Whers are the second of the genetically engineered creatures designed to defend Pern from the alien threat of Thread. They resemble dragons, though far smaller and a bit malformed, and are suited only to the night time due to extremely light and heat sensitive eyes. Their bond-mates, termed Handlers, are required to become nocturnal as well.
Though of lower intelligence than Dragons, whers display many of the same abilities, including telepathy, empathy, the ability to breathe fire through the use of firestone, and limited Betweening capabilities. Unlike dragons, no whers display an intolerance to firestone, and their fertility will not be affected by it, though they appear to need to consume it in larger qualities to maintain similar flame sizes as dragons do, even though dragons are far larger.
Similar in design to dragons, with two pairs of legs and a single pair of wings, whers are vastly different in their appearance. Their hides have a more gnarled and bumpy feel to them, often requiring even more oiling since they're prone to dry out faster, and often develop wrinkles around the joints. A wher's legs are more even in length, providing a far faster and easier ground pace, both in walking and running, but their wings are incredibly small, much too small to actually hold up a creature their size for more than short glides, and thus, they are unable to truly fly. A wher's head is typically heavier, and overall they are a more muscular, meaty species when compared to dragons, and can be deemed unrefined and even bulky, but all in all they aren't nearly as ugly as most people make them out to be.
Wher's names will always be an extension of their handler's with the addition of 'sk' at the end, with the length of the name being an indication of the strength of their bond. For instance, a wher bonded to a human named Huqar would have a stronger bond if their name was Huqarsk than if it were Husk or Huqask. A wher's name can even change over time, reflecting the bond, or they can drop their name entirely and choose a new one through rebonding or going feral.
Female onlyGeneral Personality Traits :
Powerful, in charge, dominant females, Golds can easily be the wher you don't want to mess with. Even for their handlers they can be a bit hard to control, forming their own opinions and attitudes early on, though they can also be motherly, loyal, and companionable if given the chance. However, most Golds now know all too well the weight resting on their shoulders and tend towards a more militaristic, fierce breed. General Appearance :
Largest of all whers, Golds are certainly impressive beasts. Tall and long, they often weigh slightly less than Bronzes, but are still usually larger when compared side by side. Physically Golds tend to be the most well put together, often resembling dragons far more closely than most ranks, with longer headknobs and slightly larger wings for their breed, though few can ever actually fly with them. Their hides, as given by their name, can appear in all shades of gold from lightest to darkest and anywhere in between. Breeding Habits :
Gold Whers mature around 1 1/2 to 2 turns, and Run once or twice a turn afterwards, clutching between 4 and 10 eggs, with few to no duds.BronzeGender :
Male onlyGeneral Personality Traits :
Like their Queens, bronzes tend towards being headstrong and dominant, males that often let their emotions get in front of their thoughts, or the orders of their handlers, and go charging into situations they could easily have avoided. They still maintain the unique leadership qualities of their similar dragon rank, and make good leaders when they can be focused into doing so, but for the most part bronzes serve better directly underneath Queens rather than as solo leaders themselves. General Appearance :
Though often heavier than Golds, Bronzes are actually typically smaller than the females that they rank directly under, however they simply look bulkier, lacking even the slightest hints of femininity that curve out a Gold's form. Unfortunately, they tend to have some head and muzzle problems, the most common being over or underbites, though generally these problems never actually get in the way and are merely cosmetic. Bronzes can come in any shade from olive bronze to black bronze, with copper and golden bronze tones being incredibly rare.Breeding Habits :
Bronzes mature around 16 months of age.DiamondGender :
Male and female (50::50)General Personality Traits :
Cold, cunning, and calculating, Diamonds are whers that use their minds to an extent rarely seen in the species, and though still not on par with dragons, or humans, Diamonds are easily the most intelligent of whers. Some use their intelligence to support their Claws, while others seek to displace those ranked above them and take those positions for themselves, though they tend to not make quite as good leaders since they're more thinkers, rather than do'ers. However, on battle fields they can come up with almost instantaneous strategies that makes them practically invaluable. General Appearance :
Sleeker and shorter, but long, Diamonds seem out of place among the higher ranks with their more serpentine bodies, whip-like and sharp with fewer muscles to make them blocky. Both genders have a similar silvery-gray hide color, each with markings over at least 10% but no more than 25% of their bodies, with males having markings in coppers, blues and whites, while females have markings in golds, greens, and reds.Breeding Habits :
Male Diamonds mature around 14/15 months of age, and female Diamonds mature right around 2 turns, a little older than average for Golds, and Run only once a Turn. However, they have consistent clutches ranging from 2 to 6 eggs, and can clutch any rank a Gold can.BrownGender :
Male onlyGeneral Personality Traits :
Easier to handle and often quite calm in temperament, Browns are among the most welcomed wher ranks, since they seem to cause the least amount of problems, and give the most back to their communities, whether as fighters or scouts or helping out the healers. Browns are solid beasts that generally won't start a fight, but neither will they back down when they are faced with one. General Appearance :
Smaller in length but often just as, if not even more, bulky than their larger Bronze and Diamond brothers, Browns pack a mean punch when they want to. For some strange reason, they have an incredibly diverse range of sizes, some easily growing as large as even larger bronzes, while others can be as small as large blues. Browns can come in any shade from tan to coffee to black-brown.Breeding Habits :
Browns mature around a turn of age.TanzaniteGender :
Female onlyGeneral Personality Traits :
Mischievous, playful, and kittenish have all been used to describe a Tanzanite's personality, and typically they're light-hearted creatures, more interested in playing pranks with their handlers or simply dozing out in the sun, but they can be absolutely viscous, aggressive enemies when riled, possessing a strange bloodlust when on the battlefield that, despite their smaller size, makes them rather legendary. General Appearance :
All Tanzanites appear strangely built, and its easy to see why... Each and every member of this rank either has an incredibly shortened, or even completely missing, tail, (though they'll often still have the smallest of nubs as a place to defecate or urinate), leaving their body structures altered in compensation, similar to a Manx Cat. They don't appear to have any problems getting around, it just looks rather weird when compared to other whers, and no one is really sure why or how this trait came about. Coming in all shades of purple, its easy to see how some Tanzanites can get mixed up with Blues, especially if their shades are right on the border between either blue or purple. Breeding Habits :
Tanzanites mature right around 14-16 months, and will Run two times a turn after that, often producing duds in clutches that range from zero to four eggs.BlueGender :
Male onlyGeneral Personality Traits :
Usually of a lighter nature, its hard to get, or keep, a Blue down. They're like younger siblings, often outgoing and cheerful, sticking their nose into everyone's business and often getting caught up in some wild adventure or retelling a joke they'd just heard, even if they don't really get it themselves. Like Browns, they're among the easiest of wher ranks to get along with, though they can be harder to get to focus, simply because they have so much extra energy. General Appearance :
Typical for a lower rank, Blues tend towards slimmer lines, with just enough muscling to mark them as definite males rather than females, as well as a tendency to be a bit taller than their length gives them credit for. Their hides come in a stunningly wide variety of blues, from deepest darkest navies to the lightest of silvery sky blues, putting them as equals to greens for sheer diversity of coloring. Breeding Habits :
Blues mature around 10 months to a turn of age.GarnetGender :
Male and femaleGeneral Personality Traits :
Though they may look quite frightening thanks to their blood-soaked appearances, Garnets are far different in their personality traits. One of the most gentle creatures, especially for a wher, Garnets typically eschew fighting in all its many forms, preferring the supporting roles of helping out healers or simply standing as guards rather than actually fighting, and only direct threat to their handlers will ever get them to actually throw themselves into battle. Their gentle personalities and drive to help out those around them make them one of the more popular wher ranks, even if they aren't as typically 'useful'.General Appearance :
Ranging from brilliant, bright reds to dark bloods and even darker, almost-black crimsons, Garnets are quite lovely to look upon, even if they can be scary looking if you're to stumble upon them at night. They're built somewhat strangely for a lower rank, compact with a large amount of muscle packed into tiny frames, allowing them to have one of the best combination of both speed and stamina throughout any wher rank. Garnets also all share a physical defect, each and every single one is born without wings. Most blame the genetic tampering that created these new ranks in the first place though no one can say for absolute certain. Breeding Habits :
Garnets mature right around a turn of age. Neither females nor males are fertile.GreenGeneral Personality Traits :
With about as wide a range of personality traits as shades their hides can achieve, there is no way to pin down this rank to a certain set description. They are incredibly diverse, with some acting similar to Golds, others more like Diamonds, and still others more like Blues, and anything in between. They are, however, the lowest ranked, and thus, least intelligent of the species, though the bond they make with their human partners, typically leaning towards the stronger levels, often makes up for this. General Appearance :
Small, slim, and elegantly beautiful, Greens are the race-hounds of the whers, swift enough to beat out any other rank, and flexible enough to get into just about any place they can stick their noses into. Coming in just about any shade of green imaginable, they're beautiful little jewels, each one purely unique from the next.Breeding Habits :
Greens mature right around 12-14 months, and will Run two to four times a turn after that, though their clutches often produce duds or no eggs at all, and rarely are there even one or two viable eggs.