All Candidates, regardless of gender and sexuality, have a chance to Impress any color.
Males have a slightly increased chance of Impressing brown, and females have a slightly increased chance of Impressing green. However, female brownriders and male greenriders are by no means unusual.
Size: 20 feet - 26 feet nose to tail.
Sex: Neuter (usually born with a clearly defined gender identity)
Role: Courier/lightweight fighter
Note: Whites on the smallest end of the scale may actually have trouble bearing a large rider.
Whites are among the rarest of colors, but after the successful Impression of Ruth, they are a known and accepted mutation. If a dud egg is suspected to be a white, it will be carefully cracked open to save the dragon inside. Whites are valued for their excellent betweening
abilities and maneuverability that surpasses even a green's. However, timing it is considered extremely taboo
. Any white (or any other dragonrider) caught timing it at Nightwatch will be executed
. No exceptions, no second chances.Greens
Size: 26 feet - 35 feet nose to tail
Role: Clutcher/lightweight fighter
Greens are the most common color, making up 50 percent of Pern's dragon population. At Nightwatch, they are also considered the most valuable. They are small and deft enough to outfly nearly any threat, they are excellent fighters... and they are Nightwatch's future. It was discovered by accident that Kitti Ping was far more intelligent than most would give her credit for: she would not risk the utter extinction of Pern on 1% of the population. Apparently, when raised in the complete absence of a gold, greens will obtain limited fertility. Not to the extent of a gold - and firestone will make their Flights even less likely to be viable - but every greenrider is now given a choice upon reaching their dragon's first Turn. Either chew firestone as a fighting greenpair, or abstain as a clutching greenpair. Clutching greens Rise less often, only around twice a turn on average as opposed to four for their fighting sisters, and they do not clutch every time. But while each individual clutch is small, together the large population of greens makes up for it.Blues
Size: 35 feet - 43 feet nose to tail
Role: Middleweight fighter
Not much has changed about the role of blues. They are middleweight fighters, prized for their versatility. They are still the favorites to win greenflights, although that means relatively little with the abolition of the Flight-linked Weyrleader position. Still, a blue is always a valued addition to any wing; they have greater stamina than the greens, they can all flame, and they are quicker than a brown. A blue will sometimes carry a Second, although they just as often fly solo. It is a matter of rider preference.Reds
Size: 39 feet - 47 feet nose to tail
Nightwatch's newest female color, and a direct result of the Blight. There seems to be only a narrow window in which a green can clutch a red - they must be healthy enough to clutch, but Blighted enough that mutations pass to their offspring. Reds are between a blue and brown in size. There are now enough reds in existence to confirm that they are uniformly female. It is not known yet whether they can clutch; it will remain to be seen whether the first redrider chooses to try, or to give his dragon firestone. Reds have a naturally reduced resistance to the mental effects of Deep Ones, and in the presence of a Panic or a Wrath they may become a danger to themselves or to other dragons.IMPRESSING A RED GIVES THE RIDER A PERMANENT POINT OF BLIGHT.Browns
Size: 51 feet - 43 feet nose to tail
Role: Heavyweight fighter
If greens and blues are the fighter jets, browns are the bombers. They are slightly rarer than the others, although not significantly so - still, this works well, as a wing comprised primarily of browns simply would not work. They need greens and blues watching their flanks for their own safety. Browns, however, do form a vital part of Nightwatch culture. They tend to hit hardest against tough foes, and they will almost always carry a Second, either a rifleman or a flamethrower. Some browns will actually carry three passengers: their rider and a pair of Seconds.Blacks
Size: ??? feet - ??? feet nose to tail
Nightwatch's newest male color, and a direct result of the Blight. The only existing black is male, and hatched from a clutch where both sire and dam were moderately Blighted. Current growth rate suggests that blacks will be somewhere between a green and a blue in size. Black dragons have a memory more comparable to that of a wher or human, rather than the usual brief memory span of a dragon. Other than that, not much is known about them yet.IMPRESSING A BLACK GIVES THE RIDER A PERMANENT POINT OF BLIGHT.Metallics
Size: Freakin' huge, man.
Sex: Bronzes male, golds female
As far as it is currently known, greens cannot clutch bronze or gold. They seem to lack the genetics for it, at least when being caught by blues and browns. Nightwatch does not accept bronze or gold transfers - and even if they did, no other Weyr on Pern would voluntarily give up one of the few remaining metallics to the only people on Pern sharding insane enough to actively antagonize the Deep Ones
. So yes, these colors do still exist, but are unlikely to see play. However, if your character's dragon was born at another Weyr, they were born to a normal gold clutch. Nightwatch is currently the only weyr with greenclutches.