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Old Jul 4 2008, 01:24 AM   #1
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Default Dragons in dangerous states of mind

We know that it is very much against a dragon’s nature to hurt a human. However it has happened when a dragon did not know what they were doing, as at Ramoth’s hatching, or when they don’t have time to take care, as Golanth did with the Seaholder. More important to my reasoning for posting this topic however, the threadscored dragons that Moreta helped stitch were certainly liable to hurt someone although they seemed to be somewhat aware enough to actively try not to hurt them.

While the first two were not to be particularly concerned about, Moreta had a way to prevent the dragons from reacting to the pain. My question about this mental restraining ability of the Gold dragons (and to a certain extent other dragons) is how uncomfortable it is for the dragon being controlled, and how long can another dragon effectively control them without tiring?

If the Gold’s ability to control another dragon fails, or they become too tired to continue, and the other dragon is still in a dangerous state of mind, what other options are available? Does Fellis Juice work as a sedative for dragons as well as it does humans? Is there any equipment to physically restrain a dragon, or has it never been nescesary to consider that option. (I don’t remember any cases where dragons ever get sick in the books {from illness, not from serious injury}, but I have not read everything yet).

I ask these questions because I am trying to consider a story I want to write - of a fan fiction sort. While I won’t say much yet, I am thinking of the idea that dragons are unintentionally - on the part of the dragons and their riders - exposed to a hallucinogenic like poison (like very bad trips on LSD or something). Due to the fact that the story will take place after thread, the Weyrs don’t have many ~10-50 dragons and riders, plus some assorted others dependent on mating flights, hatchings, etc. This means they may have a limited ability to care for more than one or two poisoned dragons.
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Old Jul 4 2008, 02:52 AM   #2
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Default Re: Dragons in dangerous states of mind

If the dragons are few in the Weyrs because they've moved to other locations, returning only to mate, then there must be an emergency system available to call them back if the need arises. However, if the dragons are a dying species on Pern and that's why they're so few in number, the problem is somewhat different.

Dragons aren't superhuman, and they do tire eventually, as everything organic does. However, how long is it reasonable to expect such poisoning to last?

I have a vague idea that fellis juice is toxic to dragons, but don't ask me where I got it from. It's been three years or so since I last read Pern, so the details are somewhat fuzzy. Even if it isn't, getting a large enough dose in to be effective is going to take a lot of work. And therein lies the biggest problem I see with your fic, how on Pern are you going to get the dragons exposed to enough hallucinogen to have any effect on them? My suggestion is that you stick to poisoning the riders, leaving the dragons alone. Especially the chromatics are going to be seriously affected if their riders are mentally unstable, and it would take all the dragons in the Weyr just to prevent dragons being driven between with anxiety over their riders. The advantage of this is that there's canon precedent, remember how worried Sharra was when Jaxom was delirious with fire-head? A lesser dragon than Ruth (i.e. a blue or green) might've been driven between.
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Old Jul 4 2008, 04:23 AM   #3
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Default Re: Dragons in dangerous states of mind

Thanks for the advice, I am still trying to figure things out so any comments are good.

Remember that most of what I say here refers only to my story, but the Weyrs have so few in them now because, many dragons have moved onto other lives outside of the Weyrs. Still however they provide an important service since dragon eggs don't seem to be able to hatch just anywhere, young dragonriders need to know how to care for their dragons, fly, and fly between, and even with no threadfall dragons occasionaly get injured, and the experienced healers in caring for them generally live or have practices at the Weyrs. Sort of like Dragonrider CraftHalls or somesuch. I don't see any good reason not to have the ability to call the Dragonriders back in case of emergency.

Humans are blessed and cursed with a very high metabolism. We eat several times a day, dragons however eat once a week or less. While I can't say with certainty that metabolism and the decay of toxins/drugs are related, I do suspect that they would be (it's almost certainly more closely related to how often stuff comes out than goes in, but that in even more rarely mentioned in the sources). That along with the fact that while much of the medication humans use has 4-6 hour effects, it really depends on the medication.

Third, the ammount of exposure is not an issue. I don't want to say much this early, but there is definately a "bad guy" in this story, I don't think the poisoning will be an accident, or not entirely. The more important question is whether others including the rider are also exposed/affected.

Lastly the only case I know of where a dragon ever entered between and stayed there before it's rider died was when the Old Timer queen went between with Brekke's queen in rage, anger, and revenge. I think the mentions in both The White Dragon and Moreta were that blue and green dragons in particular panic if their human becomes feverish or confused, they don't try to help their human, and they don't get someone who can. Edit: Though you do bring up a good point, does it really matter if the dragon is poisoned vs. the human, considering the closeness of their mind. Confusion and fever in human produces confusion in the dragon, hallucinations, disorientation and poor judgement in the human, the same could affect the dragon.

Sidenote: The United States developed a chemical weapon that caused sturpor and hallucinations to those affected even in extreemly small quantities. A very dangerous dose of the chemical was more than ~50x the effective dose, and the effects could last up to 72 hours. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agent_15 I'm not saying this is the toxin in my story, but there are a huge number of unidentified plants in Southern, and some may have defensive mechanisms similar to magic mushrooms.

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Old Jul 4 2008, 10:57 PM   #4
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Default Re: Dragons in dangerous states of mind

A thought re: getting enough poison into a dragon to do something...they wouldn't ingest it directly, per se. Have a heard of herdbeasts eating native Pernese plants. Since herdbeasts are descendants of tweaked Terran beasties, it's entirely possible they could ingest a toxin from a plant that is only toxic to native Pern creatures, but that doesn't affect them. They just become a "carrier". It could be stored up in their muscles, liver, etc. and never affect them. But, if you then take that herdbeast that's eaten the toxic-to-pern-creatures plant and have a dragon sup on it, the poison could be transfered to the dragon and do weird things to it, because dragons have Pernese chemistry.

(Things like this is why it's bad for humans to eat certain fish from certain waters...the big fish we eat eats smaller fish which eat bugs or algae or something with mercury or another toxin in them. As the mercury travels up the food chain, from speck of algae to big predator fish, it becomes more and more concentrated in the creatures' tissues, until the fish that we eat might have enough toxin in it to affect us in a bad way.)

Hmm...I might use this idea myself...LOL!
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Old Jul 5 2008, 02:06 AM   #5
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Default Re: Dragons in dangerous states of mind

That is certainly a direction that I had not thought of, although that would suggest that the riders would not be simultaneously infected, if only because the chemical is not toxic to them. It may also be a good explanation for why the plants may not be in the list of plants that are dangerous in southern.

Let's say that a bronze dragon go poisoned, the concern would be that even a momentary lapse of their judgement could be extreemly dangerous to any humans nearby. Are there any cannonical references to methods to deal with dragons like that besides Moreta having a queen control them?

Generally my interest in Fan-Fiction is to answer or fill in questions I have that are unlikely to be answered in the sources. This seems one of those questions, but I don't think I can answer myself.
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Old Jul 5 2008, 09:03 PM   #6
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Default Re: Dragons in dangerous states of mind

I think the timing of that ought to be when there was still thread. mainly because for there to be a single bad guy there needs to be a central point. one person trying to coordinate poisoning a number of dragons at nearly the same time, without dragon assistance. that would strain the suspension of disbelief. now if someone at some point just past the midpoint of a long interval decided the dragons WERE beyond their time and had to be done away with. then chemically enhance a tithe that might be a bit more believable.
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Old Jul 6 2008, 01:58 PM   #7
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Default Re: Dragons in dangerous states of mind

How limited is their ability going to really be to care for sick dragons? How many people still live at the Weyr? Is it simply the riders working all available jobs? I see you said, "Pluss some assorted others, depending on mating flights, clutches, and the like," but this still leaves me wondering. Are the riders doing all the work of the Weyr? It is possible, from what I understand of Benden during it's founding.

And granted, if there would be mostly male riders (or female if women are Impressing greens again), what about babies? Or the occasional lover? In a male instance, having a lover in a cothold or a hold in the surrounding area, would they be able to recruit this person for help if Whatshallwecallith comes down with the psychedelic poison?

Also, at what level would the "poison" act as a poison? How much would be needed to actually cause the dragons some sort of harm? Would a sickness from a psychedelic cause more mental harm then physical, at least directly?

In the case of mental harm, and say the Queen herself were affected, and perhaps this happened during her mating flight, or in the normal course of extended feeding on herdbeasts with a slow buildup of the drug, or else a very fast acting drug, what would happen to the Weyr? I'd think that if a dragon were to start going on a bad "trip" and the only currently available queen is, herself, one of the afflicted... I imagine it would be incredibly dangerous. The dragons would likely either be significantly harming themselves, or reacting to stimuli which aren't real. And if a dragonrider is having trouble understanding the mind of their dragon, they would be adding their own concern to the already tripping dragon. I could see this leading to lashing out by the dragon, or perhaps the dragon tries to chew firestone to flame the thread which isn't there, or the dragon comes close to a mating flight only to turn on those following them because they're hearing voices that say, "We're going to hurt your rider!"?

Heh, I apologize for rambling, and the best thing I can think of is, "Wow that could be lots of interesting, creative fun, figuring out exactly how to deal with dragons hallucinating reality, and not always a friendly, colorful reality, but a dangerous and threatening one, without the help of their queen."

And while I do think dragons know better than to attack people by the time they've grown to weyrlings, except in the case of the lives of their rider's being in danger. The most damage I'd think they'd do would be incidental, though violence could probably be provoked.

(If a Holder had indeed decided to poison a Weyr in such a way, may they be "blessed" with the presence of the dragon suffering the ill sides of such a drug. ;D)
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Old Jul 6 2008, 05:16 PM   #8
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Default Re: Dragons in dangerous states of mind

I am thinking that this would certainly be a widespread issue, and it may not be related to the Weyrs at all. It's the dynamic that I want to get at. All the problems in the Pern novels, the dragons are there to help. What happens when dragons they love and care for become the very thing they are trying to protect people from? On top of this, if a dragon does injure someone, and news of this gets around, how much trust of dragonriders that are not living in Weyrs may be lost?

Those are the questions that I want to answer in the story.
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Old Jul 6 2008, 06:40 PM   #9
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Lightbulb Re: Dragons in dangerous states of mind

I knew someone who was effected by "Agent Orange", he has moved away from where I live now, I lost track of him. The effects have started to problem him I think. If there was a problem(s) related to a Wyer or Wyers a gold could bespeak to the other Wyers, a meeting could take place it a known landmark Ex. Red Butte in Keroon, or someplace else. If its Hold/Crafthall base they could have the watchdragon bespeak the watchrider home Wyer and take it from there.
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Old Jul 6 2008, 08:38 PM   #10
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Default Re: Dragons in dangerous states of mind

Once word got out, I think trust in dragonriders would take a sharp dive. Not, perhaps, consciously at first, but the thought of such a large creature being dangerous isn't far from the minds of folks. And unlike with whers, dragons don't have an easy check method that most of Pern would know of and about.

I'd imagine dragonriders would be somewhat heartbroken, because they'd be feeling what their dragon is experiencing the whole time. Even if dragonriders aren't directly physically affected, they certainly would be mentally affected. That alone, showing a breakdown in front of any of those folks not of the Weyr, would be sufficient to cause a certain degree of panic. How far that panic goes, and what the results would be, then go to you. =)

Lots of trust lost, and lots of heartbreak and confusion: these are quite logical responses to me. (Though I am being cynical.)
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Old Jul 7 2008, 11:58 AM   #11
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Default Re: Dragons in dangerous states of mind

Well - if you'd like to see a fanfiction perspective on killing a dragon, read Dragonchoice II: Dragonchosen

The author there handles it very well, I believe.
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Old Jul 7 2008, 08:07 PM   #12
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Default Re: Dragons in dangerous states of mind

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Originally Posted by Shalyn View Post
Well - if you'd like to see a fanfiction perspective on killing a dragon, read Dragonchoice II: Dragonchosen

The author there handles it very well, I believe.
I have read it Part 1-2
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Old Jul 11 2008, 08:02 AM   #13
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Default Re: Dragons in dangerous states of mind

Alright, I have thought through a good arc for my story to take. Many of the things said here have helped me in some ways, so thanks.

BTW, about "Dragonchoice" is there something specific I should read it for, or just general similar feel sort of thing? I got through the first chapter, but decided that I should finish "The Skies of Pern" first. I will probably read it eventually.
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Old Jul 11 2008, 09:12 AM   #14
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Default Re: Dragons in dangerous states of mind

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Originally Posted by Zanthra View Post
Alright, I have thought through a good arc for my story to take. Many of the things said here have helped me in some ways, so thanks.

BTW, about "Dragonchoice" is there something specific I should read it for, or just general similar feel sort of thing? I got through the first chapter, but decided that I should finish "The Skies of Pern" first. I will probably read it eventually.
The main reason I suggested it is that in DC2, a dragon is murdered. But it's towards the end. You were asking about killing a dragon, so I gave you a dragon killing! That is all.
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Old Jul 11 2008, 05:22 PM   #15
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Default Re: Dragons in dangerous states of mind

Thanks, although only a small number of the dragons who are poisoned are going to die from it in my story, (old or otherwise weak to start with). Lethality of poisons are always dose dependent, for example Botox is a very very strong poison, yet it is used for cosmetic purposes. I will however see if I can get time to read that.
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Old Jul 13 2008, 03:22 AM   #16
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Default Re: Dragons in dangerous states of mind

BTW, can anyone confirm or deny whether Fellis Juice is dangerous to dragons or not? I know that some sedatives given to reptiles can significantly impact their thermoregulation, but I think that garanth's comment on the vauge idea it was toxic did not refer to the dragon just getting very hot or cold. A few have marked effects on Respratory or Cardiovascular systems, but these things are considered warnings for when using them rather than reasons not to use them.
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Old Jul 13 2008, 01:02 PM   #17
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Default Re: Dragons in dangerous states of mind

While I don't have a confirmation on dragons, I do know that at the Ruatha Gather in AtWoP Zair was drugged with fellis as Master Robinton was, and was severly affected and had to be purged. Since fire-lizards are so similar to dragons it makes sense that in large enough doses dragons could be affected, but because of their increased size it would probably have to be a pretty big dose.
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Old Jul 13 2008, 10:31 PM   #18
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Default Re: Dragons in dangerous states of mind

I was under the impression that the reason the fellis was a problem for Zair was that he had too much of it, rather than that the fellis itself was a problem. But, on the other hand, I don't remember anyone ever dosing any other firelizards or dragons with fellis, even though it is frequently given to humans. So it is possible that fellis is a problem for them.
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Old Jul 14 2008, 12:00 AM   #19
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Default Re: Dragons in dangerous states of mind

Was it fellis that Zair was given? I know Robinton was drugged with fellis, but I don't remember if Zair was given something else.
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Old Jul 14 2008, 03:29 AM   #20
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I reread that passage a couple times, and it is pretty clear that Zair was fed meat with fellis in it. Sharra mentioned Fellis when trying to assess what was wrong with Zair. Later it is clear that Robinton did not handle the overdose of Fellis well, so it could be assumed that it was the overdose of Fellis that made Zair sick as well.

It seems that the use of fellis as a sedative is not undignified in Pernese culture. The real issue is that if a dragon knows it will become dangerous it may be willing to drink fellis, but if they have impaired judgement, terror, and are hearing/seeing things not there, they would be less likely to. Also eventually it breaks down, so if it does not last as long as the poison, they still need to be delbt with. Finally even a green dragon is very large in Pern, possibly 1000 or more kilograms. That's more than 20 times the human dose, so it's unlikely they would keep stocks of fellis for dragons when cases where dragons need to be sedated are more or less nonexistant. It will probably be more used for the fretful riders of the dragons who are poisoned.

A little off topic, how exactly was F'lar able to tase the Fellis in Robinton's wine, yet Robinton himself - being an extreemly accomplished wine taster - was willing to just drink it up? (Minor quibble I only notice from reading several times)

Last edited by Zanthra; Jul 14 2008 at 05:23 PM. Reason: This post had bad math, .1 mg/kg in 1000kg is 100mg not the 100g I had stated. I feel embarassed.
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Old Jul 14 2008, 01:09 PM   #21
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Default Re: Dragons in dangerous states of mind

It doesn't really make sense, does it? However it may have to do with awareness. F'lar was likely looking for fellis. Robinton, with the warning that an abduction attempt was likely to happen, and all of problems with the Abdominators, and the stress of coming nearer and nearer to the culmination of AIVAS's plan, likely had a lot on his mind and so it follows he was likely as not as aware of what he was drinking especially since it was at the Ruathan Gather and he wasn't expecting trouble.
On a slightly different note, one thing always bothered me about Robinton's abduction: the locator AIVAS ordered to be manufactured was supposed to be able to be detected from all the way to the Yokohama, but was unable to be detected on Pern itself? Any explanations?
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Old Jul 14 2008, 08:10 PM   #22
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Default Re: Dragons in dangerous states of mind

I thought that the locator was detectable by the Yokohama and thus someone stationed there would be able to let the dragons or others know where Robinton was...It has been at least 6 months since I have read the series so memory is vague
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Old Jul 15 2008, 01:01 AM   #23
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Default Re: Dragons in dangerous states of mind

If they were serving him wine all evening, they could have started with some that had a small amount of fellis, then upped the dose once he was a little less aware.
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Old Jul 15 2008, 10:06 PM   #24
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Here is an initial important character list. I want to make sure I did not reuse any names already used in the books. I also don't recall the name of S'lon's dragon. She/he in this refers to either the rider or the dragon sometimes...

(The Main character) Kalith brown dragon to A’vir. He is the first to be poisoned by eating wild herdbeast in southern taking place many months before the more widespread poisonings. Born in Monaco Bay Weyr, he helps A’vir with botanical studies of the plants in southern, related to forestry in an ecologically stable fasion.

Telmorath gold dragon to Adriana. She is the senior queen at Monaco Bay Weyr, and due to changes in the management of Weyrs since thread is no longer a concern and his disinterest Adriana, instead of her weyrmate Z’lon, is the weyrleader. She has severely slurred speech, along with slow jerky movements, and so rarely speaks herself preferring to have her dragon confer her instructions to those who need to hear them.

Thieloth bronze dragon to S’gar. Weyrleader of Benden Weyr, it remains the most powerful of the Weyrs, so when the poisoning becomes widespread he ends up being highly involved.

Yesith gold dragon to Shiesa. She is the first gold dragon to be poisoned. She becomes very difficult to control because of her size and willpower – difficulty for other queens to calm her, completely convinced that she is not sick.

Tinieth green dragon to S’garan. She is the first dragon to injure her rider in the confusion of the poison (of only two or three), pulling him back violently from another dragon who she thought a threat, cutting his arm badly.

Existing characters:

S’lan and ___
T’lion and Gadareth. They help to move poisoned dragons from holdings and halls back to the Weyrs where there are less people around to injure.
Jaxom and Ruth. They work to calm the tensions with the lord holders over the danger some now see dragons as.

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Old Jul 15 2008, 11:41 PM   #25
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Default Re: Dragons in dangerous states of mind

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I thought that the locator was detectable by the Yokohama and thus someone stationed there would be able to let the dragons or others know where Robinton was...It has been at least 6 months since I have read the series so memory is vague
The Yokohama was stationed over the Southern continent, so it could locate Robinton while he was at Cove Hold or Landing. The kidnapping took place while he was at Ruatha, so since the Northern satellite array was never set up, he couldn't be detected.

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Old Sep 18 2008, 03:01 AM   #26
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Default Re: Dragons in dangerous states of mind

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Here is an initial important character list. I want to make sure I did not reuse any names already used in the books. I also don't recall the name of S'lon's dragon. She/he in this refers to either the rider or the dragon sometimes...

S’lan and bronze Binth from Dragonflight and Dragonlover's of Pern Second Editon.?

T’lion and Gadareth. They help to move poisoned dragons from holdings and halls back to the Weyrs where there are less people around to injure.
Jaxom and Ruth. They work to calm the tensions with the lord holders over the danger some now see dragons as.
There is S'len and green Bigath from Dragonlover's Guide to Pern Second Edtion

Sorry it taken me this long to re find this thread.
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Old Sep 18 2008, 03:03 AM   #27
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Default Re: Dragons in dangerous states of mind

I can also think of a few other spots, maiting flighs, and felines for two. LOL
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