Dragons, genetically designed and engineered by the first settlers of Pern in an effort to defend against the menace that was Thread, are the largest bond-able species currently known to the Pernese.
, a set of dual 'horns' on each side of their forehead, which allow them to use telepathy with one another and their riders, to go Between, and in rarer cases, the unique abilities such as Empathy or Telekinesis. If a dragon's headknobs are injured in any way, their abilities are severely limited and thus should be treated with caution. Dragons also have the ability to breathe fire through the digestion of a special type of rock known as firestone, which is crushed between the dragon's teeth and then deposited in the second stomach, and then, in turn, regurgitated as flame. Female dragons with the ability to clutch are encouraged to not ingest firestone, not only because of a slight natural allergy to the 'stone, but also because small amounts will cause short-term sterility while larger amounts can cause permanent sterility. Non-clutching females do not have a similar problem.
They possess two pairs of legs, the forelegs being of significant length shorter than the hind pair, causing an awkward rabbit-like hop while on the ground. The forepaws each possess four toes as well as a rudimentary thumb, allowing the dragon to pick up objects, while the backpaws only possess the four toes. A long neck and tail help balance out the body, as well as providing agility and maneuverability in flight, which is brought about by a single pair of wings. Each wing has five wing-fingers extending from a base 'arm', with wingsails stretched between each wing. Dragons also possess a single pair of multi-faceted eyes that shift color in relation to the dragon's mood (see eye-color chart below,) and are protected by multiple layers of eyelids, which allows the dragons to fly in storms or even see underwater.
A dragon's hide is indicative of its rank and health. Each dragon possesses a hide color unique to its rank (see list below), with differences in gender, sizes, and often abilities. The hide color can also indicate the health of the dragon, such as when females 'glow' during their mating heat, or become gray and dull whenever the dragon is sick or injured. Furthermore, the inner flesh of each dragon, such as pawpads, tongue, mouth, and organs, are all a silvery-green color, and they bleed Ichor rather than blood, it too being a darker silvery-green color.
The ability to produce flame after ingestion of firestone.
The main mode of communication between dragons and other dragons or their riders. Almost nothing can stop a dragon from reaching their rider through telepathy. This ability is inherent in all dragons.
places, passing through a dark, airless, cold space and landing on the. A dragon's rider must have a precise destination in mind, usually one they've seen and studied before, otherwise numerous dangerous could arise.
A technique (currently not known as available in Game Play), that allows a dragon to actually go Between times, leaping either forward or backwards in time.
A unique and rare ability in which a dragon can use their mental powers to lift and move objects.
A somewhat rare ability that appears strongest in Rhodiums, Blues and the occasional Brown, which allows a dragon to sense the emotions of those around them.
An incredibly, incredibly rare ability where an individual dragon is actually able to pick up the thoughts of the humans around them, especially when they are communicating with a dragon.
A rare, often times disliked, ability whereupon a dragon is a mental null, which can either be under its personal control, or be a wild talent. In either case, the dragon can negate the abilities of any dragon or wher around themselves, such as blocking communication between dragons or dragon and rider, or even disallow betweening and telekinesis.
GOLDSize Range :
45-50 feetGender :
Female onlyImpression :
Female only. Prefers older, more competent women able to take charge and take on leadership roles. General Information :
Largest of the dragon ranks, and once the only ones able to produce offspring, Golds are still as much Queens as they once were. Though no longer the only clutching females, Golds still have the inherent leadership abilities they once did, often serving as Senior or Junior Queens, as well as other roles that help the weyr run smoothly, such as helping Healer's in the infirmary, or working with the wings to come up with better battle strategies. They are able to effectively control any dragon lower in rank than themselves, with stronger and typically elder Golds the highest on the hierarchy. Though the most Senior of Queens are not seen on the battlefield, Junior Queens often fly in their own specialized wing, which allows them to help out as much as possible.
Gold dragons, like their rank name would suggest, are gold in coloration, ranging from brighter yellow golds to darker red golds and the lightest of white golds and anywhere in between. Flight Golds are known particularly for their lighter colors. They are the largest of all dragons, typically with a muscular, but still feminine, body structure, making them one of the slowest but most enduring of ranks, with only the largest and strongest of males able to Catch them during their Flights. Golds possess powerful temperaments, often being headstrong and intelligent in their own right, though may can also be quite loving and tender, motherly, towards their weyr. However, Golds can also be incredibly vicious and power-hungry creatures, especially in the Flight where such traits are encouraged. Mating Habits :
Gold dragons mature at 2-3 turns of age, and Rise one to two times every turn thereafter. Depending upon the length of the flight and the male that catches them, they can lay 12 to 20 eggs.BRONZESize Range :
43-46 feetGender :
Male only. Impression :
Bronzes Impress to men only, and usually more masculine men. General Information :
The original male leaders of the weyr, and most common partners to the Golden Queens, Bronzes still hold many positions of power within the weyr, not only as Weyrleaders and Junior Weyrleaders, but also many times within the wing themselves. They are still the largest and typically most powerful males within the weyr, though oftentimes they now share rank with Irons. They can often be seen leading the wings into battle, though rarely a Bronze will serve in a Healer's capacity, their size allowing them to easily catch all but the largest of their injured comrades.
Largest of the males, Bronzes are known for being powerful, for being able to fly for hours when needed, even though they are severely lacking in both agility and speed. In fact, even though Golds are slightly larger in most cases, many Bronzes weigh heavier thanks to the addition of muscle, making them have to work even harder during training efforts such as first flights. A bronze's hide is not a true bronze, as the metal is, but rather a more olive like color, which can range from light to dark, as well as occasionally being a more brown-tinted shade, or even more of a copper or gold color, though the last is exceedingly rare. Dominant and proud, Bronzes are natural leaders, and often partner Queens in the various leadership roles throughout the weyr, even from a young age. Though they can let their natural pride get in the way sometimes, even the most arrogant of Bronzes seems to know how to get things done, and so their more negative traits are often overlooked. However, some Bronzes can take on a more fatherly role, while still others prefer to take a back-seat to the true leaders, supporting others from behind the scenes. Mating Habits :
Bronzes mature between 1 and 1 1/2 turns of age, and can Chase any rank of female, though they tend to Chase larger females, the smaller females often being too quick for them to Catch.RHODIUMSize Range :
40-45 feet.Gender :
Female only.Impression :
Frequently Impresses to females, though will occasionally Impress to more feminine males.General Information :
The only true Sub-Queen, Rhodiums appear to be genetically engineered from Golds, retaining their larger size and ability to clutch though they lack some of the power their larger sisters have, and thus often serve only as Junior Weyrwomen or Weyrqueens, only attaining Weyrwoman-status if no other of-age golds are available. They tend to serve more in a Healer's capacity, due to their more gentle nature, and their larger size allows them to catch, or help bolster, almost any injured dragon. Many also show strong Empathic talents, which also helps when they need to calm a group of dragons, or even humans.
The gentler Queens, Rhodiums are known for their calm, trusting, diplomatic natures, where Golds tend to be more martial and fierce. They make excellent clutch mothers, but also do well in leadership roles where they are allowed to help their weyr out using their unique abilities, such as serving in the Healer's Hall, or calming down a rowdy crowd, quietly assisting the Leaders of the weyr from behind the scenes. However, they have a backbone of absolute steel, and there are no lengths that a Rhodium will not go to if necessary to protect those they are closest to. Truly unique in color, Rhodiums are an intriguing mix of black, silver, and white in any combination of patterns, some being nearly all white with little black or silver, while others have each color on their hide evenly. Mating Habits :
Rhodiums mature right around 2 turns of age, and Rise once or twice a turn thereafter, laying clutches numbering between 6 and 14 eggs.STEEL / IRONSize Range :
35-42 feetGender :
Steels - Male only, 80% / Irons - Female only, 20%Impression :
Frequently Impresses to males or masculine females, though Irons will sometimes Impress to more feminine males and females.General Information :
Highest of the ranks with naturally occurring males and females, the males of this rank, the Steels, are often seen sharing positions of leadership with the slightly larger Bronzes, even occasionally holding the position of Senior or Junior Weyrleader while the females, the Irons, are far rarer, with an even rarer few being fertile and thus ranking as Sub-Queens. Infertile Irons often have leadership positions within the wings, serving especially well as second in commands to the wingleaders.
If ever a dragon as to be considered regal, it would certainly be one of this rank. Noble, honorable, if a tad bit judgmental at times, both Irons and Steels share a code of honor that knights of old would have found very in line with their own ways, and very little can sway them to do something that is against their ethics, save for direct threat to their rider. They often serve as guardians and sit in on Judgments, where their opinions are highly valued. Though classified as a 'higher' rank, both Irons and Steels share a smaller, slightly more slender frame rather than the muscular bulk of those above them, though length wise they can easily be as large as a Rhodium or small Bronze. Their hides are intriguing, being naturally gray with markings to indicate their gender. The more common Steels have slightly lighter gray hides that bear, or develop as they age, markings in slate blues, while the far rarer Iron females are slightly darker in their base gray color, and often bear, or develop as they age, markings in rusty browns and reds. Mating Habits :
Males mature around 8 months of age, and can Chase any rank of female, occasionally even winning a Queen Flight. Infertile females will mature at around a Turn of age and will Fly twice a Turn, while fertile females will mature closer to two Turns of age and will Fly twice a Turn as well, laying clutches of 1 to 4 eggs.BROWNSize Range :
32-38 FeetGender :
Male only.Impression :
Impresses most commonly to masculine males, though will rarely Impress to masculine females.General Information :
The middle of all ranks, both before and after the engineered dragons took their places amongst the ranks, Browns have long been known as the workhorses of the weyr, their steady, sturdy presence serving them well in either leadership positions or support roles. Though rare, Browns can Catch a Queen, even a Gold, allowing them such positions as Senior or Junior Weyrleader, though far more commonly they are seen as leaders within the Wings, whether it be as Wingleaders, or Seconds and Thirds. They are also very helpful with Healers, since their stamina and size allows them to easily help injured dragons, or even air-lift injured whers. Another area they often excel in is teaching, and whether it be with Candidates or Weyrlings, they make excellent Masters.
Though they are considered middle-ranked, Browns are far larger than their length might at first make them appear. In fact, Browns, on average, tend to weight nearly as much as Bronzes due to their sheer bulk and size, and save for a rare few slimmer Browns, tend towards power-packed and muscular. They can come in any shade of brown to light tans and creams to chestnut to the darkest of black-browns, though many tend to hover in the middle ranges, with both extremely dark and extremely light Browns being fairly rare, though Flight Browns do tend to be lighter in color. Browns tend towards more mature, father-like personalities, often taking responsibility for those around them without displaying the arrogance and overbearing pride of a Bronze, while also being a bit calmer and dignified. Not to say that all browns are like this, of course, since they have their own share of differences, but still, most Browns are calmer than your average dragon. Mating Habits :
Males mature right around a Turn of ageBLUESize Range :
28-34 Feet.Gender :
Male onlyImpression :
Most often Impresses to males, though will sometimes Impress to masculine females.General Information :
Often paired with greens as scouts and fast, dive-bomb fighters, Blues are another rank that makes up a large part of any wing, their speed and agility in the air almost unmatched, though paired with a touch more endurance that allows them to fly for just slightly longer. Blues often hold secondary leadership positions within wings, doing especially well as Seconds or Thirds, as well as making excellent Trainers such as Candidate or Weyrlingmasters. Blues also quite often double as Searchriders, their ability at finding suitable candidates nearly unmatched by any rank.
Displaying a stunning diversity that rivals their green sisters, Blues can come in any shade their rank would indicate, from light sky and gray blues to darkest navies, even sometimes leaning towards the more purple or green spectrums. They can also have a wide difference in body types, and while most will tend towards the classic lean, slim, and speedy, there are Blues that can take after some higher ranks by being a bit heftier and more muscular, though they rarely grow outside normal length ranges. Blues are most well known for their generally positive demeanor and often empathic natures. Even the surliest of Blues seems to have instinctive knowledge of the feelings of those around them, though they will not act on it, and this rank is one of the absolute best at Searching out possible candidates, hands down. However, they are also the rank most likely to develop Null talents, Mating Habits :
Blues mature between 8 and 10 months of age, and rarely Chase anything higher than a Steel due to their small size.BISMUTHSize Range :
26-30 Feet.Gender :
Male - 70%, Females 30%Impression :
Males and females equally. General Information :
Another possible Brown mutation, Bismuth's can hold various ranks within wings, though rarely do they ever achieve high leadership positions within the weyr itself, due not only to their relatively small size in comparison to Queens, but also due to their personalities. Their bloodthirsty natures make them excellent fighters within any wing, though it sometimes takes quite an effort to pull them away from the battlefield, but they also do surprisingly well as spies or scouts.
Stunning in appearance, Bismuth dragons might look like normal Browns at first glance, but when one looks closer, they'll often notice metallic markings in a wide variety of colors showing up on their hides, a rare few even possessing a full range of rainbow colors showing up within their markings, making them one of the most beautiful dragons to look at. However, their personalities are far from lovely. Hard to handle, Bismuth's are not precisely the easiest of dragons to get along with, often possessing major attitudes that does not allow them to fit in well with wings. Surly and aggressive, Bismuth's are the closest to whers that any dragons can get, and will often cause fights amongst themselves or other dragons with little cause. However, they are fiercely protective of their riders and those few others that gain their trust or affection, and while they can make absolutely horrifying enemies, there is no greater protector or guardian than a Bismuth. Mating Habits :
Males and females both mature between 10 and 12 months of age. Females are infertile. GREENSize Range :
20-28 Feet.Gender :
Female onlyImpression :
Frequently Impresses to females, though they also Impress to more feminine males. General Information :
The original fighter female of the Weyr, Greens have long been known for both their small size and their great speed, making them among the greatest of fighters, originally against thread and now in Battles. Their small size translates into a great deal of speed and agility, and what Greens lack in stamina they more than make up for in sheer heart, and they make up the backbone of any wing. A large portion of any weyr is made up of Greens, their numbers being the greatest out of any rank, and though they often serve as scouts and wide-ranging guards for the weyrs, they truly shine in wings where they can use their speed and agility to their advantage, outrunning enemies or flaming in strafing runs along a line of ground units.
Greens have, along with the Blues, the widest color range of all the ranks, coming in any shade of green from darkest near-black emeralds to lightest almost white greens, some appearing almost golden yellow-greens while others are closer to teal or turquoise, which occasionally leads to a great deal of confusion when it comes to figuring out exactly what rank they are. These females also have an incredibly wide range of personality types and traits, being as varied as the humans they Impress to, though many non-riders still believe most greens to be flirtatious, sexual creatures thanks to their frequent Flight schedule. However, this isn't precisely true of all Greens, and should not be taken into account when meeting one. Mating Habits :
Infertile females, Greens mature between 8 and 10 months of age, and Fly three to five times a Turn. COPPERSize Range :
18-22 Feet.Gender :
Female 60%, Male 40%Impression :
Males and females equally. Generally Impresses to those candidates that either are as daring as they are, or can curb their more daring and outgoing actions.General Information :
One of the very first of the genetic quirks that bred true when the scientists began first experimenting with dragon genetics, Coppers were deemed quite the success, no less than three hatching the very first time they appeared. At first thought to be mistaken for small Queens, it was quickly revealed that they were, in fact, the smallest of dragons, about the size of the fabled White Ruth, with the females lacking the ability to lay clutches, though the males themselves could sire a Clutch if they happened to Catch a fertile female. Coppers serve as scouts and fierce fighters in any wing, though they can be a bit hard to handle when the battle-lust is upon them,
Coppers initially can be mistaken for particularly small, and particularly orange colored, Queens, though as they age this notion is quickly disabused. Their bright orange or orange-brown hides lack the metallic nature of a Gold Queen, and as they grow older, often develop spots of green or brown in complimenting tones to their original hide color, though a rare few Coppers are hatched with these markings already in place. These tiny terrors are fast and fierce, able to fly into and out of places almost faster than thought, and have a fiery, aggressive attitude to match. Daring and reckless, Coppers are among the most often injured of dragons, and their riders must learn quickly to harness their dragon's natural energy and attempt to stave off the more dangerous of their actions.Mating Habits :
Coppers mature at around eight months for both males and females. Males will often Chase lower ranked females, while the sterile females rise three to four times a turn.