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Old Oct 27 2009, 03:24 PM   #1
Golden Talisath
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Gold Hatching and Impressing

This is probably an old one, but I will still post it.
What happens if there is no one to Impress the dragonets after hatching? I mean, in time when Benden was the only Weyr, what if something happened and the candidates couldn’t make it on time to the hatching grounds? I read somewhere that the dragonet which hasn’t been impressed goes between. Is that true?
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Old Oct 27 2009, 04:02 PM   #2
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Yup.

It's described from [I think...] Sean's POV in Chronicles of Pern: First Fall. Not enough suitable candidates = suicidal hatchlings.

F'lar REALLY took a big risk with the number of candidates he sent South for Prideth;s first clutch, but I guess F'nor caught him in a paradox by telling him how many he sent in advance of the event, and he could have topped up the numbers in a second batch. [Or, more realistically, Anne hadn't decided that it was an issue and that you'd need a few spares at that stage in the series...]
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Old Oct 28 2009, 03:01 AM   #3
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Yup.

It's described from [I think...] Sean's POV in Chronicles of Pern: First Fall. Not enough suitable candidates = suicidal hatchlings.

F'lar REALLY took a big risk with the number of candidates he sent South for Prideth;s first clutch, but I guess F'nor caught him in a paradox by telling him how many he sent in advance of the event, and he could have topped up the numbers in a second batch. [Or, more realistically, Anne hadn't decided that it was an issue and that you'd need a few spares at that stage in the series...]
Also K'van was hoping right type for green rider for there were only five not six, that is till Debra show up. And have right kind of male for the green too. DE/RSR
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Old Nov 1 2009, 09:48 AM   #4
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Yup.

It's described from [I think...] Sean's POV in Chronicles of Pern: First Fall. Not enough suitable candidates = suicidal hatchlings.
Ok, I hadn’t read that book yet, but I can only imagine what a shock that must have been for the Weyr (although, I didn’t see a lot of sympathy when F’nor came too late and the fire lizards started killing each other). Maybe they were satisfied that some of the dragonets where saved (umm… in Sean’s POV we’re any of the dragonets saved?)
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Old Nov 1 2009, 10:58 AM   #5
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I think that there is a difference in the Pernese mindset between fire-lizards and dragons--at least among most dragonriders. Sean, the first Weyrleader, understands the crucial importance of every dragon, and needs to keep them alive--even at the expense of some autocratic practices. Dragonriders in the Ninth Pass haven't seen fire-lizards for years, and at first don't see the worth of miniature dragons. However I would disagree with you about there not being a lot of sympathy. Brekke at least expressed regret at the fraction of the clutch they were able to save. Any other perceived lack of sympathy can be explained by the death and adversity dragonriders face so often--it still affects them, but they have to accept it quickly or die.
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Old Nov 1 2009, 03:24 PM   #6
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I think that there is a difference in the Pernese mindset between fire-lizards and dragons--at least among most dragonriders. Sean, the first Weyrleader, understands the crucial importance of every dragon, and needs to keep them alive--even at the expense of some autocratic practices. Dragonriders in the Ninth Pass haven't seen fire-lizards for years, and at first don't see the worth of miniature dragons. However I would disagree with you about there not being a lot of sympathy. Brekke at least expressed regret at the fraction of the clutch they were able to save. Any other perceived lack of sympathy can be explained by the death and adversity dragonriders face so often--it still affects them, but they have to accept it quickly or die.
Nevertheless, wouldn’t the Ninth Pass dragonriders find it important to see the creatures they only read about in legends and were told about as kids to be alive?
I didn’t say that there was no sympathy in F’nor; I only expected it to be more, because of the things said above. I remember both Brekke and F’nor being sad for not being able to save more firelizards than they did, but said that it’s a good thing they saved as many as they did.
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Old Nov 1 2009, 10:11 PM   #7
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Default Re: Hatching and Impressing

Firelizards: really neat, creatures bordering on legend, nifty little pets.

Dragons: sentient beings vital to the survival of Pern.

I can see them not being remotely as phased about dead firelizards.
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Old Nov 2 2009, 11:05 AM   #8
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Firelizards: really neat, creatures bordering on legend, nifty little pets.

Dragons: sentient beings vital to the survival of Pern.

I can see them not being remotely as phased about dead firelizards.
True enough. They probably thought of the firelizards only as pets, and not the creatures that can help them during Thread fall, while they took great care of the dragons and every one of them were important to them.
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Old Nov 2 2009, 04:01 PM   #9
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True enough. They probably thought of the firelizards only as pets, and not the creatures that can help them during Thread fall, while they took great care of the dragons and every one of them were important to them.
I think more to the point they thought of dragons as speaking, intelligent creatures capable of rational thought (who were, not incidentally, bound to the death to a human). Firelizards are pets. Potentially useful, but not particularly smart, and if you lose a firelizard, you don't go stark raving suicidally insane.
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Old Nov 3 2009, 12:36 PM   #10
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I think more to the point they thought of dragons as speaking, intelligent creatures capable of rational thought (who were, not incidentally, bound to the death to a human). Firelizards are pets. Potentially useful, but not particularly smart, and if you lose a firelizard, you don't go stark raving suicidally insane.
Again true.
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Old Nov 11 2009, 05:41 PM   #11
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Plus, the dragons will mourn the loss of another dragon more than a fire-lizard, so the entire Weyr will end up depressed.
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Old Nov 12 2009, 02:26 PM   #12
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Default Re: Hatching and Impressing

That’s true as well, but didn’t dragons in F’lar’s wind mourn the loss of the watch – wher that protected Lessa, and they think of them as lower race than themselves (almost as low as firelizards).
Which reminded me: why did the dragons mourn his death?
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Old Nov 12 2009, 02:49 PM   #13
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I think Mnementh said that they were honouring him.
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Old Nov 12 2009, 02:58 PM   #14
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Yeah, I got that, but why? Is it because he protected Lessa? Or was it something else? I remember F’lar saying he had nothing to do with it, but does Mnementh ever tell him exactly why they did it?
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Old Nov 12 2009, 03:10 PM   #15
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Yes, it was because the watch-wher had instinctively gone above the "call of duty" in an attempt to protect Lessa. She was last of the Blood, and the Blood supposedly did not leave the Hold unless it was under duress.
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Old Nov 12 2009, 03:17 PM   #16
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Ok, thank you, I remember F’lar and Lessa talking (or F’lar thinking about it later) after I read this.
Anyway… if a firelizard does something good and noble like that (as strange as it would be), wouldn’t the dragons honour it? I know we’re talking about one creature, but would it happen?
And I agree with the fact that, whenever a dragon or a rider dies, the whole Weyr gets sad and mourns him.
What happens after the death of the rider? Does he /she get buried or something else?
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Old Nov 12 2009, 05:17 PM   #17
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I think something else that affects the keen is how much the dragons knew the deceased fire-lizard. Since all the dragons know eachother to some extent, they would be sadder to the loss of another dragon than the loss of a fire-lizard. For example, all the dragons get sad in Moreta not only because of the loss, but because it was the worst possible thing that could happen to a dragon. Unless the fire-lizard was a well known one (such as Zair or Beauty), they might not be as sad, or at least the dragons who knew them would be, and the rest would keen respectively.

As for riders, maybe they wrap the body in some material and then deposit it between? I seem to remember a statement that Nemorth was taken between after the hatching, so maybe it's a common thing to do.
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Old Nov 12 2009, 06:53 PM   #18
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<para clipped>

As for riders, maybe they wrap the body in some material and then deposit it between? I seem to remember a statement that Nemorth was taken between after the hatching, so maybe it's a common thing to do.
Most dragons die while fighting Thread and take themselves and their riders between. Nemorth never learned to go between, so when she died she stayed on the ground, and they had to lift her and take her between. There are probably other cases where dragons are injured and die later while grounded, and have to be removed. Unhatched eggs are also disposed of between. Otherwise they'd have to bury them --- a major task.

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Old Nov 13 2009, 11:46 AM   #19
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Unless they have the mother of all compost pits, disposing of a dragon's body would be a MAJOR pain--except for being able to take it between. And yes, I think (much as I hate to cite Todd) riders who die while not on their dragon (which would, if you account for the 50-year Passes being grossly outnumbered by the Intervals and long Intervals, be most riders) the rider's body is taken *between*. (Probably, most dragonriders who make it out of Weyrlinghood live to old age, unless they're living during a Pass and even then I don't think a MAJORITY are killed fighting. Probably the highest percentage of fatalities is actually Weyrling training.)

Now, what disposal of dragons and riders (plus dragon waste, if dragons reall "go" between) does to the ecosystem and the laws of conservation of energy is another thread entirely.
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Old Nov 13 2009, 12:46 PM   #20
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Haven't we seen injured dragons go between from the ground?

I think Nemorth would have found her way between if she had not had a clutch on the sands. We see the same thing holding Orlith back in Moreta.

Also, Anne has said that she basically forgot about having left Nemorth's corpse there in the Hatching ground...
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Old Nov 13 2009, 02:34 PM   #21
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I didn’t even know Nemorth couldn’t fly between! I just thought she was so lazy that she never did, although was trained, like all dragons, how to do it.
And yes, I remember being stated somewhere else that Anne said she forgot about Nemorth’s corpse on the Hatching ground.
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Old Nov 14 2009, 01:05 PM   #22
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"Queens don't fly."

Obviously they can fly, but Nemorth didn't - just enough to get to the feeding grounds, and very short mating flights. She was never trained to go between, and Jora didn't have the initiative to push for it like Lessa did. However, like I said, I believe she would have found her way between on Jora's death had it not been for the eggs waiting to hatch. As bad as Jora seems to have been, they still had Impressed; the bond was there.
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Old Nov 14 2009, 04:17 PM   #23
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I know that a link between a rider and the dragon is very strong, but it’s very strange to me that Nemorth never did try to learn to fly between.
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Old Nov 16 2009, 01:29 AM   #24
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As for riders, maybe they wrap the body in some material and then deposit it between? I seem to remember a statement that Nemorth was taken between after the hatching, so maybe it's a common thing to do.
I believe I read something about cremation being a popular method of disposing of corpses, since being buried might make a lot of people uncomfortable about "leaving the body exposed" to elements and possible stray Thread. With dragonriders, though, I can see them being taken Between instead, so they could be with their dragon in a way.
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Old Nov 16 2009, 01:19 PM   #25
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I believe I read something about cremation being a popular method of disposing of corpses, since being buried might make a lot of people uncomfortable about "leaving the body exposed" to elements and possible stray Thread. With dragonriders, though, I can see them being taken Between instead, so they could be with their dragon in a way.
Do you have a reference? The problem I have with this is, unless you either have access to an oven that reaches an EXTREMELY high temperature, it's very hard to completely incinerate a body. You either have to have cultural/religious reasons (a la the Romans, or the Japanese) for being comfortable dealing with burned bits of loved one (there's a ritual in Japanese practice involving passing the larger bone bits from the box they're returned in to the chief mourner to the reliquilary using *chopsticks*; this is why it's rude/back luck to pass pieces of food from chopstick to chopsticks), leaving the burned bits for the elements, or standing there poking and repoking the fire for a LONG time until it burns down.

I know we've seen the Pernese do burial at sea, even for those with no (non-retconned) connection to the sea. And for people who essentially live in caves, one would think rock-cairn or even catacomb burials wouldn't be unusual. In fact, isn't there something in DF about Sallah Telgar's recovered body being placed in a cave at Telgar Hold?
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Old Nov 16 2009, 01:51 PM   #26
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In fact, isn't there something in DF about Sallah Telgar's recovered body being placed in a cave at Telgar Hold?
Yes, there is, but it’s in All the Weyrs of Pern, and not DF. I should know: that’s the part of the book I reached so far!
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Old Nov 16 2009, 07:14 PM   #27
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I also would like to see the quote that says they have cremation on Pern...
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Old Nov 16 2009, 08:07 PM   #28
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I also would like to see the quote that says they have cremation on Pern...
When Moreta first visits Ruatha after the quarantine is lifted, she sees the burial mounds (for humans) and thinks about 'the cremation fires that had consumed dead animals, winners and losers both, of the ten races that had drawn them to Ruatha on that fatal occasion'.

So the human dead were buried as deep as they could manage, piled up above ground a little way, and eventually covered in earth, but the animals were burned. Probably because there were a lot more humans than animals to be disposed of, and their coal supply was limited. Or possibly, as with surgery, there were things the Pernese were willing to do to animals that they weren't willing to do to humans.

I can't recall any other references to cremation.

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Old Nov 17 2009, 05:27 AM   #29
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<sinp>
I know we've seen the Pernese do burial at sea, even for those with no (non-retconned) connection to the sea. And for people who essentially live in caves, one would think rock-cairn or even catacomb burials wouldn't be unusual. In fact, isn't there something in DF about Sallah Telgar's recovered body being placed in a cave at Telgar Hold?
Its in All the Weyrs of Pern, a small cave near the place in which she is named for. Robinton was lay to rest in the waters of Cove Hold.
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Old Nov 17 2009, 12:26 PM   #30
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When Moreta first visits Ruatha after the quarantine is lifted, she sees the burial mounds (for humans) and thinks about 'the cremation fires that had consumed dead animals, winners and losers both, of the ten races that had drawn them to Ruatha on that fatal occasion'.

So the human dead were buried as deep as they could manage, piled up above ground a little way, and eventually covered in earth, but the animals were burned. Probably because there were a lot more humans than animals to be disposed of, and their coal supply was limited. Or possibly, as with surgery, there were things the Pernese were willing to do to animals that they weren't willing to do to humans.

I can't recall any other references to cremation.

Eriflor.

But there is arguably a big difference between burning bodies during a plague and cremating bodies when there is no sickness. And even then, more animals bodies were burned than human bodies.

And the relative scarcity of wood on Pern (at least northern Pern) might argue against using it to cremate (except for mass burials).

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Old Nov 17 2009, 02:32 PM   #31
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On page 89 of the DLG 2nd Edition are the words: The bodies of the dead are rarely buried in the ground without some protection from the sky. There is a dislike of leaving the body of a loved one where it might get Threadseared. Instead, the dead are interred in stone cairns or under stone tablets. Cremations are not uncommon, but in poor or woodless holds, cave burials are more accepted. Fisherfolk have elaborate and solemn ceremonies for burial at sea.

Of course, since it is the DLG, it may not be completely accurate. No mention of what Dragonriders do. I am sure they would take them between, because of F'lon's offer to Robintion in MHOP, to drop him between if he wished. Since it could be a tradition/habit to take ex-riders between, it might make sense to take bodies of the dead between and leave them there. Don't they take a dead dragon between in DH?

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Old Nov 17 2009, 03:07 PM   #32
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But there is arguably a big difference between burning bodies during a plague and cremating bodies when there is no sickness. And even then, more animals bodies were burned than human bodies.

And the relative scarcity of wood on Pern (at least northern Pern) might argue against using it to cremate (except for mass burials).

GH
I don't think there's any indication in the quote of burning ANY human remains. That they buried human bodies while burning (bigger, more difficult to completely reduce) animal carcasses argues strongly to me of an actual taboo against burning as a means of disposal. Especially on a planet where wood is in short supply (and it takes many, many cords of it to reduce a human to actual ash and bone) and coal may not be easily accessible (and isn't ideal, except to fire a purpose-built furnace) human cremation seems like a less-likely means of disposal. Cairn burials or caves where practicable, or sea burials where culturally appropriate.
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Old Nov 17 2009, 04:00 PM   #33
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Actually, when you think of it, leaving dead bodies out for Thread to consume would be a clean and easy way to get rid of the bodies, especially when they need so much land for agriculture. Well, other than having to take them somewhere that Thread can't proliferate.

The Pernese must have a deep-seated racial memory of those early days when people saw their friends and relations get eaten by Thread, resulting in the idea that this is not something you're going to allow to happen to your loved ones, even after death. They do execute major criminals by staking them out for Thread, and maybe that's another argument against general disposal by Thread.

As far as cremation goes, it's probably mainly about the shortage of wood and coal for burning. So why wouldn't they bury the animals too?

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Old Nov 17 2009, 04:53 PM   #34
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I don't think you COULD leave a body out for thread unless you positioned the body in a desert (hot or cold). You couldn't judge just which thread to leave viable to land on the body. And, sure as hatch dragons, you wouldn't want to risk an entire valley of crop land
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Old Nov 17 2009, 04:56 PM   #35
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Maybe not in the Ninth Pass, but if the Oldtimers are a good example of Dragonriders in the past, then unpopulated fields might have been ignored, due to the difficulty in protecting it. Which makes sense to some extent, protecting empty land could result in more injuries and using up of firestone.
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Old Nov 17 2009, 09:26 PM   #36
Anareth
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Again--the difficulty in burning comes from mass. If they had dozens of horses and cattle dead at Ruatha, there is more biomass there to burn than there is in a pile of human corpses. Why not burn those with the limited fuel available rather than try and burn the animals?

(I am avoiding some of the really nasty reasons people dislike open-pit cremation.)
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Old Nov 17 2009, 11:55 PM   #37
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Both Oldtimers and moderns ignored places where Thread had nothing to feed on, which basically means barren mountaintops, ice-covered areas, bodies of water, and in the early turns, areas that have not yet been protected from Thread long enough to have any vegetation.

At the start of the First Pass, the whole of the Northern Continent would have been devastated by Thread, probably within the first month of Threadfall. Once the leaders decided to move everyone north to Fort Hold, they would start protecting the immediate area, but for a number of years they'd be dependent on hydroponic farming and whatever they could get from the sea.

For the longest time, only the areas within a short radius of the holds would be vegetated, and outside that area there would be empty wasteland. The local Weyr would protect a certain zone outside the croplands to make it gradually suitable for farming. This land could quite well be used for burials, and the decomposing bodies would improve the fertility of the soil. And as the land was claimed for farming, the protected zone would be extended outwards. The Oldtimers were shocked to see how much extra vegetation (all those forests) they had to protect after 400 turns.

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Old Nov 18 2009, 01:57 AM   #38
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Wow, everyone beat me to the DLGTP. XD I wouldn't have remembered the right page anyway.
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Old Nov 18 2009, 06:25 AM   #39
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Anareth: didn't Rupert Brookes' friends have this problem when they tried to cremate him on a beach?
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Old Nov 18 2009, 10:25 AM   #40
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Maybe some of Pern did put there dead in caves (as seen in AtWoP), but some may have burn them. I think it all depends on the place people live in, as those who live in a place where there is a lot of wood can afford to burn there dead.
As for the dragonriders… maybe they do take there dead to between, as seen in MHoP.
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