Welcome to the Dictionary of Pern

For definitions of various Pern Terms or Words:

animals aquatics avian bedbugs between
bovine burdenbeast canine, domestic canine, wild canines, wild
caprine chicken craftrider crawlers crawlies
dolphin draftbeast dragon dragon blue dragon bronze
dragon brown dragon gold dragon green dragon white dragonet
dragonkin draybeast duck fallabout feline domestic
feline wild fingertails fireflies firelizard flatfish
flies fly-by fostering geese ghost
grapplers grubs gryphhawk hold holdcraft
holidays impression insects klah kytes
leeches mammals mustelid native avian numbweed
ovine packtail porcine rockmites rollers
runnerbeasts sandworms sea eels shellfish speckler
spiderclaws spinners springs swifts trundlebugs
tunnelsnake turn vtols watch weyr watersnakes
weyr weyrhold weyrling weyrmate wherries domestic
wherries wild whersport wild fowl wrigglers yellowtail


Pern has both native animals and those decended from animals brought by the collonists.

Please ask a wizard to set the race on any animal puppets you may be using. To play an animal with no race attribute set is not allowed as the animal may be @dested if it causes any trouble. Large animals such as watch whers, wherry, runnerbeasts and herdbeasts are not welcome in most 'indoor' locations such as living caverns, great halls, etc. and must be kept in 'outdoor' rooms. If there are complaints about misuse of animal puppets, such as threatening people or having runners or whers attack people for no reason or used to intimidate people, the animal may ICly be 'put down' for public safety (OOCly a wizard @dests the problem animal).

Animals do not talk and must remain IC at all times.

See also:

  • +help dic mammals
  • +help dic avian
  • +help dic insects
  • +help dic dragonkin

Dragons, firelizards and whers must have admin approval. See: '+help rider', '+help wher' or '+help firelizard' for more on those.



Types of aquatic animals on Pern

  • Dolphin
  • Shellfish
  • Fingertails
  • Rockmites
  • Packtail
  • Spiderclaws
  • Speckler
  • Flatfish
  • Yellowtail
  • Watersnakes
  • Fingerfish
  • Sea eels



Pern has the following avian species:

  • Wild Fowl
  • Geese
  • Chicken
  • Duck
  • Native Avian
  • Gryphhawk



A small wingless, biting insect that infests bedding, etc. Something like a mite.



An area of nothingness and sensory deprivation between here and there in a telekinetic transfer. (like a personal wormhole effect, allowing a dragon to travel instantly between two points in a straight line. Coming out of between too early can result in being incased in rock (underground) which pretty much means rider and dragon are dead.) When a dragonrider dies, the dragon goes between to an undefined point, likely ending in the dragon coming out deep underground.



A type of herdbeast descended from Terran cattle. There are both milk and beef cattle.



Descendants of the Terran llama. Used for both pack animals and for wool production.


Canine, Domestic

Descendants of the Terran dog. Used to guard homes, herd livestock, turn spits or even as small pack animals. They also help keep vermin like tunnelsnakes out of holds and homes. Note that canines tend to be bred for a specific job, so a Spit-canine is not going to be able to herd ovines very well and Herd-Canines are not good at carrying packs..


Canine, Wild

Huge wild descendants of feral canines left behind when the colonists moved to the northern continent. Found only on the southern continent.



A type of herdbeast descended from Terran dairy and meat goats. One meat type also produces wool, known as Kashmir.



Small domestic avians used for both meat and eggs. Not common due to difficulty in raising them, but can be found in places like Southern Boll Hold, Keroon Hold and a few other places.



A rider who has returned to the Crafts. Can be a posted Crafter who is a rider at a Weyr or WeyrHold. Craftriders cannot advance beyound JM status and cannot be Masters due to the fact they are dedicated to their dragon first. Most are Independent riders, though some work for Weyrs as posted Crafters or to support their dragons if they can't do it alone. The crafts don't provide support for the dragons as this drains their resources.



A sorta small, six-legged, gecko looking creature that crawls along walls and even ceilings with their sticky little feet.



At one time called Shipfish. Playful, intelligent water-dwelling mammals with a beaklike snout. Fisherman consider them good luck and always let them go if caught in their nets. (Mentasynth enhanced descendants of the Terran dolphin). Able to speak, though not really well.



Genetically Engineered descendants of the Shire Draft horse. Big heavy beasts with mild temperaments.



Winged creatures resembling mythical dragons. Able to breath fire after chewing a phosphorous bearing rock. Originally developed by the early colonists of Pern, before they lost the ability to manipulate DNA. A Dragon is hatched from an egg, and becomes empathically and telepathically bound to its rider for the duration of its life.

See also: +help dic dragon (color)
Colors: gold bronze brown blue green white

Note: No one may have a white dragon, firelizard or wher on PernWorld.


Dragon (Blue)

Male (24-31 meters).

The workhorse of the dragons. Medium sized, the blues are as tough as the greens, but not as maneuverable.


Dragon (Bronze)

Male (35-40 meters).

The leaders of the dragons. All bronzes compete to mate with the gold queens. Generally trained for leadership, bronzes and their riders are often WingLeaders and WingSeconds.


Dragon (Brown)

Male (30-37 meters).

Larger then greens and blues, some well grown browns are as big as the smaller bronzes and could actually mate with the queens if they so dared. They are more intelligent then blues and greens, with greater powers of concentration.


Dragon (Gold)

Female (40-45 meters).

The fertile females of dragonkind. Traditionally mated to any bronze who can catch her. Although browns can mate with queens - and sometimes do- this is unusual and not encouraged, though no one is going to stand in a determined male dragon's way if he chooses to rise after a gold, regardless of his color.


Dragon (Green)

Female (20-26 meters).

The smallest and most numerous of the dragons. Light, highly maneuverable and agile. Greens are sterile genetically due to the fact they were engineered that way in the days of the early colonists. It was believed at one time that firestone made them sterile, due to the fact that golds are fertile and don't chew firestone. In fact, the golds simply lack the ability to process the firestone into flame and only suffer stomach aches and vomiting if they chew it.


Dragon (White)

Male (length not listed)

Only one white dragon is known to have existed on Pern. A sport (mutation) named Ruth. NO WHITE DRAGONS ARE ALLOWED ON PERNWORLD. Anne does not allow MU players to copy Ruth or to have dragons that are colors other then gold, bronze, brown, blue or green. Ruth was the first and the last. Any dragon desced as being white in color is subject to destruction by the admin.



The name for the pre-mentasynth enhanced firelizards. They have pincer-like forefeet with a tridactyl claw and their bodies heavier and heads longer than modern firelizards. (rare or posibly extinct from interbreeding with the dominant firelizards)



The following dragonkin are defined on Pern.

  • Dragon
  • Dragonet
  • Firelizard
  • Wild-wherries
  • Domestic-wherries
  • Watch Wher
  • Tunnelsnake
  • Whersport
  • Swifts



Descendants of the Terran donkey.



Domestic water fowl that are not common due to difficulty in raising them and their inability to adapt to Pern's wilds. (Watersnakes and Tunnelsnakes love their eggs!)



When grown, they are the size of a softball when curled up, they have litters of babies all six legged and with an armored back like an armadillo, when disturbed, they curl up and drop, like a pill bug, also emitting a rather nasty smell, which can get on you and is hard to remove, thus you can see the fun boys would have going fallabouting :) They tend to move in colonies, though it's usually made up of related females. Once danger has passed they crawl off lugging back up the closest tree, and the smell their feet leave behind is what allows them to follow the others, as they have terrible eyesight.


Feline (Domestic)

Descendants of the Terran 'tabby-cat', but about twice as big. Useful in controlling the numbers of tunnelsnakes. Some people breed fancy varieties as pets who have traits such as longer/shorter fur, different tabby colors (grey, silver, red, etc) or without tails (manx). The non-fancy variety are better hunters, but less affectionate as pets. (Based on the Maine Coon. As such, they do not come in siamese marked and are mostly tabby.)


Feline (Wild)

Also known as the Southern Spotted Wild Feline. Found only on the southern continent, these large wild felines and extremely dangerous and untameable. They are descendants of Terran cheetahs that were given Mentasynth to make them more empathic, but the affects of Mentasynth on felines made them a danger to human and animal alike. CANNOT be tamed or kept as pets. Can sometimes carry dangerous diseases that can be transmitted to humans. They psionically emit when attacking, which can cause sensitive people or dragons (or firelizards and whers) to become confused.



Small, long bodied, carplike fish with a whippy tail and multiple fins giving them a furry look.



A small winged beetle whose abdomen glows with a luminescent light. Looks a bit like Terran fireflies, but tend to glow in different colors.



The name for modern firelizards descended from the mentasynth enhanced dragonets that were bio-engineered by Kitti Ping before she went on the engineer the dragons. They have pentadactyl claws and are leaner and have flatter noses then the old dragonets. (NOTE: Dragonets/Firelizards return to the wild when their humans die. They do not suicide like dragons do as they were not genetically engineered to do so. Kitti Ping only saw that dragons followed their riders in death.)



Bottom dwelling fish. (Much like the Terran halibut or flounder- Interpreted desc)



Small insects much like the housefly, but built differently. Tend to bite like biting flies though.



A small flying insect much like a gnat.



Whatever people may think about Pern family structures, most children are fostered. Not just dragonrider kids too. As many people on Pern must work daily, kids tend to be raised in groups by people who do nothing other then raise the kids. Children are fostered till they are 11 years old. At that age, they are given jobs or accepted into Craft Halls as apprentices.

Pern is not like Earth. Few people actually raise their own kids. Some do interact with their kids while the kids are being fostered, but not as 'parents'. Mothers have the option of nursing a kid till its weaned or the 'foster parents' for an area find a wet nurse if the mother has a job where she cannot spare the time for nursing. In Weyrs, children fathered by riders on lower cavern ladies are pretty common. Look at the fact that green dragons rise a LOT, which is going to cause sexual frustration for a few male riders if it were not for willing girls in the lower caverns. If the mother knows who the father is, she might tell him. Fathers might or might not want to interact with their offspring, but most in fact don't. (See +sheet L'ton for an example of the results of this sexual tension.)



A long necked, domestic avian known to be bad tempered, but quite tasty if cooked properly. They are not common, due to the difficulty in raising them on Pern. Wild felines, Wherrys and Wild Whers find them tasty too.



There are two definitions of Ghost on Pern. Falling stars are believed to be the ghosts of dragons who have gone between forever (source: Skies of Pern) and in Dragon Kin, some of the kids are concerned about a place being 'haunted', so they do have some people who think there are ghosts. The belief in ghosts has NOTHING to do with religion like some Pern canon cops think. There are atheists who believe in ghosts. Proof of the existence of ghosts is still as hazy as in RL on Earth. Likely as many wackos who think they can talk to them too, but that's another thing.



The animal is tiny, perhaps five pounds in weight. It has thick, but extremely sleek hair. It has a large, rounded head, with disproportionately large eyes. Eyes so large, in fact, that they can't even turn in the socket Because of this, it's head swivels around constantly, searching, searching, for danger. It has six small, thin legs, which are, nonetheless, very strong. On the end of each leg, there is a small paw, which is almost like a human hand, but less limber, and capped with hooked claws. They ar not slashing claws, however. Instead, they look more like they were designed for climbing. It has a long, slender tail, that whips back and forth through the air.



Lumpy, furry little grubs that have spread throughout the southern continent. They are known both for their eatting of thread and their benifical affect on the plants around them.



A preditory avian species resembling a hawk sized gryphon with faceted eyes, protofeathers (rather then fur) and ranging from light blue-grey to dark brown in color. Known to nest high in Skybroom trees in hollows or holes. Trainable like terran falcons for hunting.

Also found in nests high in the mountains.



A Hold is where the 'normal' folk of Pern live. Holds were initially caverns on rocky cliffs where Thread could gain no foothold. They grew to become centers of government, and the Lord Holder became the man to whom everyone looked for guidance, both in the old days of Threadfall and in the days after Threadfall ended.



HoldCrafts are crafts with no Central Hall. These can include the winecraft, bakers, cooks, hunting, trading and art. Artists however can often find work with Craft Halls doing such things as tapestry weaving, pattern or fabric design in the Weaver Craft, copyists and arists for books and archives, instrument crafters at Harper Hall, drafting for the Smith Hall, jewelry design, etc. Some travel around Pern painting signs or murals.. Or painting homes and barns.



Turnover: Pern New Year, basicly. Gifts are exchanged during this time, but unlike Christmas, there are no religious type rituals.

Birthing Day: A person's birthday, of course.

Impression Day: The day a rider impressed a dragon. Treated something like a 2nd birthday. More gifts! Whoo!

Lastfall Day: Celebrating the last day Thread ever fell on Pern. (4th month/1st day)

Harvest Day: In the northern continent this is celebrated the last day of the 10th month and in the southern continent it is celebrated the last day of the 5th month. Usually a feast is held to celebrate the end of harvest.

(First 3 can be confirmed in Skies of Pern. The Lastfall was 'okayed' by Anne in email years ago. Harvest Day is player created.)



The joining of minds of a dragon and his or her rider-to-be. At the moment of hatching, the dragon, not the rider, choses his/her partner and telepathically communicates this choice to the chosen rider.



Types of Insects on Pern

  • Crawlers
  • Sandworms
  • Grubs
  • Fly-by
  • Leeches
  • Flies
  • Wrigglers
  • Trundlebugs
  • Fireflies
  • Bedbugs
  • Rollers
  • Crawlies
  • Springs
  • Spinners



A hot, stimulating drink made from tree bark and tasting faintly of cinnamon.



Very small (hamster sized) six-limbed mammals with a gliding membrane stretched between its limbs, giving it a kite shape as it glides from tree to tree. Eats fruit, insects, seeds and nuts.



A blood sucking worm found in slow moving water.



Pern has the following mammal species:

  • Domestic Mustelid
  • Domestic Feline
  • Domestic Canine
  • Runnerbeast
  • Draftbeast
  • Draybeast
  • Burdenbeast
  • Bovine
  • Ovine
  • Caprine
  • Porcine
  • Wild Canines
  • Wild Feline
  • Fallabouts
  • Grapplers
  • Kytes



Ferrets. Small, flexible, long bodied mammals used to hunt tunnelsnakes. Curious and fearless. Cannot survive in the wild, so must be cared for or they can get lost and die.


Native Avian

Small to medium sized wild avians. They are natives of Pern and have two legs, two small forearms and wings. They come in a variety of colors and species. Beak shapes depend on their diet. There are some colorful jungle species that can mimic human words.



A medicinal cream that, when smeared on a wound, deadens all sensation; Used as an anesthetic.



A type of herdbeast descended from Terran sheep. Used for meat, wool and milk.



A tasty, but dangerously barbed fish. (Resembling the Terran monkfish)



A type of small herdbeast descended from Terran swine. Not as common as other types of herdbeasts, so the meat is concidered a treat. Sometimes escape and go feral, but are difficult to hunt or find as wild whers hunt them and the surviving ones have become quite smart and wary.



Tiny little water-dwelling beetles often found hiding in the cracks of rocks. Firelizards find them tasty. (interpreted description)



A type of wood louse.



The descendant of the Terran horse. Used as transportation and as pack animals mostly. Also raised for racing, herding and pulling a plow.

See '+help runnerbeasts' for more.



The sandworm of Igen. Ugly, grublike creatures known for the fact that they eat thread. It is believed that grubs were bred from them by some.


Sea Eels

A long, slippery, snakelike fish with three pairs of tiny fins.Believed to have been the ancestor of the tunnelsnake. The fresh water version is called River Eels.



Aquatic animals with shells. Such as clams, muscles, etc.



A large tasty fish. (Much like the Terran bass—Interpreted desc.)



Small crablike creatures with many pairs of jointed legs.



Native species of Pernese spiders. Called gossamer spinners.



Insects that hang in spiral loops until they find someone or something to cling to. They have an irritating, prickly bite.



A swift is a six-limbed member of the dragonkin. Ranging anywhere from twenty to forty inches in length, they can vary somewhat in size. When at rest from a distance, one might mistake one for a scrawny, somewhat pretty whersport, due to the center legs being folded and looking like wings without webbing. The center legs look as if they've evolved from wings — they are proportionately incredibly long, though the digits look like they've grown shorter over the ages, better for running. They almost resemble the small, desert felines that run so quickly — long and lean and whiplike, fast and deadly. This small creature makes its' home in mountainous regions, where it evolved as a quick little lizard that, when it sensed Thread coming, would dart into the nearest safe place and wait it out — or run there, depending on how far from its' home that it was. Over the ages the natural colors of the dragonkin have dulled into a non-stunning assortment of browns, grey-browns, and mute greens…occasionally one will pop up with the barest glimpses of a metallic coloring, but they are few and far between, and they don't seem any larger than the others.

Male and female Swifts vary somewhat in size — males are generally a good few inches longer than females, and tend to sport more bright spots, but that's the only way to tell them apart. They hatch from eggs, and the first person they see they tend to form an attachment to…imprinting, if you will. They view these people as their friends, people to trust, but otherwise are incredibly skittish and tend to hide in the easiest place to hide if they feel threatened by anything. Swifts make good pets, but are not for those who aren't looking for a constant companion — they view their 'flocks' as any wild animal would, and form strong attachments to them.



A useful insect that eats parasites, turns the soil and acts as a pollinator. They have the most elaborate color camouflage of all the insects found on Pern and come in many colors. Their young cling to the mother and form a line of trundlebugs till something seperates them. Trundlebugs always travel in a straight line till something forces them to turn or moves them to face another direction. If they are annoyed in any way, their defense is to release a HORRIBLE smell. Telekinisis was discovered in dragons when a green dragon, Zaranth, used the ability to change the direction the trundlebugs were traveling to keep them from crawling up her nose. Later to train other dragons to use the ability, they had them lay with their noses in line with trundlebugs…



A snakelike creature with a turtlelike face and six limbs. Most are poisonous and live in caves and stony outcroppings. Most average 2-4 feet in length. Some have scales, some have skin, but most have six stubby limbs for creeping along tunnels. There are even water dwelling species. Some species are edible and quite tasty if cooked right.



A Pernese year. Has 13 months, each with 28 days.



A sort of furry insect with double pairs of wings. The discoverers of these insects named them VTOLS (for 'Vertical Take-Off and Landing').


Watch Wher

Bioengineered by Wind Blossom Ping in an attempt to improve on Kitti Ping's design of the dragons, resulting in ugly, malformed, photophobic, flightless dragons. They grow to about the size of a low slung runner (horse) and can move with surprising speed. Used as nighttime guards and in mines to detect poisonous gases or unstable tunnels. They see in infrared (heat) and heat sources are painful to their eyes. They are useful in search and rescue efforts at night, because dragons don't see well in the dark. Their sense of smell is as acute as a canine's and they are powerful diggers, able to dig down to free trapped people. They are nocturnal and only active at night.

(see +help wher)



A water-dwelling variety of tunnelsnake with fins instead of legs. Note quite like an eel, as they have scales more like a snake.



This word has two meanings, depending on if its capitalized or not

Weyr: A home for Dragons and Riders. Nowadays tend to be communal and where all the riders work for the Weyr and its inhabitants. People are paid for their work and get room and board for themselves and their dragons. Non-riders get paid as well for work they contribute. The leaders are called WeyrWoman and WeyrLeader. Leadership is still decided by the mating flight and who catches the Sr Queen.

weyr: The individual living quarters of dragons and their riders. In older Weyrs, these are most often cliffside caves, with a ledge, cavern for the dragon and smaller cavern for the rider's quarters. In most Southern Weyrs, they can be huts with a sheltered clearing for the dragon nearby, or a house/hut with a barn for the dragon.

Traditionally the following Weyrs have:

  • Fort: Cliff Cavern in Bowl
  • High Reaches: Cliff Cavern in Bowl
  • Ista: Cliff Cavern in bowl or outside Bowl
  • Igen: Cliff Cavern in Bowl
  • Benden: Cliff Cavern in Bowl
  • Telgar: Cliff Cavern in Bowl
  • Monaco Bay: Huts, buildings, some Cliff Caverns, No Bowl
  • Honshu: Cliff Caverns w/no Bowl
  • Xanadu: Buildings
  • Ierne: Buildings, Huts
  • Half Moon Bay: Cliff Cavern in Bowl and a very few outside Bowl.



A combination of a Weyr and a Hold. Tend to be far more like a Town/City then a Hold or Weyr though. Free enterprise encouraged, rather then communal living. Does not generally have a hatching ground and leadership is decided by elections, rather then mating flights. Tend to be more progressive then the regular Holds and Weyrs and more open to new ideas.



A rider and their young dragon, right after they impress to the time they have graduated from training, are called Weyrlings.



Has two meanings

1. A dragon and its rider are referred to as weyrmates.

2. Two riders or a rider and a non-rider who are in a serious relationship to the point where they have moved in with each other to share quarters are said to be weyrmates or weyrmated.

Some notes on #2. Just because a random dragon catches your dragon in a flight does NOT mean you are weyrmated at all. In fact, you might even despise each other before or afterward. People who weyrmate tend to have far more between them then just their dragon's mating urges.

Please be aware that monogamy in riders is a rare thing. That dragons rarely also weyrmate with their rider's weyrmate's dragon, if they in fact weyrmate at all. Most green or gold dragons take whomever catches them whether they like them or not. Their 'weyrmate' not always being the one to catch them and their bond is not effected if someone else catches them anyways. Its not like the new dragon who caught them is suddenly better. Sex is just sex to dragons anyways, not a lifetime commitment.


If your weyrmate happens to join a mating flight, it should have nothing to do with your bond with them.. Its a one-night-stand and nothing to get jealous over OOCly… or ICly if a character is Weyrbred.

If they go off and win a WL flight, it means they are Weyrleader.. It does NOT mean they now have to sleep with the WW every night. The WW might already have preferred bedmates and despise the new WL ICly.. The WL's weyrmate should be proud of their mate for being the WL, not all upset cause they slept with the WW during a mating flight. Mirrim rode green and her weyrmate was the WL and rode a bronze. Showing #1. Bronzes obviously chase greens. There's not enough golds for them all. and #2. Mirrim was NOT the WW, so her weyrmate was with the WW during the flight.

Winning any mating flight does NOT make you instant monogamous weyrmates.. its just a mating flight.. You are not married to them now..
The excuse for bronzeriders 'My weyrmate will gut me with a fork' is not an acceptable excuse for refusing a gold flight.


Wherries (Domestic)

Either wild wherries with their wings clipped to prevent flight or flightless descendants of wherries captured and breed by the original colonists much like wild turkeys were domesticated by Terrans.


Wherries (wild)

Large predatory avians. They have four legs and two wings, but instead of feathers, they are covered in thick proto-feathers, multiple tufts like a Terran Marabou stork. They are twice the size of a Terran turkey and turn cannibal when one of their number is wounded or killed.



A creature resembling a large dragonet, but only in that it has wings and four limbs. More like a small, hairless/featherless wherry. Far more common in the south than the north. (Interpreted Description) Uncommonly good eating when cooked properly.


Wild Fowl

A small edible avian resembling its ancestor the terran ring-neck quail. Introduced by the colonists and allowed to breed in the wild. Sometimes domestically raised in pens.



Native worms much like earthworms.



A large edible fish. (Much like the Terran tuna—(Interpreted desc).


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