Title: The Dragons of Sapphos
Lucius - December 5, 2010 12:00 AM (GMT)
size: 30-45 meters
color: Dark goldenrod to bright yellow to nearly white
Gold dragons, also called queens, are the largest dragons on Pern. Fertile gold dragons are by far the rarest dragons on Pern. 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. An egg that is going to hatch a gold dragon is notable: it is gold-colored and larger than other eggs.
Due to a natural mutation, five out of every six golds is sterile and can produce flame. These fighter golds can be distinguished by the fact that they do not hatch from gold eggs. It is guessed that the fighter golds can Impress to men.
size: 30-40 meters
color: Brass to light tan
Bronze dragons are the largest males on Pern. 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. All bronze riders at this point in time are women.
size: 30-35 meters
color: Near-black to light caramel
Browns are the middlemen of the Weyr. Often placed as wingseconds, browns usually lack the drive to dominate that most bronzes have. Brown riders are capable of mating with queens, but this is rare and not as desirable as a bronze mating.
size: 25-30 meters
color: Any shade of blue. Occasionally has purple hues.
Blue dragons are the smallest males. They are nearly as agile as greens, but unlike the greens, they have more stamina to fly longer distances. 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 dragons are also the best at Searching.
size: 20-25 meters
color: Any shade of green.
Green dragons are among the smallest dragons. They are female, but unlike the queens, they are infertile and can produce flame. They are extremely valuable because of their agility, but they lack the stamina to last very long in the air. Originally, greens Impressed to girls; however, after various natural disasters and plagues decimated Pern's population, women were needed to help repopulate the planet. Thus, green dragons began Impressing boys. During the Ninth pass, however, girls Impressing green was rediscovered.
size: 18-23 meters
gender: Female or Male; 50%, 50%
color: Gold or Cream with black spots
OOC we call them Cheetahs; IC they are yellow or spotted felines. Cheetahs are the smallest dragons on Pern. They have long legs and wide wings, which look quite amusing on such a slender frame. Cheetahs aren't very graceful in the air, but they make up for it with an incredibly fast, incredibly graceful run. Sometimes to kick off Flights, a female Cheetah will run several leagues before taking to the air. Cheetahs are prone to being blunt, impatient, and restless, but they can also be brave, quick-witted, and resourceful. They're not very bossy and don't like leading, but they're capable of self-support.
size: 30-35 meters
gender: Female or Male; 60%, 40%
color: Beige, cream, or light brown with various white or black markings
OOC these are called cougars, pumas, or mountain lions; IC these are regarded as white felines or rock felines. Cougars are more lithe than browns with heavily muscled hind legs. They are skilled with jumping, climbing, and flying--combining the agility of blues with the stamina of bronzes, cougars are capable of leading wings with ease. The typical cougar is vain, arrogant, and commanding. They are prone to being reckless. Male cougars cannot be kept too close together, and in flights, two male cougars will fight if not kept in check by their riders.
size: 32-42 meters
gender: Female or Male; 40%, 60%
color: Orange, red or brown with black stripes; rarely white with black stripes
Clutch: Yes, but only in a case of no golds. It will lay one egg, often a gold or another tiger. RARELY: 1-20 eggs, 1-10 being the most common range
OOC these felines are called Tigers; IC these are included in the feline color, often called red felines or striped felines. Tigers are the largest of the felines, and the smallest of tigers is larger than the smallest of golds. Tigers might be the largest of dragons, but they have little desire to lead. Tigers are solitary creatures who avoid other dragons whenever possible. Like whers, they are incredibly possessive and a threat to what they consider to be theirs will result in a burst of temper. Tigers are built for strength and stamina, but don't have much agility or speed. They do, however, have webbing between their toes for increased swimming ability.
size: 35-40 meters
color: Bright red to dark red.
Clutch: Unknown. Reds do not rise.
Reds are female bronzes, in basic ideas, but their rank is considered slightly lower. A red never rises to mate. She is sterile and has no interest in such trifles, thinking it to be beneath dignity. Reds are noble creatures who are sometimes arrogant and pushy, depending on the dragon. They make excellent companions, as they are often loving to their riders. Reds hatch quietly, and they almost never maul.
size: 35-40 meters
color: Deep, cobalt blue. Sometimes lighter or darker, but most cobalts are uniform in coloration.
Cobalt dragons are not anywhere close to being “sleek” and “slender”. Cobalts are huge, massive creatures adorned with added spines and white horns. A Cobalt is a strong, powerful beast, and woe to those that enrage him. However, despite being strong and agile, most Cobalts do not chase queens. A Cobalt shares an egg with his sister, the Calcium, and his ultimate priority is to protect her. He has the ability to nullify her stronger powers, and only a specific Cobalt can block a specific Calcium. This is necessary, as without a Cobalt, a Calcium would go insane. Mating flights will circumvent a Cobalt’s ability, regardless of whether the Calcium is rising or the Cobalt is chasing. And so, a Cobalt will not chase if his Calcium sister alive. The exception is if the Calcium is rising, and then the Cobalt is free to chase. Cobalts are quiet, often brooding thinkers. They usually keep to themselves, though it is to be noted that a Cobalt has a horrible temper and hates when something that he sees as his is threatened. Other personality traits vary from dragon to dragon.
size: 15-20 meters
color: Gray-white, looks powdery.
How interesting! How impressive! The Calcium is perhaps the most impressive color on all of Pern, and even more lucrative than a gold. Why? Well, why not? She’s smaller, easier to ride, and above all they're far rarer than any other dragon ever! They can read minds and sense life and even see into the future. Some are even able to move objects with their minds!
Oh, if being a Calcium rider was that simple.
The Impression of a Calcium stands out even more than most Impressions. For a brief moment, the rider is filled with a state of complete delirium. Every voice and soul and presence forces its way into his head. He screams but that does not drown out the noise—the constant noise, the voices the noise—
The limits of the memory are abolished. Calcium riders and their dragons remember everything in vivid detail, and even things they thought they had forgotten come back to the surface. Things that will be come to pass. Sometimes a basket of meat tips over. If one does not go insane after this, it is a miracle—
And then it stops. The Cobalt Impresses, and it is his voice that fills the mind: “You know now what power you have. And I will protect you from it.”
A calcium’s coloration is uneven. It has a powdery appearance with various tones of silver and blue on a background of white. She might have darker wing membranes, or a spot of blue on her forehead. She is small and built like a wraith. A Calcium looks as if she might break. Calciums do not hunt for themselves, and in fact cannot kill anything without great agony. This often extends to the rider, and even swatting a fly can mean the sick feeling of a life going out. The one power the Cobalt doesn’t block is the power to sense life, and this comes off as both a strength and a weakness. A calcium rider is often reserved and quiet, and his dragon is just as asocial and hesitant as he is. Most of the precognitive abilities are taken away by the Cobalt, though a Calcium can often sense things shortly before they happen.
Not much is known about cobalts and calciums. They are the newest dragons to appear at Sapphos, and by far the strangest. The egg that lays a Cobalt and Calcium is notable. It is midnight blue, nearly black, and is lined with silver. The egg is as large as a queen egg.
****Cobalts and Calciums are IMPRESSION ONLY, and we are very picky with them! Asking for Cobalts or Calciums will probably result in a painful answer. We do not allow cobalt/calcium-only candidates.****
size: see base color
gender: see base color
color: Colorless. Greenish in areas of thick veins. There are no markings on albino dragons. Eyes will either be light green or very light blue-green. There are no color-changing effects.
Albinos are perhaps the most interesting of all dragons on Pern. Due to a defect in genetics, certain dragons are born colorless. They have pure white skin that looks greenish around areas with many veins. Their eyes do not change color, but are usually light blue or green all the time. An albino acts just like a normal color would, and are rarely treated differently. Albino Golds are often called White-Golds.
Please do not put Albino under a wanted/unwanted color. Albinism is NOT a color, but a condition.
Dragons are instinctual and they have a strict hierarchical system. The riders do not necessarily comply, as certain green riders have more respect than certain bronze riders, but dragons do. When a higher-ranked dragon orders a lower-ranked dragon to do something, the lower ranked dragon must comply. The Senior Gold has the highest authority in the Weyr, and her orders are to be followed.Clutching
Gold x BronzeFlights
Gold: Extremely Rare
Bronze/Fighter Gold/Tiger/Red: Rare
Gold x Brown
Bronze/Red: Extremely Rare
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 increased 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, queenriders 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.
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 greenriders are male. During these periods, all green mating flights result 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 personal preferences 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. Anne McCaffrey stated that "The dragon decides, the rider complies." Dragons do not usually consider the preferences of their riders when considering what female they wish to chase, or for a female dragon, what male dragon might catch her. A primary example of this behavior is between Weyrleader T'gellan, Weyrwoman Talina and greenrider Mirrim. T'gellan and Mirrim are weyrmates, but T'gellan's bronze dragon must mate with Weyrwoman Talina's gold dragon at least yearly in order for T'gellan to maintain his position as Weyrleader. Mirrim, known to be an extremely acerbic and temperamental rider, shows no jealousy or other problem with her weyrmate's regular sexual contact with Talina.
Both green and gold dragons broadcast their sexual feelings on a wide band 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 flightpath 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 preference. 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.
A note on Mating Flights and “insta-couples”:
The Weyrs have had to loosen treatment of relationships and sex in general because the amount of greenflights alone in an average weyr would mean that these events, the flights, that cause riders to incoherently mate would be occurring up to five times a WEEK. The sanctity of sex is somewhat lost when it occurs with so many people, so frequently. I elaborate:
So I'm thinking that, according to the novels, we have an average of 250 dragons in a fully-populated CANON weyr; I will estimate and say that the breakdown of colors is as follows:
This means that 138 out of 250 dragons will be green. Also a canon fact is that greens rise at a rate of about four times per turn. Four flights per turn times 138 dragons is about 552 flights. There are 52 weeks in a year, 365 days in a year. (though the Pern calendar varies slightly).
552 flights in 365 days. Most days there would be two greenflights in one day. The greens are ALWAYS rising.
Now, 3% of 250 dragons is about 8 golds. Who all rise anywhere from twice a turn to once every other turn. We’re going to average that out as once a turn. That is 8 days out of the turn, and we know that golds ideally don’t even rise within the same week as each other. But it’s still eight days and, irrelevantly, gold flights can be HOURS long. According to the novels, the longer the flight, the bigger the clutch.
560 flights a year.
That’s a lot of casual sex.
The point is, dragonriders often have no control over who they are sleeping with and when. They are compelled to sleep with the winner of a flight and they are compelled to seek sexual release afterward even if they do not win. The same dragon is unlikely to win every flight of his weyrmate’s dragon. No matter how much they love each other.
Relationships in the Weyr are very casual. Sex is just another part of life and mating flight sex is not considered “cheating” and is shrugged off by riders in committed relationships. Just because someone wins your dragon’s flight does not mean it’s “TRUE LOVE” and does not mean you and that rider are in a relationship.
Sometimes sex is just sex.
from Wikipedia and Caislean Weyr
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