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Old Dec 5 2008, 12:00 AM   #1
Weyrlady
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Default Dragonrider ID and other stuff

Do dragonriders wear "dogtags"? How about identification bracelets? Driver's licenses are obviously out; what about weyr IDs? Something that says what their name is, and the dragon's name, what weyr they are from, and ideally what time (and if they keep developing their space-traveling abilities, which planet, too!) just in case, so people can help this person get back to where they came from.

Also, on another topic altogether, what do firelizard tongues feel like? I know they are forked, like a snake's, but I can't say that I've ever been licked by a snake (it's on my to-do list!). I would imagine that they're quite wet- are they "sandpaper-ry" like a cat's?
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Old Dec 5 2008, 12:37 AM   #2
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Default Re: Dragonrider ID and other stuff

If you check "The Dragonlover's Guide to Pern" there are shoulder knots (like worn for military uniforms) that identify rank (wingleader, rider, wing second, etc.) and their color combination identifies which weyr they fly for and what color dragon they ride. I don't recall reading that they also have the dragon's name embroidered into a badge, but maybe some do.

Related to your question about fire lizard tongues and their possible similarity to snakes...I've been touched by a snake tongue now and again when I'm holding my corn snake and it's not wet (why do people always seem to think that a snake will feel slimy...ah, well) nor is it rough like a cat's tongue. The boa constrictors that I've handled don't have very moist tongues either that I recall. Snakes don't use their tongue to manipulate food or clean fur, so it doesn't make sense for it to be rough in that fashion.

Hope that answers your questions, at least in part!

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Old Dec 5 2008, 01:00 AM   #3
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Default Re: Dragonrider ID and other stuff

No dogtags. Their shoulder knots and badge sewn onto clothing will identify their Weyr and rank, and that's it.

I don't much see the need for a dogtag ID, as I can't see a situation in which a body would need to be identified and couldn't be. A badly injured rider will be identified by his dragon (i.e. his dragon will be known to others and therefore the rider's identity known). A dead rider's dragon will go between, and all the others of his Weyr will know who went between and who was his rider.
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Old Dec 5 2008, 12:14 PM   #4
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Default Re: Dragonrider ID and other stuff

...I know Anne SAYS firelizard tongues are forked? But I don't think they are.

A snake's tongue is forked because it's the snake's primary sense organ. The fork allows them to take scent from two different directions, which more precisely locates the object they're seeking. It's why we have two eyes and two ears: depth perception.

Snakes don't have external ears, and their nostrils are only used for breathing, not for scenting. Dragons don't have external ears either, but we do know they have scenting nostrils. If they have forked tongues, their nostrils are redundant and vice-versa.

Unlike a snake, a firelizard's tongue isn't its primary sense organ. Its eyes aren't even its primary sense organ. Its telepathy, via its headknobs, is. In fact, with brains as powerful as that of dragons and firelizards, eyes, ears, noses and tongues become almost redundant. Look how weak human senses are. We don't rely on claws, teeth, keen vision, sharp hearing, or an excellent sense of smell to survive. We rely on intuition and improvisation. Our brains are huge. Our physical senses and abilities are pathetic.

I'd also think that there wouldn't physically be space in the draconic brain to accommodate acute abilities in each and every sense. Brains don't have infinite capacities -- and in an animal the size of a dragon, it physically takes longer for the electricity from one side of the brain to reach the other. As it is, their visual cortex is working extra hard to interpret multifaceted images from their eyes. They can smell, see, hear, and taste. But they can also teleport, telekinese, and telepath. Something's got to give. We know the lack of a long-term memory helps, but that's probably not enough by itself.

Cetaceans -- whales and dolphins -- don't have noses (not that there'd be anything to smell underwater). Most species of bats have nearly useless eyes; some are completely blind. It's thought that shrews use echolocation; they, too, have very, very poor eyesight.

...anyway. There's no reason why a firelizard, or a dragon, would have a forked tongue. I don't draw mine that way and I would hope everyone else has my good sense. ;>
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Old Dec 5 2008, 05:35 PM   #5
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Default Re: Dragonrider ID and other stuff

All of what you've said might be true, but why would they devolve the forked tongue? Examples in anatomy such as male nipples show that even pointless parts are left if there is no danger to having them, and forked tongues would not use up any more nutrients.
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Old Dec 5 2008, 06:01 PM   #6
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Default Re: Dragonrider ID and other stuff

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All of what you've said might be true, but why would they devolve the forked tongue? Examples in anatomy such as male nipples show that even pointless parts are left if there is no danger to having them, and forked tongues would not use up any more nutrients.
They wouldn't devolve it. What I'm saying is they never had one to begin with.
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Old Dec 5 2008, 06:03 PM   #7
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Default Re: Dragonrider ID and other stuff

In DD, they mention how the snakes and the fire lizards have a common ancestor. That could of had a forked tongue, or another possibility is that the fire lizards evolutionary path followed near the snakes until the evolution of the tele- skills.
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Old Dec 5 2008, 06:27 PM   #8
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In DD, they mention how the snakes and the fire lizards have a common ancestor. That could of had a forked tongue, or another possibility is that the fire lizards evolutionary path followed near the snakes until the evolution of the tele- skills.
The tunnelsnakes, you mean?

Remember that tunnelsnakes, firelizards, and wherries ALL have a common ancestor. It would probably be something like an archosaur, the predecessor of dinosaurs, which eventually split off into reptiles AND into birds. It was only a few of the reptiles, the snakes and maybe a few lizards I don't know about, that evolved forked tongues. Dinosaurs didn't have them. Birds don't have them. Crocodilians and turtles don't have them. Just the snakes.

I suspect the firelizards' distant ancestor would have been similar. In fact, it would have been nearly identical save that it was a hexapod, and for whatever reason multifaceted eyes proved advantageous to nearly every major species indigenous to Pern.

The reptile branch would have turned into tunnelsnakes, which, yes, probably would have evolved forked tongues, and which would have retained their middle limbs as puny little digging claws. The saurian branch would have yielded firelizards and wherries (though it seems to me firelizards may have evolved FROM wherries, if anything). And there may even have been something like a choristodera branch, which would have turned into the elephantine tunnelsnake-types the DLG mentions as existing in the deep seas.

So that would have looked like this:

Pernese "Archosaur" ----> Saurians ----> Avians ----> Wherries and Firelizards (with telepathy)
----> Anapsids ----> Tunnelsnakes (with forked tongues)
----> Choristodera ----> Giant sea-dwelling tunnelsnake-type creatures? (Echolocation?)

But the forked tongues and telepathy would have evolved separately. Does that make sense?
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Old Dec 5 2008, 06:37 PM   #9
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Default Re: Dragonrider ID and other stuff

Ahh... I see where I've been confused. When I first read Pern, I didnt think of it being on another planet, and assumed wherries where some sort of bird like creature, with feathers. That being said, doesn't it mention somewhere that they have beaks? And what I mean is that the fire lizards might have at first been simply lizards with wings, as they look like, without other abilities. If this was true, the forked tongue would be possible.
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Old Dec 7 2008, 02:00 AM   #10
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Default Re: Dragonrider ID and other stuff

You know what I think- I think I've been doing far too many timber permits at wolrk lately!! As the nth person hands me their ID so I can get them their permit, I think, "I wonder if dragonriders do this. . . " (NOT get firewood permits, but have ID)

And then I was thinking about the fanfic I'm trying to write- when I'm not filling out other people's permits- and more specifically the character of K'ben (I made him up, so he's rather new). He's a green rider (Amanth), as well as a journeyman healer, so would he wear "dual" shoulder knots to identify him, one on each shoulder? I figure that might look better and be easier than, say, both knots on one shoulder.

***I'm a bit of sucker for accuracy- you may have noticecd! So any help would be mmuch appreciated.****
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Old Dec 7 2008, 07:15 AM   #11
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Default Re: Dragonrider ID and other stuff

He'd wear only one shoulder cord/not but the colours used in it would reflect both his functions/ranks.
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Old Dec 7 2008, 10:05 PM   #12
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Default Re: Dragonrider ID and other stuff

To the original question, as others have mentioned, the shoulder knots, colors and patch/badge would suffice to identify him as a dragon-rider, his rank within the Weyr, his Weyr, and possibly (IIRC) the color of his dragon. Essentially, everything but his name and his dragon's name.

Again, IIRC, part of the teaching a harper was supposed to deliver was teaching children (and adults) the names of the riders and dragons of the Weyr, so there might even be some possibility of his being identified from such collective knowledge. I believe that tidbit comes from one of the earlier books and might be an artifact of the one-Weyr period of Benden. I'm also thinking it might have been something Lytol mentioned as having gone-by-the-boards in the general degradation of the Weyr on Pern and in Fax's holdings in particular. Or maybe it was Lady Gemma and it may have only pertained to high-ranking dragon-riders (all golds and all bronzes). Someone interested can look it up I suppose.

To the question of fire-lizard tongues and why they'd be forked--why not? Where has it ever been stated that fire-lizards (and dragons for that matter) do not have similar olfactory capabilities to a lizard or snake? I don't recall a dragon's ability to smell or taste ever being discussed.

As for what it would feel like to be licked by said tongue, hopefully it's as pleasant as a puppy's tongue: tough, velvety, warm and a little damp.

(Yeah, we've got a new puppy in the house.)

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Old Dec 8 2008, 12:21 AM   #13
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Default Re: Dragonrider ID and other stuff

About the tongues, Cavatica answered that very well in the thread that was split off from this.
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Old Dec 8 2008, 03:50 AM   #14
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Edragon, the forked tongue topic has been split from this one, please stay OT and redirect any of the firelizard discussion to the appropriate thread.
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Old Dec 24 2008, 02:36 AM   #15
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Default Re: Dragonrider ID and other stuff

I've just had a something about badges/knots system on Pern as it relates to rank cords, how about, the diffent between a Lord Holder of a Major Hold (Fort i.e.) a minor Holder or a cot holder family, resident? Its talked about in the books, but never in DLG Just craft/weyr knots are shown, only I reall is using gold or sliver in the badge or knots?

Just Hold/Hall/Weyr Badge are shown. AtWP A Lord's Holder Son had his craft rank attached to his Hold colors is all I recalll.

And how would Landing be show? Coming from their hold/hall/wyer badge/knot?

Only bit is Lord Toric having muck around with his Lord Holder cords in SvP

Also show fosterling from what hold is foster them and what their home hold is.

What about Head Steward or Headwoman or a holdcraft like a baker or cook?

Just a few bits running in my mind.
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Old Dec 28 2008, 04:50 AM   #16
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Default Re: Dragonrider ID and other stuff

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I've just had a something about badges/knots system on Pern as it relates to rank cords, how about, the diffent between a Lord Holder of a Major Hold (Fort i.e.) a minor Holder or a cot holder family, resident? Its talked about in the books, but never in DLG Just craft/weyr knots are shown, only I reall is using gold or sliver in the badge or knots?

Just Hold/Hall/Weyr Badge are shown. AtWP A Lord's Holder Son had his craft rank attached to his Hold colors is all I recalll.

And how would Landing be show? Coming from their hold/hall/wyer badge/knot?

Only bit is Lord Toric having muck around with his Lord Holder cords in SvP

Also show fosterling from what hold is foster them and what their home hold is.

What about Head Steward or Headwoman or a holdcraft like a baker or cook?

Just a few bits running in my mind.
hehehe

This is both a pet project..and a pet peeve of mine.

I have been doing ALOT of looking up info on shoulder knots.
For Dragon riders...yeah, it is the color for the hold, and what color his dragon is.

Holders wear the 2 or 3 colors of Hold.
Lords and Ladies of the Hold wear a gold or silver thread also, depending on whether their house is a major or minor house.

I dont know what you mean by fostering, but candidates wear a strand of white thread. The women and drudges of the lower caverns wear a simple cord of the dominant weyr color only.


Im guessing for when they are away from their area, they wear their badges as well, showing what craft/weyr/hold/ they are from. Riders wear badges with a dragon the color of their mounts, and the background color of the weyr.

Now, I have noticed that CRAFTSMEN..seem to be a bit different. As it is stated that the more complex the knots, the higher in rank they are.

Its funny, that even in a book like the Dragonlovers Guide..NOBODY is shown wearing these suckers!!! And the only pictures shown of the knots...are the ones for the DragonRiders ONLY...


So you end up going by the few descriptions you can.

I might try to see if it is physically possible to make ANY of the knots shown in the book. I've come up with a few, just on my own for the craft sides...havent picked which one I like yet.

Ah..Kumihimo, my friend... hehehehe..


Here is more info:

http://soucon.silvertree.org/info/knots.html

http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Vault/2726/knots.html

http://www.kadanzer.org/zipfiles/handbook/knots.pdf

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Old Dec 29 2008, 06:31 PM   #17
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Default Re: Dragonrider ID and other stuff

I think fosterlings would only have the Hold that was fostering them. Don't fosterlings occassionally end up getting holdings in the Hold they were fostered in? It seems to me it would be considered a permanent posting, kind of like a journeyman, and Piemur wore Cove Hold colours in RoP.
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Old Dec 30 2008, 04:32 PM   #18
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Default Re: Dragonrider ID and other stuff

There are two kinds of fosterlings, it seems: fostering where the birth mother is not the best suited to raise the child, as in the Weyrs. Piemur had a foster mother, which might have been the same thing, or might have been a stepmother.

Then there is the fostering of young people from one Hold to another, which seems to mostly be for sociopolitical reasons - they are usually of fairly high rank, such as Lord Groghe's fosterlings in DSi.
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Old Jan 29 2009, 05:58 AM   #19
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I would imagine that shoulder knots and badges would do most of the work, as well as general exposure. I also think riders would begin to be identified by the appearance of their dragon.

Ramoth, Mnementh, Canth, (and possibly Zaranth) are all readily discernible from their size alone. "With that wingspread, it could be no other." Ruth for his distinctive color, of course; Orlith and Holth could be differentiated by the shades of gold and Oldtimer dragons were noticeably greyer. Prideth and Wirenth had very different conformations to set them apart. "Not one whit too leggy, short-tailed or wherry-necked." And, as much as I hate to bring Todd's 'work' into this, Laurana made it clear that the shape, setting, and size of eye ridges, placement of the 'horns,' length/width and shape of the muzzle, number and placement of teeth, and other facial features all set dragons and presumably their riders apart. Finally, I would imagine that scars from Threadfall would help identify dragons and riders from a distance, much like scientists use them to identify dolphins/whales/lions/hyenas.

"See the threadscore along the trailing edge of the wing? Must be Malth."
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Old Jan 29 2009, 10:44 PM   #20
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Other than the biggest (Ramoth, Mnementh, Canth) and Ruth, how many non-dragonriders are going to be able to identify individual dragons? They're much more likely to know the rider by sight than his dragon.
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Old Jan 30 2009, 12:09 AM   #21
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Other than the biggest (Ramoth, Mnementh, Canth) and Ruth, how many non-dragonriders are going to be able to identify individual dragons? They're much more likely to know the rider by sight than his dragon.
They see them fly overhead regularly during Fall season, I'm sure.

Robinton learned to identify some in MHoP.
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Old Jan 30 2009, 02:42 AM   #22
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I can see something like the Royal Observer Corps in the hold who can tell dragons apart, maybe harpers who teach children.
I can also imagine dragon spotters!
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Old Jan 30 2009, 04:46 AM   #23
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I can see something like the Royal Observer Corps in the hold who can tell dragons apart, maybe harpers who teach children.
I can also imagine dragon spotters!
Dragon spotters! In my mind's eye I already see them standing on the rim!
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Old Jan 30 2009, 07:08 AM   #24
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Default Re: Dragonrider ID and other stuff

Runel's descendants in anoraks with furry bits round the hood, and a copy of Ian Alan's Dragon Spotters' Guide to Benden Dragons.
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Old Jan 30 2009, 11:50 AM   #25
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Default Re : Dragonrider ID and other stuff

Question is: is it that important to tell dragons apart? (exept maybe for the old watch dragon/dragonrider pair garding the Weyr)
Telling them appart should be as easy to do as to distinguish a horse or a cat from another. At least for those who know this particular horses or cats For Weyr inhabitants, I remember it is quite common to know dragons and riders by name.

Of course, if you are not familiar with dragons, you would think that all same colored dragons are alike. For people outside the Weyrs, a dragon is a dragon, no matter if it's not the same than the last time they visited. It seems seeing one close is already a great chance.
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Old Jan 30 2009, 07:09 PM   #26
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I think that someone who doesn't see a lot of dragons would remember the riders, not the beasts; and even those who DO see a lot of dragons would not always be able to tell one from another without seeing the rider.
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Old Jan 31 2009, 01:16 AM   #27
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wasn't there a reference in one of the books re: cards for some game or another that showed the WeyrLeaders at least?
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Old Jan 31 2009, 01:18 PM   #28
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Are you talking about Poker Dragon? That card game is composed of 3 series IIRM: Weyrs, Holds and Halls with their respective minor cards; dragons, wheat and hammer. There are 2 harpers cards which are similar to our jokers

Figures may be drawn from Weyrleaders, but there are no so many cards that you could display all of them. At the most, you would see the ones leading the Weyr you are attached to. And you would have to make new cards every time a Eldest Queen leave her place or a new Bronze fly her.
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Old Jan 31 2009, 03:11 PM   #29
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If we 'reinvented' it for forum use it could be called Poker MoM!
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