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Old Jul 16 2006, 08:17 AM   #1
Spaceman Spiff
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Default Dragon size references

Yup, the ever resurfacing topic of dragon sizes that never seems to get resolved Anyway, I was sick of wading through pages and pages of debates, looking for hard evidence rather than just personal opinions. So I got a post together of all the book quotes I could find relating to dragon sizes here.

I know there must be more, but those are all I can manage to find. So if anyone can find any new ones, I'd be very appreciative! No DLG quotes please I know that all the evidence doesn't always line up, but the more meterial you have to go from, the closer you can get to the best answer

And if anyone can figure out how big the Northern Maid sailing ship that I mentioned in there would be, that'd be cool too
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Old Jul 16 2006, 06:59 PM   #2
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Default Re: Dragon size references

Spiffy, it'd be handy if you could copy the whole of that post over here -- easier for people to read and reply to with quotes.
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Old Jul 16 2006, 07:38 PM   #3
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Default Re: Dragon size references

Ok



Original Dragons

1. A third of the size of Ramoth
2. 16 hands at the shoulder

Ruth
3. Just bigger than Jaxom's torso at hatching
1. Just over a third the size of Ramoth
4. Bigger than any runnerbeast by half- to a full head. Eye level of F'lar.
5. Half the size of his peers

Modern Dragons
6. Ramoth's head is as large as Lessa's Torso at hatching
7. Average dragon is 3 times size of a horse
8. Mnementh is twice the size of the Oldtimers
9. Mnementh's eye is on a level with F'lar's with his chin to the ground at a certain angle
10. A queen dragon is the length of a 14-person ship





1. All the Weyrs of Pern: Images of two dragons flicked onto Aivas's screen. "The bronze is Carenath, Sean O'Connell is his rider, and the other is Faranth and Sorka Hanrahan." Two more dragons appeared on the screen, three times the size of the first two. "Now, there are Ramoth and Mnementh. The scale of comparison is accurate."

2. Dragonsdawn: (about Cricket) "Grand fellow, though," Red remarked, nodding his head approvingly. "Make a good sixteen hands, if I'm any judge."

The bronze was nearly the same height in the shoulder as Cricket, though the conformation was entirely different, Carenath being much longer in the body, deeper in the barrel, and stronger in the hindquarters. In fact, the dragons already were much stronger than similar equines, their basic structure much more durable, utilizing carborundums for strength and resilience.

3. Dragonquest: Jaxom ripped the slippery stuff open with his belt knife and, from the sac, fell a tiny white body, not much larger than Jaxom’s torso.

4. The White Dragon: "Hey, now," N'ton reacted to Jaxom's sad sigh, "he's bigger than any runner beast by half a head, isn't he?"

His attention was centered on Ruth, and the white dragon raised his head slightly to be at eye level with the tall Weyrleader.
...
"Ruth's a full head higher in the shoulder than runner beasts. Sturdier, too."


5. The White Dragon: "Yes, Jaxom, Ruth is a proper dragon, for all he's half the size of his fellows!"

6. Dragonflight: Why hadn't that silly clunk-headed girl stepped aside, Lessa thought, grabbing for the wedgehead, at birth not much larger than her own torso.

7. Interview: ...fighting adragonback is hard work, and keeping them clean is harder. You've groomed horses - multiply that by three times and you've got the size of a dragon to keep clean.

8. The White Dragon: Toric wasn't looking at him. He was staring up at the ledge where bronze Mnementh was seated on his haunches, regarding the new arrivals, his jewel-faceted eyes gleaming in the dim light.
...
"He's almost twice as big as any of the Oldtimers' beasts," Toric said in a respectfully hushed voice. "And I thought N'ton's Lioth was big!"

9. Dragonflight - Mnementh arched his neck, angling his head so that his chin rested on the ground. Mnementh's many-faceted eyes, on a level with F'lar's head, fastened with disconcerting interest on the approaching party.

10. The MasterHarper of Pern: There were two other women in the crew of fourteen, for the Northern Maid was the length of a queen dragon.





Problem - if Ruth's shoulder is about 6 feet tall (reasoning that a runnerbeast is 16 hands - 64 inches - tall, and add a head, 10 inches? That adds to just over 6 feet. That would mean that his head would have to be straight out infront of him, maybe slightly higher, to be at an eye level with F'lar. It says that Ruth had to RAISE his head to be at eye level with him? That doesn't make sense, his head could easily reach to at least 7 or 8 feet if his shoulders were at 6. Perhaps it means the wing shoulder rather than arm shoulder, which should be quite a bit lower anyway?

Also, how long would a 14 person ship be? It can't be TOO big, because it was possible to be sailed by only 4 people -
Quote:
Captain Gostol sailed the Northern Maid with just Vesna and two others to man her - his crew was also decimated by the fever.
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Old Jul 16 2006, 10:16 PM   #4
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Default Re: Dragon size references

TWD onli.

Quote:
He likes Ruth. That's all the answer I get from him. I'd hazard the notion that it's because Ruth is nearer their size. They can see him without having to back up several dragonlengths to do so."
Quote:
The crack widened and the wedge head broke through, followed quickly by the neck, gleaming gold. Lessa wondered with unexpected detachment how long it would take the beast to mature, considering its by no means small size at birth. For the head was larger than that of the male dragons, and they had been large enough to overwhelm sturdy boys of ten full Turns.
.
Quote:
Leisurely, with the proper touch of arrogance, F'nor stepped forward, stopping slightly behind Mnementh's head, one hand negligently touching the jaw hinge of the huge beast.


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To one side, on a raised portion of the floor, was a golden egg, larger by half again the size of the mottled ones.
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Old Jul 18 2006, 01:32 AM   #5
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Default Re: Dragon size references

If you check in the dragonriders guide to pern it actually shows a size chart as well as some pictures.
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Old Jul 18 2006, 02:40 PM   #6
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Default Re: Dragon size references

Thanks Chim! And Lertia, I won't use any references from the DLG because it's notorious for inaccuracy. It says that they are up to 45 meters long, which Anne has noted as incorrect, she says they should rather be 45 FEET long. But I'm looking for references direcly from the novels, as they are the only thing that can be taken as canon.
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Old Jul 18 2006, 03:52 PM   #7
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Default Re: Dragon size references

Don't discount the DLG completely, Spiff! It is useful - you just have to take it with a pinch of salt, and compare with the books first.
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Old Jul 18 2006, 05:54 PM   #8
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Default Re: Dragon size references

Yes, there are useful bits, but mostly it will remain decorative for me. Because of it's reputation, I'll never take a DLG quote seriously
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Old Jul 18 2006, 05:55 PM   #9
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Default Re: Dragon size references

Isn't there a reference to a 6 ft head?
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Old Jul 19 2006, 01:57 AM   #10
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Default Re: Dragon size references

That rings a bell, but I can't remember which book...
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Old Jul 19 2006, 06:27 AM   #11
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Default Re: Dragon size references

There's another oblique reference in the early part of Dragonflight: you get a rough idea of the size of Mnementh's paws when he stops Lessa from running off.
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Old Jul 19 2006, 06:58 AM   #12
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Default Re: Dragon size references

Ah yes, when he's caging Lessa with his claws I found that, but marginally decided not to include it since it gives no indication on how much of her he was caging... from the ground right up to her head? In which case he would be HUGE, definitely around 40 meters. Or if it was just circling her midsection, which would put him more around the 50-60 foot range. So that's quite a huge difference of interpretation.
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Old Jul 19 2006, 02:55 PM   #13
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Default Re: Dragon size references

I remember now Ramoth pojkes her man-sized head at someone ( I think R'gul) in DF!
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Old Jul 19 2006, 04:26 PM   #14
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DF online


Ramoth yawned mightily. Lessa was instantly on her feet, running to her dragon's side, her slight figure dwarfed by the six-foot dragon head
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Old Jul 19 2006, 05:06 PM   #15
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Default Re: Dragon size references

Ah, perfect! Thank you! From my sketches of proportions, with a 6 foot head the full length would come to around 50-60 feet long.
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Old Jul 20 2006, 11:16 AM   #16
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Keep in mind it was in "Dragonflight," before anne really developed her dragons all the way.
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Old Jul 20 2006, 09:17 PM   #17
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Default Re: Dragon size references

*blink* I could have sworn I replied to that post, but now it's missing!
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Old Jul 21 2006, 02:17 PM   #18
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Default Re: Dragon size references

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spaceman Spiff
Ah, perfect! Thank you! From my sketches of proportions, with a 6 foot head the full length would come to around 50-60 feet long.
that seems about right to me! Too big to fit in an average sized room!
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Old Jul 21 2006, 06:57 PM   #19
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Default Re: Dragon size references

I always took it that Mnementh's eye was level with F'lar's (i.e. around 5'6")when his (Mnementh's) chin was resting on the ground. Since Ruth is/was smaller than Mnementh, HE had to raise his chin off the floor to look into Jaxom's eyes.

I haven't found any references to the proportions of the front claws to the rest of the beast so the bit about caging Lessa might just mean that the feet/paws are larger than the "classic" illustrations.

I agree about overall length: 40 - 60 ft makes more sense. Somewhere there's a reference to dragons flying over Pern at 1000 body lengths altitude.
40 - 60,000 ft is between 5 to 7.5 miles! About do-able given a deepeer atmosphere than ours. But 40 - 60,000 metres up? Not very likely. (Here,100,000 m qualifies you for your astronaut wings.)
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Old Aug 10 2006, 10:15 PM   #20
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i seem to recall that in the back of Moreta, they listed the size of dragons. It was in the back where they have a list and short definitions of Pernese terms like numbweed, HNO3, etc. i'll have to find the book and see.
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Old Aug 11 2006, 03:47 AM   #21
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Default Re: Dragon size references

Yes, it states them to be up to 45 meters long. But Anne has since said that those are errors, they are supposed to be up to 45 feet long. But still, I'm rather nit-picky and stubborn when it comes to this, and I'd much sooner take information within the story over something in the back of the book. It doesn't seem like Anne strictly keeps to those guidelines while writing the story, so whatever the majority of evidence points to I'd take as Canon rather than the guideline.
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Old Aug 16 2006, 06:29 PM   #22
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Default Re: Dragon size references

Quote:
From Moreta, Dragonlady of Pern
“A race, yes. The quality Lord Leef wished me to perpetuate was stamina for long-distance carting, combined with more efficient use of fodder.”

“More work out of fewer animals for less food?” Moreta didn’t find that hard to believe of the old Lord, but she started at Alessan with confused respect. “And out of that breeding you got a sprint racer?”

“Not intentionally.” Alessan gave her a rueful smile. “That winner is from a strain of rejects from the original project: tough, hardy, good doers even on poor feed, but small bodied and thin boned. They don’t eat much, and everything they consume goes into short spurts of energy—fifty dragon-length sprint distances, to be truthful. Over the ninety-length mark, they’re useless. Give ’em half an hour’s rest and they can repeat that sort of winning performance. And they live long. It was Dag who saw the sprint potential in the scrubs.”


From DragonSong
She looked up the side of the bluff, rather daunted by the fat that she’d fallen a dragon length or more. And how was she going to climb back up? But, as she examined the cliff face, she could see that it was not so unscalable as she’d first thought. Almost straight up, yes, but pocked by ledges and holds, some fairly large. If she could find enough foot and hand holds, she’d be able to make it. She dusted the sand from her hands and started to walk towards one end of the little cove, to begin a systematic search for the easiest way up.

~~~

“Hmmm. Yes. Well, so you managed to climb that cliff face?”
“It wasn’t so hard. If you’ll look, you’ll see there’re plenty of hand and foot holds, even before I made a regular path.”
“A regular path? Hmmm. Yes. Monarth, can you get us a bit closer, please?”
Monarth obligingly angled against the cliff face and raised himself to his haunches; Menolly was amazed to see that they could step off his shoulders right into the cave.
I’ve also noted some references in DFire … d’ya want those, too?
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Old Aug 16 2006, 10:33 PM   #23
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Default Re: Dragon size references

Oooh thank you! Great finds

I'm very hesitant to take anything from Todd as canon, but for curiosity's sake, I'd like to see, thanks! I've only just started reading that one.
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Old Aug 17 2006, 05:59 PM   #24
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Default Re: Dragon size references

I understand your hesitation; Todd seems to favor gargantuan dragons.
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From Dragon’s Fire
Shortly the dragon landed and Pellar realized once again how huge bronze dragons could be. The dragon’s head was nearly twice as tall as Pellar and its body could easily have circled three, maybe four, of the traders’ large workdrays.
A small workdray is later on mentioned as being able to haul two tonnes of coal. And another one:
Quote:
The dragon, Hurth, swiveled his long sinewy neck so that both eyes peered down at Pellar. For a moment, Pellar was lost in those huge, whirling eyes that were nearly as large as he was tall.
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Old Aug 17 2006, 09:40 PM   #25
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*shudder* And Anne was supposed to be co-writing this?
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Old Aug 17 2006, 10:00 PM   #26
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Default Re: Dragon size references

Sheesh, Todd's 3rd Pass dragons are larger than Anne's 9th Pass dragons!
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Old Aug 17 2006, 10:46 PM   #27
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Default Re: Dragon size references

VERY VERY much larger! That's about 1 1/2 times larger than even the meters scale of the 9th Pass, maybe more! So that would be around 200 feet long for a 3rd Pass bronze, compared to 150 foot MAXIMUM gold size in the 9th Pass 45 meter scale. *dies*
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Old Aug 18 2006, 06:58 AM   #28
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You'd never be able to keep such a beast clean, let alone fed.
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Old Aug 18 2006, 07:01 AM   #29
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Way too big!
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Old Aug 18 2006, 11:35 AM   #30
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Default Re: Dragon size references

Moreta online:

WARNING: "MORETA" SPOILERS!
Quote:
No sooner had the queen spoken than the fog roiled violently and the green dragon settled herself right beside Moreta so that the Weyrwoman need only to take one step.
Express my gratitude, Orlith, and compliment her on her flying.
I did.
Moreta swung her leg over Malth's neck ridge. She always felt a trifle strange when mounted on so much smaller a dragon than her great queen. It was ridiculous to think that she might be too heavy for the green, whose rider S'gor was a tall, heavily built man, but Moreta could never dispel that notion on the infrequent occasions when she rode the lesser dragons of the Weyr.
Malth waited a respectful moment to be sure that Moreta was settled and then sprang lightly upward. Diving blind into the fog disoriented Moreta despite her absolute faith in Malth.
Quote:
The weyr was noticeably warmer. The golden dragon's eyes gleamed as Moreta crossed to caress her, scratching Orlith's eye ridges. She leaned gratefully against Orlith's head, thinking that Orlith exuded an odor that was a combination of all the best herbs and spices.
Quote:
Afterward, K'lon realized that both the rider and the dragon knew in the same instant. But Orlith's reaction was vocal and spectacular. Her scream, tearing at his taut nerves, brought him round to witness the initial throes of her bereavement. Orlith had been lying at the rear of the Ground, her eggs scattered on the sand before her. Now she reared up on her hind legs, her awkwardly coiled tail all that prevented her from crashing backward as she arched her head back, howling her despair. The sounds she emitted were ghastly ululations in weird dissonances, like throat-cut shrieks. Then, in an incredible feat, Orlith launched herself from that fully extended posture, over her eggs, missing them by a mere handspan. She sprawled, muzzle buried in the sand as all color faded from her golden hide. Then she began to writhe, thrashing her head and tail, oblivious to the fact that she had caught her right wing under her, nailing the air with the left.

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Old Aug 18 2006, 12:20 PM   #31
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Default Re: Dragon size references

Could you please post more than just quotes - how it links into the current discussion for example!
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Old Aug 18 2006, 02:46 PM   #32
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GAAH!! Post Spoiler if you're going to post quotes from books that not everyone has read yet!!!!
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Old Aug 18 2006, 04:22 PM   #33
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Argh! Sorry, Jax.

Crispy:

Those quotes just showed relative size: Orlith's falling to the ground, Malth (a green)'s size.
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Old Aug 18 2006, 04:40 PM   #34
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Reelie, I wasn't talking to you, Moreta has been out for years!!
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Old Aug 18 2006, 04:57 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Jax View Post
GAAH!! Post Spoiler if you're going to post quotes from books that not everyone has read yet!!!!
Didn't look like there were any real plot points contained in those quotes....?
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Old Aug 20 2006, 12:42 PM   #36
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Don't care don't caaaaaaaaare!!! I haaaaaaaaaates when people post from things that are new, it happens to me /alla/ time!!!!! *mini tantrum*
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Old Aug 20 2006, 06:11 PM   #37
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*pats Jax on the head and gives her a *

Well if you're going to have a complete blackout standard for unread books, it is going to happen to you more...
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Old Aug 20 2006, 09:45 PM   #38
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Moreta online:

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Oh, how marvelous, Alessan!" Moreta swung her right leg over and behind her and dropped down Arith's side. Fortunately, for Arith was rather higher than she had thought, Alessan caught her about the waist and eased her to the ground. She turned in his arms, very much aware of his hold on her, his light-green eyes bright with elation and, she hoped, her unexpected visit. "And to think it's Squealer's breed that survived! And foals! Oh, how relieved you must be!"
And Arith is a blue...Alessan is "...a man so tall and lean..." (AMC), so maybe he's 6 ft.?
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Old Aug 21 2006, 01:33 PM   #39
Jax
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*pats Jax on the head and gives her a *

Well if you're going to have a complete blackout standard for unread books, it is going to happen to you more...
It's only with unread Anne books and Harry Potter, which I refuse to read until all the movies are out
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Old Aug 21 2006, 01:43 PM   #40
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Moreta online:



And Arith is a blue...Alessan is "...a man so tall and lean..." (AMC), so maybe he's 6 ft.?
Oooh, great one! That seems to fit in with a 30 foot long blue, if Alessan reached all the way up to where Moreta was sitting on Arith's neck.
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