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    Mawgrim
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
Dragonriders of Pern series was created by Ann McCaffrey in 1967 and spans 24+ books published by Ballantine Books, Atheneum Books, Bantam Books, and Del Rey Books.  Any recognizable content in this story is from Ann McCaffrey, Todd McCaffrey, Gigi McCaffrey or their representatives or inheritors.  Original content provided by author of this FanFiction story without monetary compensation.

The World of Pern - 3. Dragons

Dragons were developed from the much smaller fire lizards as a low-tech solution to the problem of destroying Thread before it reached the ground.

Dragons

Dragons, being an engineered species, have some similarities - and many differences - to the wild fire lizards. Unlike fire lizards, who can choose to leave their human companions at any time, dragons bond for life when they hatch in an unbreakable partnership, termed Impression.

The first dragons were around the height of a medium sized horse (sixteen hands) and around ten to twelve feet in length but over subsequent generations, eventually reached their full design size. A fully grown dragon can easily take the weight of their rider, who sits between two of the neck ridges. They can carry several passengers in addition, or cargo slung in nets or sacks. They are very strong.

Similar to fire lizards, the size ranges from the largest golds to the smallest greens. In dragons the golden queens range from 38-42 feet long, followed by bronzes (35-38 feet), browns (30-35 feet), blues (25-30 feet) and greens (20-25 feet). The larger dragons generally have the most power and stamina, while the smaller colours are more speedy and agile. A gold dragon can 'command' any of the other colours and they will instinctively obey their queen.

Dragons are carnivores and like most meat-eaters, only need to eat every few days. It goes without saying that the larger the dragon, the more he or she needs to eat.
Like their smaller relations, dragons enjoy basking in the sun and swimming. Although they enjoy warmth, they don't seem to be affected by the intense cold of between in the same way that humans are. They have the ability to hold their breath for several minutes; very useful in the airless conditions of between or when on board a space ship!

Dragons live very much in the here and now. They have fairly short memories of events (a useful adaptation considering they were designed to fight Thread, during which they are often badly injured). The human in the partnership is supposed to add a certain degree of wisdom and foresight to moderate the dragon's behaviour. For example, when a gold dragon rises to mate, she will often want to eat before flying. If she is allowed to do this, she won't fly very far and will therefore lay fewer eggs. It's the job of her rider to stop her from over-eating and ensure she only bloods the kill, giving her energy to fly well without weighing her down.

Kitti Ping originally designed the dragons to bond with humans of the same gender (so gold and greens with women and bronze, brown and blue with men). However, Pern suffered from several plagues, reducing the available population and necessitating that women have as many children as possible, which caused a major problem to this original plan.
Like fire lizards, dragons can teleport between, which has adverse affects on a human foetus. Women who ride dragons often suffer miscarriages early in pregnancy. As the gold dragons are only a small percentage of the population in a Weyr, this doesn't create too much of a problem. However, greens make up around fifty percent of the fighting force, so if many of their riders were unable to fly between due to pregnancy it would hugely reduce the number of dragons available to fight Thread.
Thus, from fairly early on in Pern's history, young girls were no longer permitted to stand for anything other than gold dragons when eggs were hatching. As all dragons have to bond with a human at hatching, or die, the female greens pragmatically began to bond with boys instead. As the years passed, the memory of women riding green dragons faded to the extent that it became an assumption that girls cannot Impress fighting dragons, only the golden queens.

Breeding
Gold and green dragons are both capable of laying eggs, as do fire lizards. However, the chewing of firestone renders the greens infertile, although they still rise to mate. Gold dragons are unable to process firestone in the same way as the other colours, thus preventing them from inadvertently becoming unable to breed.
When a gold dragon rises to mate, she broadcasts her lust over a wide area and anyone in the vicinity will feel the effects. This is one reason why Weyrs are situated well away from Holds and other human habitation. It has also led to the idea among the wider population that Weyrs are places where, sexually, anything goes.
Dragonriders don't marry, unlike the rest of Pern, and a weyrwoman (the rider of a gold dragon) will probably sleep with many different men during the reproductive part of her dragon's life. It is often said, 'the dragon decides; the rider complies', meaning that the dragon chooses who she will mate with and her rider just has to go along with it. From a human point of view, this might mean you end up having sex with someone you hate, just because your two dragons like each other. You may not even be fully aware of what you are doing as your dragon's mating lust totally overwhelms you. During the mating flight, you mind is linked with your dragon and it's very important that you stay mentally connected with them for the entire time.
Gold dragons rise to mate approximately once every Turn, although the frequency increases during a Pass, when more dragons are needed to replace those injured or killed while fighting Thread. The longer the mating flight, the more eggs will be laid. As a dragon nears the end of her reproductive life, she will rise less often and lay fewer eggs.
Generally, only bronze dragons have the stamina to catch a gold, although it has been known historically for the occasional brown dragon to succeed.
Green dragons rise to mate every three or four months. Their mating flights are usually much shorter than that of a gold and most people in the vicinity remain unaffected by their mating lust. For the riders, however, it is just as intense an experience to a bronze/gold pairing and they are equally as compelled to have sex with each other while their dragons mate, regardless of their usual preferences. So, for example, if you are a heterosexual bronze rider and your dragon decides to catch a green, you will end up having sex with another man whether you want to or not. It's just an accepted part of Weyr life and is another contributory factor to the rest of Pernese society thinking that the Weyrs are full of sex mad people who will sleep with anyone, anytime.

©1967-2022 Ann McCaffrey, Todd McCaffrey, Gigi McCaffrey; All Rights Reserved; Copyright © 2020 Mawgrim; All Rights Reserved.
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If you think I've left anything vital out or got anything wrong, please leave comments.

Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
Dragonriders of Pern series was created by Ann McCaffrey in 1967 and spans 24+ books published by Ballantine Books, Atheneum Books, Bantam Books, and Del Rey Books.  Any recognizable content in this story is from Ann McCaffrey, Todd McCaffrey, Gigi McCaffrey or their representatives or inheritors.  Original content provided by author of this FanFiction story without monetary compensation.

Story Discussion Topic

It is with great sadness I must announce the death of Mawgrim, Promising Author on GA. He had been in declining health for some time and passed away on Christmas Day. Mawgrim worked for decades as a cinema projectionist before his retirement and was able to use this breadth of knowledge to his stories set in cinemas. He also gave us stories with his take on the World of Pern with its dragon riders. He will be greatly missed and our condolences go out to his friends, family, and his husband.
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