used to help explore Pern's ocean depths and perform rescue operations. The nominal crew would be two operators but it would be capable of holding 20 passengers comfortably or 40 crammed in like sardines. It is expected that after a rescue, they would surface and be picked up by dragons to be placed on a protected dry dock cradle near the Hold.

SSBH (Proposed):
The second submarine is proposed to be a modified Ballistic Missile Submarine (SSBH). The SSBH would hold 8 special missiles specifically designed to fight thread and would also be used to haul cargo. During the times when thread was not scheduled to fall, the missiles could be removed while in dock, and the resulting space used for additional cargo.

The modified missiles would launch to a predetermined position and create a huge biofuel/air fireball which would obliterate many square miles of thread. The torpedoes would be replaced with auto-loading escape pods and the rest of the space left over after the required crew quarters and engineering spaces would carry several tonnes of cargo.

If any submarines actually sail Perns waters, it will probably be many years in the future.

Mertown:
Location: ~58° South, in time zone 10

Located in the middle of the vast inland Sea, which they have named the Sea of Azov, Mertown is only approachable underwater. The freshwater sea is full of dangerous life, but the Mers are more dangerous still and, if they happen upon something they find too hard to handle, the Condron Sea Weyr is close enough to lend them aid.

Bermorg's Trading Hold:
Location: ~18° South, in time zone 6, about 200 miles south of Sakushima Weyr.

Master Trader Bermorg, in his search for some way for native-born Pernese to achieve parity with the new immigrants, discovered vast fields of numbweed on the Southern Continent. Close to their initial landing site, next to a brackish river flowing slowly toward the sea, was where they eventually decided to set up a hold where those who harvested and processed the numbweed for use on-planet and off, could have a safe place to live while working.

Eventually, Master Trader Bermorg and his entire family took up residence there to continue to help the Pernese to prosper, even though their initial profit from their discovery and the subsequent sales of shares in the endeavor made them more than enough money they could have retired. After seeing what the Earth-born Dragonriders were doing to try to help the native Pernese, he felt he had to do what he could to help as well.

The final survey showed that the numbweed plain stretched almost 200 miles south of Sakushima Weyr, taking up most of the peninsula the Weyr was located on. The first thing The Weyrleader set in motion was the digging out of a 20 ft deep channel from Numbweed Lake to the lagoon. The next thing was to create a minor Hold, which was later expanded to be a Major Hold, at their original landing point as a central location where workers could live and store their product for trans-shipment elsewhere. Since the processing caused such a stink, special clothing was created which covered and protected the workers. They had airtight hoods they could wear that had air cylinders attached allowing three hours of uninterrupted work before they had to take a break and change out the cylinders. Both the Hold and each cylinder had Protego Thread runes engraved on them. This would give extra protection in case of unexpected threadfall.

The third, and biggest project by far, was to create a series of dams far downriver that would eventually create a much deeper lake north of the Western Barrier Range. The lake was originally about 90 miles long and less than 50 miles wide. And the land was so flat in that area, it only dropped about 100 ft. from the lake to the sea and most of that drop was before a large marsh on the southern end of the numbweed plain. After the huge granite blocks of the dam were installed and the carefully calibrated spillways installed, the lake grew to over 200 miles wide and 75 miles wide. The extra 100 ft. height allowed the one spillway leading to the numbweed plain to run faster with more water. This had the benefit of changing the lake from brackish to fresh and a special lock system in the middle of the Numbweed Channel kept the saltwater out of the lake.

The fourth improvement made was the creation of special Hot Rock powered ovens set up distributed equally across the entire area. The rocks were heated so that water would quickly come to a boil to process the numbweed on site before taking the result back to the hold for storage. This kept most of the smell away from the living quarters which made the workers especially appreciative. After the numbweed was boiled down, the residue was carted off to the marsh and dumped there in an effort to slowly raise the land and make it capable of supporting more numbweed. Hermione was initially against this until a special survey showed that nothing lived there that didn't live elsewhere on Pern in excess.

The last improvement consisted of a series of wide-gauge tracks and burdenbeast drawn carts to help transport more product back to the hold at once and to transport the residue away to the marsh area.

It would take a year of hard work on the Pernese part, but they would eventually earn their place in the planet's financial arena. The numbweed extract proved especially popular on Earth, where most of it was exported to different medical companies for further processing into new, very popular and effective medicines.

Master Trader Bermorg had finally found what Harry had been hoping he would, the means for the Pernese to grow financially independent. In order to ease any difficulties they might encounter, The Weyrleader assigned a Flight of Dragonriders and a Flight of unbonded dragons to Bermorg's Trading Hold.

The Transcontinental Road:
The southern continent was quickly re-forested. Since not everyone was comfortable moving from tree to tree, like the Centaunans, a 100 foot wide, transcontinental road was created with the Pern Mother's and dragonrider's help. The roads were elevated by about 30 feet with wide, shallow ramps on either side of the road at each rest stop until the regenerated top soil reached it, then the road was slightly raised from the ground and the ramps were simply covered over.

Several hundred "rest stops" were also created along the road that looked similar to the emergency holds The Weyrleader had placed around the continent except there was only one level, Ground level and the roof. In most places the rest stop roof covered a significant portion of the road, in a few, it was off to one side, usually the north side of the road. The rest stops all had a relatively flat roof where grasses were planted to provide food for any grass-eating animals in the area and two ramps paralleling the road gave access. Short roads connect any rest stop any distance away from the road directly to the rest stop.

With the "Red Star" no longer a threat, the rest stops are probably overkill, but the Pern Mother cared for those on her planet that she didn't want to take any chances.

Chapter 4: The evolving Legal System
The initial legal system set up by The Weyrleader for the planet of Pern was comprised of three parts; Legislative, Judicial, and Executive. He was aiming for a form of a Constitutional Republic. What he ended up with was actually a form of Constitutional Monarchy where the Monarchy had real, ultimate power. The dragons wouldn't allow anything else. Who controlled the dragons, controlled the planet. No matter how hard he tried to legislate away his position, the dragons themselves refused to allow him to ever step down.

Having said that, The Weyrleader at least created an effective hierarchy that allowed him a form of "hands-off" control. As long as everything worked, he didn't have to get involved in the day-to-day governing of anyone but himself. Before he set up the three branches of government, he set up a 'Sapient Species Bill of Rights', as follows:

The Sapient Species Bill of Rights: (The Universal Pern Sapient Laws)
01
No one shall make any law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. 'The people' are herein defined as all sentient beings, of whatever form they may take.

02 The right of the people to defend themselves, by whatever means necessary, shall not be infringed. The taking of sentient life, no matter the species, is prohibited unless it is required for the protection of other lives.

03 In case of dire emergency any suitable refuge, Weyr or Hold, may be used freely by any resident of Pern. Such usage is limited to protection from Thread only. No additional liberties may be taken but may be freely offered by the permanent residents of said Weyr or Hold.

04 The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall be issued, without probable cause, supported by a binding Oath. Any evidence found under such a search, however, whether it pertains to the original reason for the search or not, is legally admissible in a court of law.

05 No person shall be held to answer for a capital crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except when in actual service in time of public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb, nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just and equitable compensation.

06 In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the Major Hold wherein the crime shall have been committed; which Hold shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense. The use of minimal doses of Veritaserum and/or Legilimency administered by trained members of the court are supported for any major offense.

07 In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty galleons, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of Pern, than according to the rules of the common law.

08 A simple tracking charm shall be used, to ensure all those involved appear for their court date. Excessive fines shall not be imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

09 The enumeration of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

10 The powers not delegated to the World Congress, nor prohibited by it to the Holds, are reserved to the Holds respectively, or to the people. Holds are understood to be Major Holds.

11 Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within Pern, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

12 No organization shall attempt to place their laws above the laws developed for the World Government of Pern. While a Major Hold may enact specific laws that may seem to counter Global Laws, Global Laws still protect any transients traveling through, or residing temporarily in, such a Hold. If any of the permanent residents of such a Hold complain to proper authorities, an investigation may be conducted which may result in the removal from authority of the Lord and/or Lady Holder.

13 Dragonriders and unbonded dragons shall always have the power to enforce these laws. They may be aided in such enforcement by special Auror Teams.

The three branches of government, as envisioned by The Weyrleader are as follows:

Judicial:
Interpret the laws. This was the first governmental body The Weyrleader was able to get everyone on the planet to agree to. He envisioned a multi-species court system where there were 3 judges from each intelligent species. They interpret multi-species laws and impose sentencing if a plaintiff is found guilty.

There are three judges of each species, elected by their own species, who serve for life or until they choose to retire. Dragonriders are not eligible to become judges but unbonded dragons are. New judges are ratified by a convention consisting of all Weyrleaders and Weyrwomen, all Lord and Lady Holders, all Master Craftsmen and their Seconds, a three-person representative team from magical people, a three-person representative team from non-magical people, and the three Senior unbonded Dragons. Bane (Centaur leader) is considered a "Lord Holder" for his herd. Dolphin Pod leaders of at least 100 dolphins are considered Lord Holders. Mer leaders of fixed villages are also considered Lord and Lady Holders.

New judges are appointed for life and are selected by The Weyrleader, the currently active judges, the Weyrleaders, and the current leaders of the different groups, dragons, cats, humans, Goblin, Elf, Centaur, Dolphin, Mer, etc. The number of judges will always be represented by three from each race so, if a Centaur judge retires, resigns, or dies, a Centaur judge must replace him. A newly selected judge must be ratified by 100% of his species voting and by 50% of all other species voting.

All Judges must take a magically binding oath to always be fair to all races, regardless of their own affiliation. Species of Judges as of this publication: Unbonded Dragons, giant Pern felines, unbonded Humans (non-magical), unbonded Humans (magical), Goblins, Elves, Centaurs, Cheetahs, Dolphins, Mer.

The integration of humans, magical people, and intelligent creatures took some time, and not a little head knocking, but eventually succeeded, mainly because The Weyrleader appointed highly intelligent "People" from each group to act as judges for all problems between the groups. He alone retained the right of judgment for all rider/dragon bonded pairs but, everyone else, including unbounded dragons, must abide by the judgment of the appointed judges.

The Legilimens spell and Veritaserum potion are "legal" to use to get to the truth in any argument, though it is preferred the spell/potion be administered in court by someone directly connected to the court. Bonded dragons cannot be judges. Death or banishment sentences may only be passed by a unanimous decree of all judges of the same race as the accused and a supporting vote of 50% of the remaining judges.

Legislative (Congress):
Make the laws. A body of people with a similar makeup as the Judicial Branch. They were tasked with creating common-sense laws that would pertain to every person on the entire planet, including those that worked for the Government. If anyone not in the group wanted a law passed, they had to bring the matter up in a public forum where it could be discussed and, if 75% of all species agreed, pass it on to the Legislature to be written into law. Old laws could be removed the same way. One of the founding laws The Weyrleader insisted on was that no one was above the law, not even the Government. If a law was passed, it applied to all sectors of the population as equally as common sense judgment allowed.

Shortly after the formation of the Legislative Branch and their installation at Red Butte Hold, one of the wizard legislators attempted to use an Imperius Curse to control all the other Legislators and gain control over the planet. The Weyrleader convened an emergency session in Spath's Weyr to unmask the guilty party and return control to those legally elected. The judges present affirmed his actions as just and proper and endorsed dragons and their riders to ever more be the enforcement arm of the government.

Executive (Police):
Enforce the laws. Dragons, bonded or unbonded, were declared to be the ultimate police force. This was never even brought up for discussion, The Weyrleader insisted on this, as dragons are always truthful and honest. The Weyrleader also made provisions for a group of non-rider police called Aurors. They typically walked around in pairs, one magical, one non-magical. They helped investigate crimes and arrest suspects. If necessary, they could easily call for additional help or even a Dragonrider backup using the satellite cell phones that became widespread on Pern. Dragonriders and Aurors alike wore special Carbon-nanotube 'Shadow Suits' which allowed them three modes of operation. When covered by their uniforms, for Aurors, and their flight suit covers, for Dragonriders, everyone could see them and would know who they were. Once the outer covering was removed, the inner, carbon-nanotube 'Shadow Suit' was all that showed or, as was more often the case, didn't show, as it was 99.98% non-reflective of light. This was perfect for most night-time stealth operations. For all other times requiring stealth, they covered their 'Shadow Suit' with a magical Cloak of Invisibility.

The 'Shadow Suits' included gloves that could split and pull back into the suit's sleeves or be ejected from the sleeves to automatically cover the hands, and a hard helmet that included a specialized HUD (Head's Up Display), audio and video recorders, and integrated satellite cell phones. The Aurors also had built-in Police-band radios they could use if they had to. Dragonriders knew as a fact of life, how to communicate with dragons for the ultimate in stealth communications. The Aurors were introduced to unbonded dragon members of their enforcement teams and trained in how to communicate with their larger allies.

Chapter 5: Intelligent Species from Earth
Centaurs:
A Centaur is a magical creature who's head, torso, and arms appear to be human and are joined to a horse's body. They are, however, their own species, and are not any kind of half-breed. Despite possessing 'human intelligence', centaurs are classified as Beasts by the Ministry of Magic, at their own request, as they were unhappy at having to share Being status with hags and vampires. Average life expectancy: 200 years.

Centaunans:
While not from Earth, the race of the People of the Pern Mother are included here as the only intelligent life form native to Pern. All Centaunans are so far non-magical. They are six-limbed creatures similar to Centaurs, but more the size of a small pony when fully grown. Several were brought out of hibernation after the Pern Mother determined that The Weyrleader and his immigrants would help care for them and help them to build up their population. They are egg-laying mammals with a reptilian look to them, with a long tail and a head similar to an iguana, but with sharp teeth.

Far in the past, the native intelligent Pern life form had a high culture, even though it was not mechanically based. Most of their 'heavy' industry was built on the slopes of the southern barrier range. Fire lizards gave them easy access to fire. There was a special class of the citizenry called 'Fire Starters'. Membership was open to anyone wishing to join, but it was only a part-time profession. Each year, they would band together to teach new apprentices the long, labor-intensive method of creating fire using friction. Once that method was mastered, they were then introduced to fire lizards and never had to worry about how to start a fire after that.

They learned that sand, when heated to a high enough temperature, melted and could then be molded into many useful items. In order to create a high enough temperature, they learned how to mine coal and build bellows to blow air into the fire to make it hotter. The molten glass would be poured into clay molds to create many useful items. Most of the Fire Starters also became professional Glass Molders.

Later, they learned how to blow air through hollow clay tubes and were able to eventually create some very beautiful glassware. Many of the Glass Molders then became Glass Blowers. One of their most popular products was a small open-topped, circular glass jar that was strong enough to withstand heavy weather and was ridged so several could be tied to a line of jars. They were popular, because they could be filled with specific mosses and then a stopper used to plug the hole. When the moss was exposed to light, it stored the energy and started to glow. The cities of the People twinkled late into the night from the long lines of such jars strung up along major and minor travel ways.

The skybroom trees were so pervasive that any of the People could climb to the top and move at will from one tree to the next. Since they lived in the trees, their retractable claws on all six limbs were a necessity. They could walk along a branch in any orientation using one, two, or all three pairs of limbs. The hind limbs were the strongest and most used for locomotion. The center pair were next strongest and were often used for walking when speed was required. The upper pair of limbs developed into quite useful grasping appendages, useful for fine, detailed work. All limbs had four central toes with two outside 'thumbs' useful for grasping tree limbs or other objects. The Centaunans could move at quite respectable speeds through the trees. On the ground, however, they found it a bit more difficult, as there wasn't anything to grasp and push against. Needless to say, they seldom descend from the trees unless their job requires it.

Over time, their preferred gait became four legs for walking and two hands for manipulation. Since the Centaunans were omnivorous and the tree nuts had hard shells, their jaws are extremely strong. They would routinely pop one of the hard nuts into their mouths and slice it open with their many sharp teeth and swallow the entire mass. They even farmed the rocksnakes and found them quite tasty, though it was hard to keep them contained to a single area. It became great sport for youngsters to go on a hunt to help clear an area of an overabundance of the creatures. The People didn't consider the rocksnakes dangerous, some were even kept as pets, but they did tend to get underfoot more than was desired.

The average Centaunan is a creature that looked like a clawed Centaur with a long flexible tail, almost like a lizard except the legs were situated more like on a horse. The body forward of the middle set of legs could easily be rotated forward to put the upper portion of the body in line with the rest of the body or kept upright so it more resembled a centaur. Since the top pair of legs are a bit shorter and not as strong as the other legs, this is the preferred orientation.

The heads looked almost like an iguana, with a very strong jaw and many fine, sharp teeth in the mouth. Unlike an iguana, however, there are no scales. The skin was soft, pliable, and warm. Centaunans are warm-blooded egg layers and had a very high culture. They got along well with each other, everyone seemed to work towards the common good, and the few problems they had, the Pern Mother resolved for them.

Goblins:
Overall, goblins' idea of payment and repayment is not the same as humans. Goblins dislike theft but use a different definition of the word. By goblin standards, the maker of an item, not the purchaser is the rightful owner; the item is required to be returned to its maker after the death of the purchaser. Goblins believe that the wizard paying for a goblin-made artifact is merely renting it, not owning it. Goblins consider the passing of an item from one wizard or witch to another without further payment to its maker "little more than theft", as Bill Weasley puts it. Average life expectancy: 300 years.

Half-Giants:
For years, Hagrid was the only half-giant on Pern. Then, in late 2011, The Weyrleader convinced Madame Olympe Maxime the Headmistress of the Beauxbatons Academy of Magic to relocate to Pern. Shortly after, she and Hagrid were bonded and the population of half-giants has slowly increased since. Unlike their cousins, full giants, half-giants are gentle creatures and love to interact with others.

House-Elves:
A house-elf (sometimes also referred to as just elf) is a magical creature that is immensely devoted and loyal to the one designated as their master. House-elves serve wizards and witches and are usually found under the employment of old wizarding families taking residence in elaborate establishments, like mansions, and must do everything that their masters command unless they are freed. A house-elf can only be freed when their master presents them with clothes. House-elves have their own brand of wandless magic which, despite their small physical size, is very powerful. According to the WOMBAT test, it is possible that house-elves have an average life expectancy of 200 years, cannot be ordered to kill themselves, breed infrequently and only with their master's permission, can override wizard enchantments, and have an allegiance to their home rather than its inhabitants.

Mer:
Sentient beings who live underwater in lakes and seas, although they can breathe air for short periods of time. Merpeople are intelligent folk who have developed their own culture and social structures and have a great love of music. Merpeople are found all over the world, including the Lake near Hogwarts (Selkies) and Loch Lomond (Merrows). The voices of merpeople sound like screeching above water but are understandable beneath the waves, where they sound croaky. Their own language is called Mermish. A species of intelligent people who have a rocky relationship with the wizarding world. They are very tall and human-like from the waist up, with grayish skin, long, wild, dark green hair, large, wide-set yellow eyes, and yellow, sharply pointed teeth. Below the waist, they appear quite fish-like with scaly skin and fins. Average life expectancy: 120 years.

A comparison of average lifespans
Millicent Bulstrode applied her excellent Arithmancy skills she learned while the assistant to Sir Robert March to generate a rather unique interpolation of the average life expectancy of many of the different species who now reside on Pern. Right now, this table represents only a mathemagical estimate of the indicated species' life spans.

It was explained to this author that there are certain mitigating factors that could lengthen or shorten an individual's life expectancy drastically. Among those are:

• Life span is slightly increased due to the lessened planetary gravity field, though this is tended to be offset by the basically unforgiving biosphere filled with many more deadly animals and plants.
• Soul Bonds between individuals tend to increase or decrease a partner's life expectancy depending upon the disparity between the two magical cores. If a non-magical human were to marry a magical human with an average core size, the non-magical human's life would increase by about 20-30 years while the magical human's would decrease by a like amount. The non-magical partner would become a squib, not magical.
• If humans bonded with dragons, Dragonriders, then perform the handfasting bond, the life expectancy of both humans in the bond tends to increase by about 20-30 years. If more bonded dragons are included in the bond, the increase goes up proportionally.
• A Mages core is exponentially larger than an average magical being of the same species, so such a bonding would drastically increase a bonded partner's life and correspondingly decrease the mage's life.

• Two Mages soul-bonding would both receive a larger increase in life expectancy depending upon the size of their respective core. If both cores are equal, then both could expect an increase on the order of 20 to 100 years.
• Bonded dragons never outlived their bonded partner until Harry is able to convince dragons of handfasted humans to at least stay until all handfasted humans in the bonded group have died.
• Life expectancy for unbonded dragons has never been successfully determined but, with the idea of families helping to stabilize unbonded dragons, it is expected to be on the order of 200 years or more.

Average Life Expectancy of different species: (#years, Species, Comment)
20
Cheetah, Pern (8) The mentally augmented Cheetahs on Pern live longer than the normal lives of Earth Cheetahs because their increased intelligence helps them to avoid dangerous situations.

50 Human, Pern The Pern humans' life span is so short due to the hostile conditions they face on their planet. With the advent of the Earth humans, their life expectancy starts to drastically increase.

70 Dolphin, Pern (4) The Pern Dolphins' life span is increased due to the decreased planetary gravity field and the unpolluted oceans.

100 Human, Non-Magical Earth immigrants to Pern.

120 Mer (5) All Mers are magical.

150 Native Pernese (10) (Centaunans) All Centaunans are non-magical.

150 Humans, Magical May be as little as 120 or as much as 170, depending upon the size of their magical core.

200 Centaur (6) All Centaurs are magical.

200 Half-Giant (2) All Half-giants are magical.

200 House-elf (1) All House-elves are magical.

250-350 Dragon, Unbonded (7) Unbonded dragons typically live shorter lives than their bonded fellows because a part of life that is necessary to their survival, a rider, has been denied them. As they start to learn about family, though, they find a new factor that is able to partially mitigate the unbonded factor. All dragons are magical.

300 Goblin (9) All Goblins are magical.

500 Human, Mage (3) May be as little as 300 or as much as 1,500, depending upon the size of their magical core.

1000 Werewolf All Werewolves are magical.

? Dragon, Bonded A bonded dragon typically will not outlast their bonded partner. Those few that The Weyrleader succeeded in stopping from going Between have yet to die of natural causes as of the publication of this book.

? Familiars Typically animals used as magical familiars have more than twice the normal life expectancy of their non-magical fellows, but it is also tied to the size of the magical core of their bondholder. Varies by species and owner. Some specially bonded Familiars have been known to live for an unnaturally long time.

50 Kneazle They have a very high level of intelligence, are independent and occasionally aggressive and have an uncanny ability to detect suspicious and distrustful people. They can also safely guide their owner's home. Because of their aggression towards certain individuals, Kneazles have a XXX classification by the Ministry of Magic if they are not interbred with another species.

45-50 Owl Owls are magical creatures most often used for delivering post and parcels in the wizarding world. They are known for their speed and discretion and can find recipients without an address.

Note: Add approximately 50 years if Bonded to a dragon. Adjust about 10 to 20 years towards the middle for different species if they are in a life-bonding relationship. Adjust 50 to 100 years if a Mage is involved.

The numbers in parenthesis indicate the order that which an individual of a particular species discovered one of the mysterious artifacts.

Notes:
There were several blank spaces in the links below in an attempt to be able to publish the correct source material but the FanFiction code stopped every attempt. Sorry. If you really need the links, get in touch with me and I may be able to help you. Personally, I don't like attributing information without being able to show where it came from.

Much of the solar system, planetary, and biological information was extracted from the Pern Wiki:

Planetary Survey information:

Pern dragon information was extracted from Dragons (Pern):

Many of the information about specific Pernese animals came from "The Fauna of Pern":

Anne McCaffrey's Pernese Dragons:

Much of the Pern Flora comes from Dark Moon Weyr:

Dolphin information gained from CRAFT CORNER: DOLPHINEERS:

FINIS

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