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Old Jan 20 2008, 12:30 AM   #1
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Default Things we don't think about regarding Pern.

1) The Mining Craft might possibly be the largest and most important of the crafts with the possible exception of farming and fishing due to their functions in providing food. Holds and Weyrs must be carved out, and maintained. Coal must be mined for heating. Ore must be mined to supply the Smithing Craft. And firestone must be mined for the Pass years, to the tune of about 1.3 million tons per Weyr per Pass.

That's a lot of people swinging a pick-axe on Pern.

2) Weyrs are cold. In particular, Telgar, Benden and High Reaches have got to be downright bitter deep-freezes in winter. Fort might not be much better, or even Igen depending on elevation. Igen may also suffer from a desert's typical night-time temperature plunge.

No wonder dragonriders retire to Ista.

3) Transportation. Either dragons are doing a lot of cargo duty, or the road system has got to be better developed than shown in the Atlas of Pern. There are an awful lot of livestock and mining products that need to be moved continuously just to support the Weyrs. There may also have to be a lot more boats/ships at sea and on rivers than we commonly think about.

4) Masonry and slate. Holds are generally cut into rock, but why not build with it more extensively. Certainly we have attached cot-holds, but why don't we have more masonry structures with slate roofs? I could easily see Pernese being passed masters in stone construction with and without mortar. It makes me wonder why masons aren't their own craft, and why there aren't more quarrying operations.

5) Scurvy. With citrus cultivation limited by climate and Thread, I wonder how the Pernese population copes with the scourge of scurvy.

6) Threadfall charts. These would not be useful only to dragonriders. The explanation for how ships at sea deal with Thread didn't sit well with me from a naval architecture point of view. Flooding the decks produces free surface area and effects stability. So too does any above-decks metal sheeting (and that also goes back to the need for a truly massive Mining Craft to provide it). Moreover, the idea of battening down the ship, and steering straight from leading to trailing edge is nuts. Why not set a course to the edge of the Fall and get out from under the bloody thing as soon as possible? After all, you don't ride into a hurricane if you have a chance to avoid it.

Of course, this would require charts, and mariners live and die by charts. So I find it inconceivable that mariners would not carry and preserve Threadfall charts in order to evade even being under a fall in the first place. And frankly, this would also be a bread-and-butter tool for herders and drovers in an environment like Pern's. So how could all of this knowledge and all of these charts be lost by 9th Pass and force F'lar to reconstruct them. Too many users, too much need, too many archives, it seems for it to pass completely out of knowledge.

7) Why would dragons fly only by virtue of TK? The author says they do possess TK, but it seems doubtful they'd need it to fly. Otherwise, why do they even have wings? So they must be able to fly without TK. And given that they possess the wingspans and wing areas of jet liners, and weigh vastly less, dragons should soar quite easily, even allowing for the vast difference in thrust. Additionally, if you go with the anatomy of Michael Whelan's cover art (admittedly at variance with the text in some respects) there is no bar to flight without TK.

8) Why are Weyr wings mixed? Given differences in wingspan, size and endurance, it would make more sense to stack dragons by color, with bronzes and browns doing the high-altitude work, browns and blues the medium altitude, and blues and greens the low-altitutde.

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Old Jan 20 2008, 01:02 AM   #2
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Default Re: Things we don't think about regarding Pern.

Good points!

My thoughts on some of these:

Quote:
2) Weyrs are cold. In particular, Telgar, Benden and High Reaches have got to be downright bitter deep-freezes in winter. Fort might not be much better, or even Igen depending on elevation. Igen may also suffer from a desert's typical night-time temperature plunge.
I think I remember that in the story "The Second Weyr" in CoP, when they are starting up Benden, Telgar and High Reaches Weyrs, that they were going to arrange some kind of a "tap" to geothermally heat them - particularly the Hatching Grounds... that's how the bathing pools are heated... I have no idea how this could work, much less last 2500 years, but assuming it did it would probably be designed to heat the entire structure. There were also hearths.

It certainly doesn't seem practical to just have open cave entrances.


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3) Transportation. Either dragons are doing a lot of cargo duty, or the road system has got to be better developed than shown in the Atlas of Pern. There are an awful lot of livestock and mining products that need to be moved continuously just to support the Weyrs. There may also have to be a lot more boats/ships at sea and on rivers than we commonly think about.
Does the atlas show ANY roads? I always figured there was a fairly well established system - everyone has to send their tithes to the main Hold, and to the Weyrs, and the traders and other travelers get around fairly easily. The runners seem to have their own routes, but I'm sure in some cases the main route would be the fastest one.
I wrote a story about "Riverbend Hold", with the idea that there would be an outpost-type cothold at a point where one of those main routes crosses a river, so that they could ferry travelers across. I didn't think to mention traffic on the river itself, but it only makes sense that they would float cargo downstream, too. I remember in DE/RSR, they discuss the new minehold Crom, which is located handy to a river so that they can float ingots downstream.


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4) Mason and slate. Holds are generally cut into rock, but why not build with it more extensively. Certainly we have attached cot-holds, but why don't we have more masonry structures with slate roofs? I could easily see Pernese being passed masters in stone construction with and without mortar. It makes me wonder why masons aren't their own craft, and why there aren't more quarrying operations.
This is one of those things that fits in perfectly, she just never got around to describing it. I always assumed there were a lot of individual stone cotholds - certainly not many farms would be located along cave-riddled cliffs.

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5) Scurvy. With citrus cultivation limited by climate and Thread, I wonder how the Pernese population copes with the scourge of scurvy.
Do you honestly think that citrus fruits are the only thing saving people from scurvy?

http://www.dole5aday.com/ReferenceCe....jsp?topmenu=1

As long as they keep eating their tubers, they'll be fine.


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8) Why are Weyr wings mixed? Given differences in wingspan, size and endurance, it would make more sense to stack dragons by color, with bronzes and browns doing the high-altitude work, browns and blues the medium altitude, and blues and greens the low-altitutde.
I always picture it as the big dragons getting the really big clumps, and the little ones darting around them to get what they miss....
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Old Jan 20 2008, 02:00 AM   #3
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Good points!

My thoughts on some of these:

I think I remember that in the story "The Second Weyr" in CoP, when they are starting up Benden, Telgar and High Reaches Weyrs, that they were going to arrange some kind of a "tap" to geothermally heat them - particularly the Hatching Grounds... that's how the bathing pools are heated... I have no idea how this could work, much less last 2500 years, but assuming it did it would probably be designed to heat the entire structure. There were also hearths.

It certainly doesn't seem practical to just have open cave entrances.

I was referring more to the Weyr as a whole rather than the individual "caves." Walk out onto the Bowl in the morning and expect a brisk slap in the face from the cold kind of thing, even well into summer in the northern Weyrs. A dip in the Weyr-lake being akin to a Polar Bear Plunge; that sort of thing.


Does the atlas show ANY roads? I always figured there was a fairly well established system - everyone has to send their tithes to the main Hold, and to the Weyrs, and the traders and other travelers get around fairly easily. The runners seem to have their own routes, but I'm sure in some cases the main route would be the fastest one.
I wrote a story about "Riverbend Hold", with the idea that there would be an outpost-type cothold at a point where one of those main routes crosses a river, so that they could ferry travelers across. I didn't think to mention traffic on the river itself, but it only makes sense that they would float cargo downstream, too. I remember in DE/RSR, they discuss the new minehold Crom, which is located handy to a river so that they can float ingots downstream.

The Atlas shows a very few roads. An incomplete network between Benden, Benden Weyr and Bitra and trailing off toward Bay Head; an arc from Telgar down through Fort/Fort Sea Hold. A spur from the port at Gar up to Southern Boll. That's about it.

This is one of those things that fits in perfectly, she just never got around to describing it. I always assumed there were a lot of individual stone cotholds - certainly not many farms would be located along cave-riddled cliffs.

Maybe, maybe not. Presumably they choose their hold sites carefully and if you've got a broad canyon with a lot of bottom-land, you could have farms alongside cave-riddled cliffs. However, that's a pretty darned limited selection of sites. So yes, it would make perfect sense to have masonry and slate holds. In fact, it makes so much sense that you'd expect quite a lot of them; enough to be mentioned. Enough to be able to build substantial settlements away from cliffs.

Do you honestly think that citrus fruits are the only thing saving people from scurvy?

http://www.dole5aday.com/ReferenceCe....jsp?topmenu=1

As long as they keep eating their tubers, they'll be fine.

No, I know there are other sources. However, against that we have widely separated holds, climatic differences, and limited area of cultivation due to Thread and what the Holders consider defensible limits of development. A bad harvest, a breakdown in transportation...things happen. The Atlas (with maddeningly difficult to differentiate shading) implies that more extensive varieties of vegetables are only grown in a few places, which raised the spectre alongside the limited citrus cultivation. Just a thought that popped up.

I always picture it as the big dragons getting the really big clumps, and the little ones darting around them to get what they miss....

The thing that occupies my mind about Threadfall, is time-of-fall. You don't want this to hit the ground, so you want to get it at as high of altitude as possible. Gravity--and probably air pressure--is less than Earth, probably resulting in a wash for time of fall, but reducing the altitude at which humans without oxygen support can operate. So it is best to intercept the Thread as high as possible and fight it all the way down. Bigger wing area means higher altitude, so I'd have gone with a scheme where the larger dragons fight higher and the smaller ones lower. The speed of the smaller ones would also pay off in that they would be chasing down scattered stray clumps missed by the high altitude wings. Alas, not my 'verse and the author did things differently.
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Old Jan 20 2008, 02:28 AM   #4
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Default Re: Things we don't think about regarding Pern.

I am going to do this one at a time:
1. Mining does cover many things because they all overlap - if it comes out of the ground, it is covered - but just as jewelry makers are specialized smiths, you have specialized miners. Those that handle marble, slate, and shale to those who handle coal, metals or precious metals to gems. I'm sure convicts were used to do regular grunt work.
Most holds now have to be carved by hand or powder monkey anyone? or whatever they call them - though I haven't heard any reference to sulphur, salt peter, and charcoal being used though I'm sure nitro could be made - *did you know when women were asked to save cooking grease/fat for the war effort during WW II, it was used to make nitro?* well placed blasts could work . . .

2. It was mentioned to tap into geothermals down below to heat weyrs. and a warm bath wouldn't be bad and the heat from it would help too. Of course flying real high fighting thread and between would be another chance of getting cold !

3. The weyrs were huge and some do maintain herds. It was also shown that animals could be captured live by riders a dragonback and those used to increase the herds.

4. Kinda answered above in one. The masons would still work closely with the miners. But I don't see why they wouldn't be separate - just never discussed.

5. Another source could be the reason Piemer never got scurvy - the fruit they used for bubbly pies!

6. Metal doesn't have to be thick to provide protection. As for 'flooding the decks' are you sure it wasn't 'saturating'? That would slow the thread down long enough to use agenothree and more water to dilute it. They would follow thread because the fish would eat it thus providing better fishing !

7. Some were using it instinctively because Avias observed that one dragon took off with four people - and his burden weighed more than the dragon did but you must remember that gravity is a little less than Earth norm. Remember it has been proven too, that the pteridactyl could fly with his short wingspan.

8. A possibility: the Blues and Greens traded out every quarter of the fall to allow for rest while the larger ones determined where and how to fight - and created the anchor for the small ones to work around.
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Old Jan 20 2008, 06:52 AM   #5
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Don't the dragons have to fly to reduce risk of teleporting into the ground or something? I just thought I remembered that from somewhere (quote, anyone? I haven't got my books!).
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Old Jan 20 2008, 06:55 AM   #6
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That applies mainly to gaining altitude before going between. This is mentioned at least in Moreta where Holth was too old to fly very high before going between. It's not the same as having the dragons keep themselves up in the air with telekinesis rather than the physical forces involved in winged flight. This concept was only introduced in Skies, and not one I particularly like. Even if I enjoyed the fact that a mere green could teach Ramoth a new trick!
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Old Jan 20 2008, 12:18 PM   #7
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That's what I meant. After I read that, I assumed that the dragons could fly on "wing-power," not mind-power.
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Old Jan 20 2008, 04:16 PM   #8
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I am going to do this one at a time:
1. Mining does cover many things because they all overlap - if it comes out of the ground, it is covered - but just as jewelry makers are specialized smiths, you have specialized miners. Those that handle marble, slate, and shale to those who handle coal, metals or precious metals to gems. I'm sure convicts were used to do regular grunt work.
Most holds now have to be carved by hand or powder monkey anyone? or whatever they call them - though I haven't heard any reference to sulphur, salt peter, and charcoal being used though I'm sure nitro could be made - *did you know when women were asked to save cooking grease/fat for the war effort during WW II, it was used to make nitro?* well placed blasts could work . . .

2. It was mentioned to tap into geothermals down below to heat weyrs. and a warm bath wouldn't be bad and the heat from it would help too. Of course flying real high fighting thread and between would be another chance of getting cold !

3. The weyrs were huge and some do maintain herds. It was also shown that animals could be captured live by riders a dragonback and those used to increase the herds.

4. Kinda answered above in one. The masons would still work closely with the miners. But I don't see why they wouldn't be separate - just never discussed.

5. Another source could be the reason Piemer never got scurvy - the fruit they used for bubbly pies!

6. Metal doesn't have to be thick to provide protection. As for 'flooding the decks' are you sure it wasn't 'saturating'? That would slow the thread down long enough to use agenothree and more water to dilute it. They would follow thread because the fish would eat it thus providing better fishing !

7. Some were using it instinctively because Avias observed that one dragon took off with four people - and his burden weighed more than the dragon did but you must remember that gravity is a little less than Earth norm. Remember it has been proven too, that the pteridactyl could fly with his short wingspan.

8. A possibility: the Blues and Greens traded out every quarter of the fall to allow for rest while the larger ones determined where and how to fight - and created the anchor for the small ones to work around.
1. Entirely plausible.
3. Wrangling stock would still consume a lot of dragon and rider time if this was done wholesale.
4. I think it may have to do with the author wanting to keep people in the Holds and not have free-standing cities.
5. Good point. I like that one!
6. Nor does metal have to be thick to weigh a lot if you spread it over a large area. This is a problem I'm familiar with from studying battleship armor schemes. There's also the problem of cladding the masts, producing even more weight high in the ship. A certain degree of ballasting could be undertaken, but this would reduce freeboard and seaworthiness. The DLG simply says "flood the deck" and frankly this would probably be the desirable measure. It would drown the Thread, and you wouldn't have to repair the deck afterward as in the case of saturated wood partially damaged by the Thread and then the HNO3. The problem is, combined with the weight of metal (since I'm not sure Pern is really good for "foil" with its technology), plus the free-surface effect of a few inches of water on deck, might make for a really unstable ride through several hours of Threadfall. Again, its better to avoid the fall than ride it out.
7. Given the cited size of dragons and the necessary adaptations for flight (such as a lighter skeletal structure) the idea that a dragon the size of an MD80 would be over-burdened by four people doesn't work--unless, referring not to the raw weight, but to the weight-and-balance. Maybe the dragon needed to use TK to balance the off-center weight on its center-of-gravity. But merely to fly? Nah. If they flew by TK alone, they wouldn't need wings.
8. Okay, that makes sense.

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Old Jan 20 2008, 04:24 PM   #9
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Don't the dragons have to fly to reduce risk of teleporting into the ground or something? I just thought I remembered that from somewhere (quote, anyone? I haven't got my books!).
If a dragon's teleportation is a "field effect" it might take in everything within a certain radius around the dragon. So getting airborne might be necessary to avoid trying to teleport a fair-sized chunk of Pern with the dragon.

Of course, if everything within a certain radius goes with the dragon, that means air goes too. As with dragons excreting Between, this produces problems with respect of removing chunks of the atmosphere Between and not returning them. It would also produce a pretty big bang as the air rushed in to fill the gap every time a dragon teleported. I don't recall the books mentioning any such effect.

So it may be that everything that teleports with a dragon must be in physical contact with it. So perhaps only those air molecules actually touching the dragon at the moment of teleportation leave with it. Again, getting off the ground is necessary to avoid trying to teleport the planet with the dragon.
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Old Jan 20 2008, 04:26 PM   #10
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That applies mainly to gaining altitude before going between. This is mentioned at least in Moreta where Holth was too old to fly very high before going between. It's not the same as having the dragons keep themselves up in the air with telekinesis rather than the physical forces involved in winged flight. This concept was only introduced in Skies, and not one I particularly like. Even if I enjoyed the fact that a mere green could teach Ramoth a new trick!
Concur. I didn't like it either, even if it would flow logically from telepathy and teleportation.

Of course, I didn't like getting rid of Thread. It renders the dragons and the riders valueless eventually and reduces them to aerial drovers.
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Old Jan 20 2008, 04:27 PM   #11
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That's what I meant. After I read that, I assumed that the dragons could fly on "wing-power," not mind-power.
Ditto.
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Old Jan 20 2008, 07:00 PM   #12
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So it may be that everything that teleports with a dragon must be in physical contact with it. So perhaps only those air molecules actually touching the dragon at the moment of teleportation leave with it. Again, getting off the ground is necessary to avoid trying to teleport the planet with the dragon.
That's exactly what I've always assumed.
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Old Jan 21 2008, 02:06 PM   #13
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Dragons do not always go between. When they have just eaten it is better to fly straight. Also if they are goning sme whare no one has been before. Ramoth & Canth had to fly straight to southern the first time they went. Going between is just a lot faster.
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Old Jan 21 2008, 02:41 PM   #14
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Of course, if everything within a certain radius goes with the dragon, that means air goes too. As with dragons excreting Between, this produces problems with respect of removing chunks of the atmosphere Between and not returning them. It would also produce a pretty big bang as the air rushed in to fill the gap every time a dragon teleported. I don't recall the books mentioning any such effect.

So it may be that everything that teleports with a dragon must be in physical contact with it. So perhaps only those air molecules actually touching the dragon at the moment of teleportation leave with it. Again, getting off the ground is necessary to avoid trying to teleport the planet with the dragon.
From page 67 of my Del Rey paperback copy of Dragonflight:

"The wind-torn roar of homecoming dragons crackled through the air. Both men jerked their heads skyward and saw the double spirals of two returning wings, twenty strong."

I think there were also scattered references of cold drafts caused by the arrival of dragons. It seems likely that at least all the air molecules actually touching the dragon would go with it.

It's also worth considering that not everything the Pernese held as traditional knowledge was actually true. I've always thought some terrible incident some time in the past must have caused Weyrleaders to impose the restriction of height for going between in similar way that going between times was inhibited.
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Old Jan 21 2008, 08:41 PM   #15
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That applies mainly to gaining altitude before going between. This is mentioned at least in Moreta where Holth was too old to fly very high before going between. It's not the same as having the dragons keep themselves up in the air with telekinesis rather than the physical forces involved in winged flight. This concept was only introduced in Skies, and not one I particularly like. Even if I enjoyed the fact that a mere green could teach Ramoth a new trick!
Thanks.

I found something in SoP: on.

Quote:
The Weyrcook, arms full of bundles, nearly fell down the steps, followed by weyrfolk struggling with sacksful of clicking pots and leaking supplies just as Golanth touched down again. T'gellan rolled his eyes significantly at the younger rider and F'lessan offered Golanth's services. The cook mounted first, securing as many things as she could to Golanth's ridges. When no more could fit on his back, he raised just high enough above the ground to go between yet again.
That indicates you have to go a little bit above ground before going between.
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he saw Ptath lift from the ground, but only high enough to safely go between.
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Old Jan 22 2008, 10:55 AM   #16
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From page 67 of my Del Rey paperback copy of Dragonflight:

"The wind-torn roar of homecoming dragons crackled through the air. Both men jerked their heads skyward and saw the double spirals of two returning wings, twenty strong."

I think there were also scattered references of cold drafts caused by the arrival of dragons. It seems likely that at least all the air molecules actually touching the dragon would go with it.

It's also worth considering that not everything the Pernese held as traditional knowledge was actually true. I've always thought some terrible incident some time in the past must have caused Weyrleaders to impose the restriction of height for going between in similar way that going between times was inhibited.

I always thought the cold drafts were from the dragons shedding the "coldness" of between.

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Old Jan 22 2008, 12:39 PM   #17
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From page 67 of my Del Rey paperback copy of Dragonflight:

"The wind-torn roar of homecoming dragons crackled through the air. Both men jerked their heads skyward and saw the double spirals of two returning wings, twenty strong."

I think there were also scattered references of cold drafts caused by the arrival of dragons. It seems likely that at least all the air molecules actually touching the dragon would go with it.
Nice, I did not remember that the "sonic boom" (if you will) of a dragon teleporting was mentioned in Dragonflight. Having recently read Dragon's Fire, it's explicitly mentioned during the Weyr Games portion of that novel.
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Old Jan 22 2008, 01:15 PM   #18
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I always thought the cold drafts were from the dragons shedding the "coldness" of between.

GH
That's what I always assumed, too.
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Old Jan 22 2008, 05:12 PM   #19
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I just read Dragonflight (again!) and the noise of dragons popping out of between was sprinkled all through it. I never noticed that before or if I did I forgot. I agree that the cold mentioned is their shedding off the cold of between, but woldn't that have to mean a certain amount of air must go with them into it? If so, it could have to do with the need to get clear of the ground before jumping. And, of course, if they were standing on the ground they might leave some pretty big holes!
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Old Jan 22 2008, 07:28 PM   #20
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I always had it in my mind that they had to get high enough so that they wouldn't teleport into the ground or something, but I guess that could still happen no matter how high they were?
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Old Jan 22 2008, 08:14 PM   #21
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It's also worth considering that not everything the Pernese held as traditional knowledge was actually true. I've always thought some terrible incident some time in the past must have caused Weyrleaders to impose the restriction of height for going between in similar way that going between times was inhibited.
Entirely plausible. In flight we have certain restrictions that aren't necessarily scientifically arrived at or even true for every aircraft that are followed as general guidelines for safe operations. We put them in manuals. The Pernese have traditions. The Weyrlingmaster's job is basically to drill the dragon flight manual into the riders' heads.
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Old Jan 22 2008, 08:16 PM   #22
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Nice, I did not remember that the "sonic boom" (if you will) of a dragon teleporting was mentioned in Dragonflight. Having recently read Dragon's Fire, it's explicitly mentioned during the Weyr Games portion of that novel.
It has been so long since I read that book, I'm not surprised I forgot.
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Old Jan 22 2008, 08:16 PM   #23
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I also think that it is safer for the dragon to already be flying when it goes between, so that it will be flying when it comes out, rather than falling for however long it takes to "catch itself" in the air.
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Old Jan 22 2008, 08:17 PM   #24
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I just read Dragonflight (again!) and the noise of dragons popping out of between was sprinkled all through it. I never noticed that before or if I did I forgot. I agree that the cold mentioned is their shedding off the cold of between, but woldn't that have to mean a certain amount of air must go with them into it? If so, it could have to do with the need to get clear of the ground before jumping. And, of course, if they were standing on the ground they might leave some pretty big holes!
That's one of the things that speaks to a potential radius of effect, versus skin-contact.
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Old Jan 22 2008, 08:18 PM   #25
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I always had it in my mind that they had to get high enough so that they wouldn't teleport into the ground or something, but I guess that could still happen no matter how high they were?
Teleporting into the ground has more to do with screwing up the visualization of the reentry point.
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Old Jan 22 2008, 08:21 PM   #26
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I also think that it is safer for the dragon to already be flying when it goes between, so that it will be flying when it comes out, rather than falling for however long it takes to "catch itself" in the air.
Oooh! That's a thorny one. If a dragon did not maintain its physical momentum passing Between, upon reentry it would effectively be falling until it achieved enough airspeed for its wings to produce lift. Either that or it would have to start flapping immediately. I might have to mull the physical dynamics of dragon flight a bit. Neat problem!
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Old Jan 22 2008, 09:29 PM   #27
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Well, if their wings are stretched out in the proper position, wouldn't it have the same effect as a parachute? Of course, uncosciously, at least some aspects of dragon flight are mentally controlled. I guess a dragon will arrive in a level flight mode if it thinks it will.
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Old Jan 23 2008, 12:20 AM   #28
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Indeed, a very good point about exiting between.

Wasn't there a weyrling in DDawn who didn't visualize properly and ended up entombed in rock? That could contribute to the insistence of proper flight procedures before going between, a dangerous operation at the best of times.
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Old Jan 23 2008, 08:09 AM   #29
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Not in DDawn (where the only rider to die was Marco), but in DFlight F'lar tells Lessa about a pair being found emtombed in rock. Whether that pair was recognized by those that found them, or had been there for decades/centuries, is not indicated.

I agree with the notion that dragons are supposed to be in flight before they go between so that they have the proper momentum to come out of between flying, rather than falling and needing to catch themselves. I think there are a couple references that support this, but I'm not positive.
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Old Jan 23 2008, 09:45 AM   #30
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Didn't Todd write in their identity in Dragonsblood? A weyrling desperately heading off and ending up entombed?

*goes to check*
I've either misremembered or I'm looking in the wrong place.
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Old Jan 23 2008, 11:21 AM   #31
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You are right Kath....Dragonsblood. It was the son of D'gan, the Telgar Weyrleader (originally of Igen Weyr): D'lin and his bronze Aseth that were entombed together in rock. It happened when D'gan lost his Weyr in between, and in a panic D'lin and Aseth went to Benden to warn them:



"Come on, Aseth, between! And with that, overwhelmed by despair, hopelessness, and pure courage, D'lin urged his dragon between---

---without envisioning his destination.

Two thousand Turns later, their bodies would be discovered, entombed in solid rock at Benden Weyr."
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Old Jan 23 2008, 01:46 PM   #32
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Which I consider just lame. I liked it better not knowing who the unknown pair were.

I am assuming that it could be very painful for a dragon to have to suddenly catch itself mid-air - if the wings were not already spread to support it, it would be falling, and then when the wings were opened they could be wrenched pretty badly. Assuming that a dragon on the ground would come out of between in that position, it could be very difficult to compensate for the fall in time.
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Old Jan 23 2008, 02:45 PM   #33
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Well, it proved to me he reread DF or remembered that and I appreciate that.
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Old Mar 4 2008, 11:43 PM   #34
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Perhaps I've forgotten something, but if it's only the molecules actually touching the dragon that get taken along why would anyone sitting on a dragon be transported?
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Old Mar 5 2008, 09:50 AM   #35
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Perhaps I've forgotten something, but if it's only the molecules actually touching the dragon that get taken along why would anyone sitting on a dragon be transported?
Maybe it is what the dragon THINKS is attached to him/her that goes with him/her.

Remember that a dragon can carry as much as they THINK they can carry.

A dragon can move telekinetically, as much as they THINK they can move.

So why shouldn't a dragon be able to teleport as much as they THINK they can teleport.

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Old Mar 5 2008, 02:49 PM   #36
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Several Things in Dragons blood were answers to unexplained phenomena during the present pass. The rooms found in Dragonquest were explained, as well as the dragon pair found entombed in solid rock.

The Telekenesis idea for how dragons maintained flight. I can't see. was there a reference outside of Skies of pern that mentioned it occurring? I know that during All the Weyrs AIVAS was told again and again that Dragons could carry what they thought they could carry. so while its possible that they applied telekenesis to fly properly when their mass versus wingspan said there was no way they'd take off much less fly, for the most part it seemed the dragons flew by wing power. if it HAD been TK, then Golanths wing injury, and a lot of the other wing injuries would not have hampered the dragons, since their riders would have convinved the dragon they injury wasn't that bad, and the subconscious would have compensated. instead of 5 dragons steadying Golanth's flight in SoP.

I think that what the dragon decides to take with it is more applicable than a standard field effect. I seem to recall it bering described during All the Weyrs, that a dragon could take between whatever it was physically touching. (sounds like a good idea to be airborne in that instant than trying to take the entire planet between with you)

as far as the dragons not being segregated by colors, the main reason was balance. the greens and blues would constantly be trying to prove they could endure as long as their larger clutchmates. The only color segregated was Golds, since they weren't able to produce flame from firestone. but from what I had read ( so many of the books, I can't think which went into the dynamics of a flight of dragons) the flight of dragons was a specific number, 12 total? then three flights made up a wing. so basically the wing leader and each wing-second, two of them, had nominal control of their flight, and were able to tell in their own men who was too injured, tired etc.... to continue, with, hopefully, some backup members either in a holding pattern, or back at the Weyr waiting to fill in the gap. since the entire weyr rarely fought a complete fall, I think in DB, it was said that they needed a minimum of three wings in the air to even hope to combat thread. but the whole idea was to use the numbers of green and blue dragons to equal the stamina of the bronzes and browns. and still have some ability of leaders to tell if their wing was in shape to fly.
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Old Mar 10 2008, 11:41 PM   #37
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They have well maintained foot paths for the runners (as described in several short stories) because I remember reading in one story, that they were upset with one of the Fort sons using it to ride his "horse" on it and wrecking it for the runners.
They would also have to have roads, consider all the traders like the Lilcamp traders who travel back and forwards between the weyrs.
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Old Mar 10 2008, 11:53 PM   #38
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3) Transportation. Either dragons are doing a lot of cargo duty, or the road system has got to be better developed than shown in the Atlas of Pern. There are an awful lot of livestock and mining products that need to be moved continuously just to support the Weyrs. There may also have to be a lot more boats/ships at sea and on rivers than we commonly think about.

There are well maintained footpaths apparently for the runners. I distinctly remember one of the Fort sons getting told off for using his "horse" on it and ripping it up in parts. They would also have to maintain roads etc for the traders like the Lilcamp family, however I do recall that it was brought up at times that there were lots of bumps in some roads and would/could take off a wagon wheel at times.


6) Threadfall charts. These would not be useful only to dragonriders. The explanation for how ships at sea deal with Thread didn't sit well with me from a naval architecture point of view. Flooding the decks produces free surface area and effects stability. So too does any above-decks metal sheeting (and that also goes back to the need for a truly massive Mining Craft to provide it). Moreover, the idea of battening down the ship, and steering straight from leading to trailing edge is nuts. Why not set a course to the edge of the Fall and get out from under the bloody thing as soon as possible? After all, you don't ride into a hurricane if you have a chance to avoid it.

Of course, this would require charts, and mariners live and die by charts. So I find it inconceivable that mariners would not carry and preserve Threadfall charts in order to evade even being under a fall in the first place. And frankly, this would also be a bread-and-butter tool for herders and drovers in an environment like Pern's. So how could all of this knowledge and all of these charts be lost by 9th Pass and force F'lar to reconstruct them. Too many users, too much need, too many archives, it seems for it to pass completely out of knowledge.


Every single one of them would have similiar charts but Robinton's bone of contention was that they wouldn't share information between crafts and weyrs, thereby losing the information more quickly. That's how F'lar ended up doing the lot because he had to rely on himself to keep the weyr and Pern alive long enough for Lessa to bring the oldtimers back, in order for Pern to survive. That's my piece said for the moment.
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Old Mar 11 2008, 02:13 PM   #39
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7) Why would dragons fly only by virtue of TK? The author says they do possess TK, but it seems doubtful they'd need it to fly. Otherwise, why do they even have wings? So they must be able to fly without TK. And given that they possess the wingspans and wing areas of jet liners, and weigh vastly less, dragons should soar quite easily, even allowing for the vast difference in thrust. Additionally, if you go with the anatomy of Michael Whelan's cover art (admittedly at variance with the text in some respects) there is no bar to flight without TK.
I can't recall that it says anywhere that they can only fly by TK, only that it assists them. For either lift, balance or stabilization. And probably to rectify the "hanging butt syndrome" with how massive their hindquarters are

There is a scientific equasion that calculates how large a creature can be and still be capable to fly. Which means that a creature CAN be too large to fly, no matter how big its wings are. Once it passes the maximum size it needs a greater wingspan to make up for its weight, but then needs more muscle to be able to support those wings, which adds more weight, which means it needs a greater wingspan... and an endless circle from there on. NO dragon could fly just on its own, even a 20 footer. Although that would be more plausible than a 100 footer, which is just outright preposterous.

Notice the anatomy of birds - they have a very light and slender skeletal system, compact bodies with legs tucked very tightly beneath them (and some species which do let their legs hand, such as herons, they are stick thin to reduce drag), and their bodies are VERY streamlined. Their necks are usually short to keep their bodies compact and streamlined, and when they are long, they are again very slender.

Dragons however, are just about the complete opposite. Very unstreamlined bodies, not compact at all - longish backs which lends itself to instability; long, comparitively thick necks; MASSIVE hind legs which wouldn't tuck very well beneath them and long, heavy tails which would both drag the hind end down; and are altogether fairly heavily built in musculature. Which all adds up to a very, very bad flight design. Fire-lizards might be able to get away with it with being so small, but on a creature at LEAST 20 feet long, it would be outright impossible for it to fly on sheer wing-power. It wouldn't be able to fly any better than a chicken at best. Dragons DO have a lighter bone material than terran animals, and there is slightly less gravity than earth, but their overwhelming mass would still be far too much.

So Telekinesis is very essential for them to be able to fly.
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Old Mar 11 2008, 05:15 PM   #40
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You seem to be basing your dragons on a flying T Rex.

Since thay can fly they don't need to run so they don't need the heavy back end. Logically the shoulders would be heavier than the rear.
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