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Old Feb 5 2008, 10:39 PM   #1
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Default Queen casualties

Okay, if 1% of dragon eggs are golds, what is killing the queens? Given the frequency of clutching, something has to be taking out queens. With the fighting colors the causes are obvious and understandable, but flying the queens' wing has never looked that hazardous. So...what's taking out the queens?
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Old Feb 6 2008, 03:46 AM   #2
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It's got to be less than 1%, and it depends a lot on the specific queen and the needs of the Weyrs. Ideally, you want each queen to breed a replacement who'll live to maturity, and produce at least one queen daughter herself. For that necessary replacement rate, given accidents and the risks of childbirth, I'd expect the numbers to average out at 2-3 queen eggs over the lifetime of a queen, perhaps only 1-2 during an interval when the risks are lower as well as the rate at which she'll rise. Some, like Ramoth, will obviously throw more gold eggs... while others will produce less. How many oldtime queens produced a gold egg uptime?

If you have a Pass-Queen rising once a turn and laying 25 eggs, with a 1% frequency of gold eggs you'd expect a queen every 4 turns. My gut feeling is that this is way too high, especially once you factor in the other queens in the Weyr. One every ten-fifteen turns per queen on average during a Pass would work out at about one new Queen for the Weyr every five years (assuming 2-3 mature queens per year), ten in total over the Pass, and fit in well with 2-3 gold eggs per queen on average over her laying lifetime. Even that's a little high, so you do need the attrition.

Okay, the causes.

Weyrlinghood. Queen riders are no better or worse than other weyrlings when it comes to visualising their destination and getting cocky. Yes, they'll likely be drilled harder in some cases, but they may also find themselves tutored by the current Weyrleader rather than someone with more experience of training Weyrlings. Accidents happen. You can lose up to half a clutch in a bad turn, or none at all in a good one.

Childbirth. This is more of a factor during Intervals when the dragons will go between less frequently, but even between is no bar to a successful conception. It can be, yes, but not for every woman. That's going to be your major killer of queens, I think, particularly the younger ones.

Threadfall, from scores or otherwise. Look at the queen dragon Moreta treated, who could easily have died. Accidents will happen. Then you've got things like acid burns from ruptured tanks, falling debris, sloppy ambulance duty (never thought about how easy it'd be for a queen rider to get her back/neck broken during a clumsy rescue? You should...), coming out of between in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Other potential causes of deaths - Cancer, food poisoning, falls, fellis-overdose...

Oh, and here's another. Failure to control your dragon during mating. You can either kill your dragon directly by not staying with her (if you believe that's a possible option), have her rise at the same time as another queen (only likely to happen once per Pass, because they're not total idiots), or just do a Jora and make her flights too crap to produce a queen egg except when the Weyr really, really needs one.

Overall, I think the 1% frequency has just been rounded up to the nearest whole number. 0.25% is more plausible given the observed population, and while it still leaves you with the need for heavy attrition, that level of deaths is workable.
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Old Feb 6 2008, 07:35 PM   #3
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Default Re: Queen casualties

Weyrlinghood: Certainly possible, but I'd say infrequent as casualties in this regard are infrequent to begin with. I don't think it would contribute much to thinning out the ranks of the queens.

Childbirth: Given Pern's state of technology and the risk factors for queen riders, this might contribute disproportionately to their casualties. I recall one such in DE. And given that Between and induce spontaneous abortion by miscarriage, well, not every miscarriage is survivable, even the natural ones.

Threadfall: Certainly possible as the impression we've been given of the work of the queens' wing may not be representative. Having to make a fast, last-second play to keep thread from hitting the ground and having to use an awkward flame-thrower might contribute disproportionately to casualties.

Actually, I had considered botched rescue attempts and the potential for queen riders being thrown from their mounts, crushed, or otherwise suffering trauma. I actually consider the issue with the queens themselves. Catching a falling dragon can't be easy in the first place, and if it's injured and possibly flailing, things could get ugly. Also, if the injured dragon is caught, but mortal, it might go Between in contact with the queen, dragging her with it.

Other causes: All possible, but unlikely to make a disproportionate contribution.

Mating: Now that's an issue that hasn't been adequately addressed. Given the ground covered in some mating flights, there almost has to be some skipping in-and-out of Between on some of them (High Reaches to Nabol isn't exactly a short flight). Also, what happens if the queen out-flies her pursuers? What if none of them catch her? What happens then? This, we frankly don't know. Does a lust-mad and uncaught queen go Between? (

Of course going back to a separate issue about the frequency of mating flights versus dragon population, perhaps not every mating flight is consummated... Hmmm, might Jora have been encouraged to let Nemorth slack so the last viable queen would be sure to be caught?)

There are lies, damned lies and statistics, after all, and if the 1% refers to overall dragon population and not eggs laid, it might simply be laid down to golds living longer overall and they may not constitute 1% of eggs laid. Unfortunately, the observed gold population would tend to support both 1% of eggs and 1% of population. Iin fact, the books seem a little too rich in golds, but part of that might be the freak Ramoth throwing queens left and right, and the deliberately engineered Faranth having thrown quite a few to start things. After all, we're only really familiar with the 9th Pass and to an extent the 1st and 8th, with a bit less of the 6th and 2nd.

This also gets me wondering about dragon-rider longevity. How long do these people really live? This is a medieval culture and in the medieval period, average age was (IIRC) about 25. In DK, Kindan figures that at 26 he'll be "old." Admittedly, this is a thought from the perspective of an 11 year old, but we have to keep in mind that Natalon the journeyman miner running the camp is a whopping 31 or so. Many senior craft masters might be all of 40, and most people may be dead by 50 or 60. Should probably post this musing as a separate topic...

Last edited by Cheryl; Feb 7 2008 at 07:58 AM. Reason: Removed quotation of entire post immediately before this one
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Old Feb 7 2008, 04:07 AM   #4
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Default Re: Queen casualties

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Childbirth: Given Pern's state of technology and the risk factors for queen riders, this might contribute disproportionately to their casualties. I recall one such in DE. And given that Between and induce spontaneous abortion by miscarriage, well, not every miscarriage is survivable, even the natural ones.
Most between induced miscarriages will occur early on, well within the first trimester. I've been through a number of them, and the earliest are physically very easy to deal with. Yes, there are complications that can occur, but they're generally very rare. You'd be looking for a VERY bad case of metritis, possibly from an incomplete m/c, prolonged bleeding and subsequent infection, if you wanted to kill someone off with a first trimester loss. Even when the bleeding does go on for months rather than weeks, it's very simple to keep things hygienic and cut down the risk of infection. Have showers rather than baths, never use anything other than pads, and change them regularly. It's the mental trauma affecting the rider that you'd be most worried about there.

Here's one way you could kill them off - molar pregnancies and ectopics. Use the influence of between to either stimulate the embryo the wrong way, or slow down its passage through the fallopian tubes, and you're looking at some very bad news.

Later, we know that between is safe in the second trimester and for the majority of the third; the risks towards the end of the pregnancy are more towards the baby than the mother. Premature birth is a big possibility and less risky to the mother... but perhaps as the placenta is beginning to senesce the cold of between could adversely affect it. I'd find it very plausible if they had an increased risk of haemorrhage, and the uterus isn't exactly the eaiest place to stuff full of redwort (or whatever).

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There are lies, damned lies and statistics, after all, and if the 1% refers to overall dragon population and not eggs laid, it might simply be laid down to golds living longer overall and they may not constitute 1% of eggs laid. Unfortunately, the observed gold population would tend to support both 1% of eggs and 1% of population.
WHERE do you get your 1% figure from? Unless you can find an adequate citation, I'm afraid I'm going to remain unconvinced.

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Iin fact, the books seem a little too rich in golds, but part of that might be the freak Ramoth throwing queens left and right,
Yup, Ramoth is teh speshul!!11!

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and the deliberately engineered Faranth having thrown quite a few to start things.
Re: Faranth; See Ramoth.

She didn't throw that many, but given the strength of the bond between Sean/Sorka an increased queen egg fraction is to be expected, and given the forced lifestyle changes for the other riders it'd be very easy for the other queens to lag behind in that respect. Certainly, with well over a dozen breeding queens within three years of the first hatching, the population would be expected to boom quite dramatically. [As I explain at some length in DragonDays!]

Quote:
This also gets me wondering about dragon-rider longevity. How long do these people really live? This is a medieval culture and in the medieval period, average age was (IIRC) about 25. In DK, Kindan figures that at 26 he'll be "old." Admittedly, this is a thought from the perspective of an 11 year old, but we have to keep in mind that Natalon the journeyman miner running the camp is a whopping 31 or so. Many senior craft masters might be all of 40, and most people may be dead by 50 or 60. Should probably post this musing as a separate topic...
Dragonriders have a good standard of living, and can be expected to reach 80-100 in an Interval.
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Old Feb 8 2008, 01:01 AM   #5
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Dragonriders have a good standard of living, and can be expected to reach 80-100 in an Interval.
The issue isn't standard of living. The issue is the physical effects of flight on the body. If you read about the early aviators, many of them didn't live that long, even if they avoided crashing. Flight places a fair amount of wear and tear on the body, especially when your cockpit is unheated and unpressurized. Bleeding in the lungs was a common problem, and it doesn't help that Pern's atmosphere would be thinner due to the lesser gravity. Certainly the repeated violent exposure to the absolute cold of Between doesn't help one bit. So I'm not very sanguine about the DLG assertion of people routinely living actively into their 80s. Maybe that was the case for the folks who Landed and for a while as long as the medical technology held out.

However, we know that medical technology and knowledge degraded badly by the 6th Pass, and that plague was a challenge even in the 1st Pass (losing 4,000 in the fever year means that was one hell of a bug to defeat the level of medical technology they still had at that point). Also, the standards of intervention for major trauma and internal disorders have to be severely degraded as well. Just the lack of electric lighting is going to play hell with surgery (glows being nice, but they're not exactly spotlights). So if you suffer a major injury on Pern after the 1st Pass or 2nd Pass, you're pretty much screwed and your life-expectancy plummets.

Now, if you manage to avoid mangling yourself, or getting any of Pern's superbugs, can you live to 80-100? Sure. People always have. Even when the average age was 25, there were some folks that caught all the breaks and lived seemingly forever to their compatriots. And there were plenty that didn't make it out of swaddling, and plenty of mothers that didn't survive a delivery, and plenty of men felled in dangerous work such as mining, forestry and beast handling. All of these risk factors Pern has in abundance, and for the dragonriders there are the physiological risk factors of flying at a technology level equivalent to the inception of powered flight.
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Old Feb 8 2008, 03:36 AM   #6
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Default Re: Queen casualties

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-snip all-
I'm well aware that it doesn't make sense, but if Anne outright TELLS us that dragonriders live that long (which she does, and they do), then we have to work around it, not against it.
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Old Feb 8 2008, 12:16 PM   #7
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Does Anne ever tell us that, or just Jody? Because I take the DLG with a good-sized grain of salt.
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Old Feb 8 2008, 01:42 PM   #8
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Does Anne ever tell us that, or just Jody? Because I take the DLG with a good-sized grain of salt.
We've the evidence of old riders as well as the DLG, and the initial life expectancies of the colonists to go by. She had a fair opportunity to veto, anyway.
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Old Feb 8 2008, 11:54 PM   #9
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Yes, but I don't think she went through the manuscript with a red marker. She might have missed something. I can't think of any now, but there are other things in the DLG that strike me as wrong.
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Old Feb 9 2008, 03:51 PM   #10
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Weyrlinghood: Certainly possible, but I'd say infrequent as casualties in this regard are infrequent to begin with. I don't think it would contribute much to thinning out the ranks of the queens.
I would think that Weyrlinghood would be the place for the most attrition, not the least. Especially when learning how to go between.

How do you figure that Weyrlinghood casualties are infrequent?
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Old Feb 9 2008, 10:16 PM   #11
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I would think that Weyrlinghood would be the place for the most attrition, not the least. Especially when learning how to go between.

How do you figure that Weyrlinghood casualties are infrequent?
For the same reason that we really don't lose all that many pilots while they're in the training command. Too many people keeping an eye on them, and a great many students aren't completely cocky and don't entirely trust their skills yet. Complacency as a result of overconfidence is always a bigger killer.

During training, any weyrling hot-shot his going to constantly have the Weyrlingmaster breathing down his neck, not to mention the senior riders and the queenriders (and the queens, don't forget). Everyone is looking for and expecting mistakes and doing their best to prevent them.

The more dangerous period is after a pilot has his wings, or in the case of Pern, once a rider is out of weyrlinghood and trusted to act on his own. The Weyr organization simply can't spend as much time monitoring everyone, and in that greater autonomy and confidence is where the seeds are sewn for disaster.

Training for flight Between isn't an automatically excessive risk factor either. The training in this regard is very, very regimented (hence the use of the Red Butte landmark). Everyone knows it's dangerous, so everyone takes special precautions at this stage. It's when the rider are free to go where they want and R'Der doesn't remember exactly the image of his favorite fishing lake from childhood and Dragonth materializes them in the overhanding rock face.
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Old Feb 9 2008, 10:17 PM   #12
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I'm well aware that it doesn't make sense, but if Anne outright TELLS us that dragonriders live that long (which she does, and they do), then we have to work around it, not against it.
Do you have a reference in one of the novels for that? I noted something in the DLG, I believe, but I know that's not regarded as entirely reliable.
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Old Feb 9 2008, 10:22 PM   #13
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We've the evidence of old riders as well as the DLG, and the initial life expectancies of the colonists to go by. She had a fair opportunity to veto, anyway.
I never said there weren't old riders. Nor did I say they wouldn't be likely to survive longer during Interval. Nor did I say they couldn't last until 80-100. I specifically allowed that if they did dodge all the risk factors then they very well could.

I'm looking at the overall population, not just the selected cases we've been exposed to. And it seems likely that dragonrider lives are probably dramatic, dangerous and short, especially during a Pass. I believe there were some vague allusions to that effect in DE, and I'm going to pay attention as I read DB for any further. IIRC some of the Weyrleaders in DK expressed a passing awareness of coming heavy casualties, and in the opening pages of DB there is some musing on age as well. Maybe I'll find more as I read further.
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Old Feb 9 2008, 10:40 PM   #14
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Here's one way you could kill them off - molar pregnancies and ectopics. Use the influence of between to either stimulate the embryo the wrong way, or slow down its passage through the fallopian tubes, and you're looking at some very bad news.
Yep, ectopics would do it. Almost got my wife.
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Old Feb 9 2008, 10:56 PM   #15
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WHERE do you get your 1% figure from? Unless you can find an adequate citation, I'm afraid I'm going to remain unconvinced.
I know a wiki spelled it out as:

1% gold
5% bronze
15% brown
30% blue
49% green

And I could swear there was another source, but now I can't find it. (I didn't see in the the DLG).

However, observation would tend to bear out a 1% (or more) figure.

Fort has four queens' weyrs. Benden has five. High Reaches has four. Ista has four. Sources also vary on the capacities of the Weyrs and on their nominal organization. Fort has been cited as high as 500; Benden has been listed variously as 350, 500 and 600. High Reaches has been cited as high as 500. Ista has been cited as 350. Telgar has been variously cited as 400 to 600 (although the latter was during a period that Igen was abandonned and Telgar had assumed responsibility for Igen territory). Various sources cite nominal organization of a Weyr as a strength of 300, 330 or 360, and in some cases 500.

So by observation alone, the number of queens is somewhere right around 1% and obviously subject to some degree of variability. Something happened at Igen during Second Interval where all of their queens died, the region suffered a drought, and the facility was abandoned and its remaining dragons transferred to Telgar. Benden during the Second Long Interval got down to a single queen. By the same token, we have the evidence of 6th Pass where an aged queen that no longer rises is present, along with the current senior queen and a couple of junior queens.

All treatments specifically addressing threadfighting and Weyr organization seem to agree on a nominal Weyr organization of 300-360 dragons, organized into roughly nine flights of as many as 33 dragons each, plus queens, plus weyrlings. Allowing for 10% of the fighting strength as likely numbers for overage pairs and also for weyrlings, and you get about 360 with 3-4 queens at any given time. Allow some variability in Weyr facilities and maybe Benden is slightly larger and maybe typically holds 4-5.
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Old Feb 10 2008, 06:21 AM   #16
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I know a wiki spelled it out as:

1% gold
5% bronze
15% brown
30% blue
49% green

And I could swear there was another source, but now I can't find it. (I didn't see in the the DLG).
That's all fanon, not canon.


Quote:
However, observation would tend to bear out a 1% (or more) figure.

Fort has four queens' weyrs. Benden has five. High Reaches has four. Ista has four. Sources also vary on the capacities of the Weyrs and on their nominal organization. Fort has been cited as high as 500; Benden has been listed variously as 350, 500 and 600. High Reaches has been cited as high as 500. Ista has been cited as 350. Telgar has been variously cited as 400 to 600 (although the latter was during a period that Igen was abandonned and Telgar had assumed responsibility for Igen territory). Various sources cite nominal organization of a Weyr as a strength of 300, 330 or 360, and in some cases 500.
No, it doesn't!

Yes, 500 dragons and 5 queens might suggest a 1% clutch-rate, but if the population turnover is substantially higher for the non-queens (which it almost certainly is during a pass) then you can't apply such simplistic figures.

Why are you trying to make life MORE difficult for yourself by insisting on such a higher proportion when it clearly isn't backed up well enough by the facts?
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Old Feb 10 2008, 09:03 AM   #17
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Default Re: Queen casualties

Never trust Wikipedia unless it states other sources. It's too easily tampered with by people who don't know what they're talking about / have made a simple guess as to the correct answers.

As Kath says, one must take into account the fact that the mortality rate for non-queens is a lot higher, so it would therefore mean that in terms of ratio, although live queens /might/ account for a high-ish number, the amount of Queen eggs compared to others would probably be substantially lower.

And when people say 'various sources' or whatnot, please post otherwise there's no point in saying it in the first place. >.<
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Old Feb 10 2008, 03:14 PM   #18
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Benden has five queens? I thought there was something in DQ where F'lar is worrying about Ramoth if they have more than three!
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Old Feb 11 2008, 01:48 AM   #19
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Yes, that was in DQ. However, in later books there are bits and pieces where it implies that there's more than just the three queens, so maybe Ramoth tempered out over time or something?
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Old Feb 11 2008, 10:05 PM   #20
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Never trust Wikipedia unless it states other sources. It's too easily tampered with by people who don't know what they're talking about / have made a simple guess as to the correct answers.

As Kath says, one must take into account the fact that the mortality rate for non-queens is a lot higher, so it would therefore mean that in terms of ratio, although live queens /might/ account for a high-ish number, the amount of Queen eggs compared to others would probably be substantially lower.

And when people say 'various sources' or whatnot, please post otherwise there's no point in saying it in the first place. >.<
I'm more than familiar with the flaws of wikis having made the attempt to enlightened the benighted only to have the benighted repeatedly muck-up the works, thank you.

And when I say "various sources" it is because I recall it from more than one source. Don't question my veracity when I freely admit I don't precisely recall where. I have had somewhat more than just Pern to occupy my mind in the 27 years since I first read one of these books.

To the point, I recall having seen figures similar to those in the wikis since before there were any wikis. Where I don't recall at this time, but I may eventually unearth it.
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Old Feb 11 2008, 10:07 PM   #21
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Yes, that was in DQ. However, in later books there are bits and pieces where it implies that there's more than just the three queens, so maybe Ramoth tempered out over time or something?
The Atlas bears out the number of queens' weyrs that are built into Fort, Benden, High Reaches and Ista. How many are occupied at any one time are another matter.
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Old Feb 11 2008, 10:13 PM   #22
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That's all fanon, not canon.




No, it doesn't!

Yes, 500 dragons and 5 queens might suggest a 1% clutch-rate, but if the population turnover is substantially higher for the non-queens (which it almost certainly is during a pass) then you can't apply such simplistic figures.

Why are you trying to make life MORE difficult for yourself by insisting on such a higher proportion when it clearly isn't backed up well enough by the facts?
Given that Pern is strictly non-religious perhaps we shouldn't throw the term "canon" around... LOL

To the point, I've seen these figures for a long time, since back before wikis, and I don't recall where I first encountered them. For all I know, it could be the transcript of an old interview, or some other source. Where escapes me now, but I've seen them before.

Now, I'm happy to grant there may be a difference in longevity of queens versus other dragons. That is actually something I considered, but I didn't want to poison the well on others' speculation. IIRC (not sure at the moment), I granted that the 1% figure could be population and not eggs, but gave reasons that might not hold true. I'm inviting input, I'm not insisting on anything.

By the way, I find a stressed statement on what I can and cannot do just a bit rude.
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Old Feb 11 2008, 10:45 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Kath View Post
Dragonriders have a good standard of living, and can be expected to reach 80-100 in an Interval.
In DB we have a number of interesting references. Kindan and Lorana find references to plagues approximately once every 20 years in the Holds. Wind Blossom and (IIRC) Emily Boll's husband discuss the loss of approximately 4,000 of 9,000 colonists in the Fever Year (which makes casualties during the first Falls of the First Pass rather horrific if other references to the population having ballooned to about 20,000 in the first 8 years can be taken seriously) and the loss of 9 out of 10 medical personnel. Wind Blossom also discusses early onset dimentia with Sorka and M'hall at different points, and specifically states that she cannot expect to see 100...maybe 90. They also discuss that it is more important to focus on decreasing infant mortality, and preventing the loss of women in childbirth than to concern themselves with the care of the elderly. The clear context, in a discussion about the environment and impacts on it, and its impacts on organisms within it, is that Pern is knocking down the life-expectancy of the colonists from what was originally higher. Wind Blossom also makes mention early on in DB that invasive surgeries will soon be impossible.

Given that the general population of Pern is taking such hits to its mortality and longevity, there is no reason to believe that the dragon-rider population would be disproportionately spared these hazards, and given their more dangerous lifestyle, I have a hard time with the idea that dragon-riders are routinely living to 80-100. Maybe 80...during an Interval, with a select few being of notable memory for living longer, but routinely...? Perhaps we can credit the Pernese of the 9th Pass with a little more resistance than the Pernese of the late 1st Pass, but I doubt it. Living conditions and medicine are too primitive, and 9th Pass Pern is dramatically overcrowded, making for a breeding ground for parasites.

And we can perhaps credit the dragon-riders with less dense, and more isolated living...except for their obvious mobility and likelihood to be exposed. So maybe clean living and freedom from hard (but not all) labor and its risks, and good head-work when dragon-riding, might see those dragon-riders that survive to old age out-living the average holder, but probably only by 5-10 years, not unlike some things we see in demographics today.

I have a feeling that MHoP and DLG reference to dragon-riders routinely living to 80-100 years might be getting retconned, and it probably should be.
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Old Feb 11 2008, 10:48 PM   #24
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Benden has five queens? I thought there was something in DQ where F'lar is worrying about Ramoth if they have more than three!
Benden has the room for five queens. I didn't say that five were routinely housed there, or that there were five there during Ramoth's time. It would make sense for the Weyrs to have "overflow capacity" for the population boom in the run-up to Pass. We don't see that at 9th Pass Benden because things went horribly wrong at Benden during the Second Long Interval.
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Old Feb 11 2008, 10:49 PM   #25
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Yes, that was in DQ. However, in later books there are bits and pieces where it implies that there's more than just the three queens, so maybe Ramoth tempered out over time or something?
That would make sense. Lessa calms down with age. No reason her dragon shouldn't.
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Old Feb 12 2008, 06:11 AM   #26
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By the way, I find a stressed statement on what I can and cannot do just a bit rude.
Pot, meet kettle.
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Old Feb 12 2008, 06:24 AM   #27
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I'm more than familiar with the flaws of wikis having made the attempt to enlightened the benighted only to have the benighted repeatedly muck-up the works, thank you.

And when I say "various sources" it is because I recall it from more than one source. Don't question my veracity when I freely admit I don't precisely recall where. I have had somewhat more than just Pern to occupy my mind in the 27 years since I first read one of these books.

To the point, I recall having seen figures similar to those in the wikis since before there were any wikis. Where I don't recall at this time, but I may eventually unearth it.
The thing is, references are good. I'm almost in a profession (I hope) where references and evidence is vital and however much I might hate having to update my lab diary or trawl through a long paper for three relevant lines, I have to do it.
I can say roughly what book something happened in- say dragon priorities- dragons shifting over for Ramoth in DQ at the Telgar gather. I think it's G'narish and D'ram talking to Robinton.- from memory and I don't just do this for Pern or even just fiction. I can skim a paper and know roughly what paper I need in future, something rather important when I have two box files full of papers on Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy at the moment.
It doesn't take long if you can remember where to say "I think it is" and if you haven't got the source handy, someone else might!
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Old Feb 13 2008, 12:05 AM   #28
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Didn't a lot of dragon riders have kidney problems, do to the cold of between. I do not remember where I read it tho.
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Old Feb 13 2008, 01:03 AM   #29
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Given that Pern is strictly non-religious perhaps we shouldn't throw the term "canon" around...
Oh come on.
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Old Feb 13 2008, 10:24 PM   #30
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Oh come on.
Next time quote the "LOL" at the end of the statement too.
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Old Feb 13 2008, 10:26 PM   #31
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Didn't a lot of dragon riders have kidney problems, do to the cold of between. I do not remember where I read it tho.
I've seen that mentioned a couple of times here, but I don't personally recall it from the texts. Could be there. It has been as much as a quarter century since I read some of them.
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Old Feb 13 2008, 10:33 PM   #32
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The thing is, references are good. I'm almost in a profession (I hope) where references and evidence is vital and however much I might hate having to update my lab diary or trawl through a long paper for three relevant lines, I have to do it.
I can say roughly what book something happened in- say dragon priorities- dragons shifting over for Ramoth in DQ at the Telgar gather. I think it's G'narish and D'ram talking to Robinton.- from memory and I don't just do this for Pern or even just fiction. I can skim a paper and know roughly what paper I need in future, something rather important when I have two box files full of papers on Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy at the moment.
It doesn't take long if you can remember where to say "I think it is" and if you haven't got the source handy, someone else might!
For my profession, I've got the time. For some light reading I find inventive, imaginative and fun to speculate about--not so much. Happy to oblige when the information's handy as with what I recently found in DB. When I haven't read the volume in question in a couple decades to pin down the exact circumstance of an utterance, again, not so much. I'll be happy to refine things when I can, but I'm not launching a night-long search to find a reference for DRoP. It'll pay me more to find out which way the wind was blowing on the night of 13 November 1942, north of Guadalcanal. I can tell you just about where to find that.

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Old Feb 14 2008, 03:11 AM   #33
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For my profession, I've got the time. For some light reading I find inventive, imaginative and fun to speculate about--not so much. Happy to oblige when the information's handy as with what I recently found in DB. When I haven't read the volume in question in a couple decades to pin down the exact circumstance of an utterance, again, not so much. I'll be happy to refine things when I can, but I'm not launching a night-long search to find a reference for DRoP. It'll pay me more to find out which way the wind was blowing on the night of 13 November 1942, north of Guadalcanal. I can tell you just about where to find that.
It's online somewhere...
All it needs is an "I think it is in..." for someone to roughly find it and maybe confirm it.
I don't lug all my books around with me everywhere I go. I've only got two shelves here for a start and I can't reach the top one!
If I know I need a book or I'm reading it for fun, I'll have it with me, if not, and it's in the Physical Sciences Library or I know that someone has a copy, I'll ask!
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Old Feb 14 2008, 11:24 PM   #34
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It's online somewhere...
All it needs is an "I think it is in..." for someone to roughly find it and maybe confirm it.
I don't lug all my books around with me everywhere I go. I've only got two shelves here for a start and I can't reach the top one!
If I know I need a book or I'm reading it for fun, I'll have it with me, if not, and it's in the Physical Sciences Library or I know that someone has a copy, I'll ask!
As I said, when I can recall with some accuracy where I saw something, I'll say so. But there are limits to how blindly I'll wing something. I'm not really willing to guess, because as I'm rereading some of these books I'm discovering that there are entire volumes that I've apparently read at some point but recall next to nothing of them. The ones I recall the best are actually the ones I read the longest ago and those are so faded I can't lay out enough of an actual sequence of events to say where to look. So be patient. In about a year I might actually have reread all of these.

And then you may regret that I did... LOL
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Old Feb 17 2008, 12:21 AM   #35
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Okay, found a reference to dragon-rider longevity in MHoP. However, it's spoken by a child (Falloner) and cites but a single example. So one could potentially choose to dismiss it as an enthusiastic overstatement by a 9-year-old who seems to have no lack of personality, self-confidence or drama.
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Old Feb 17 2008, 03:25 PM   #36
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Plus the fact that MHoP doesn't always match up with the earlier books.
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Old Feb 17 2008, 05:17 PM   #37
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Plus the fact that MHoP doesn't always match up with the earlier books.
That's the kicker there, innit? Some of the plot points, especially towards the end, sure threw me, anyway.
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Old Feb 18 2008, 12:05 AM   #38
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Yeah, I basically pretend the whole "Undercover at Ruatha" thing didn't happen. I pick and choose what to believe from that book. I don't believe in a female MasterHealer one generation before Girls Can't Do Anything. I do believe in Kasia and Nip&Tuck.
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Old Feb 21 2008, 10:35 PM   #39
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Plus the fact that MHoP doesn't always match up with the earlier books.
I don't personally much care for MHoP and I just reread it. It strikes me as contrived, and while it does fill in some background, it all feels cursory. It also leaves unanswered just what "missions" S'loner was sending F'lon on in the High Reaches that the other older riders found so disconcerting.

Also, when Fax is present at Telgar, having arranged F'lon's knifing, what the hell was Nip thinking to bury his blade in the murderer's eye instead of Fax's? Deal with Fax and there's no chance the murderer will escape justice.

And just how long can someone hang out on death's door? Merelan was treated as likely to kick off at any moment and lived a goodly long time.

There was virtually no development of the old Master Harper's decision to choose Robinton as a successor and the measures taken to develop him for the role were again dealt with in a most cursory fashion.

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Old Feb 23 2008, 12:40 AM   #40
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Yeah. The thing I like most is Robinton's relationship with Kasia.
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