Dragonfire is the second «Crossroads Adventure» gamebook in the Dragonriders of Pern series, written by Jody Lynn Nye. Was first published by Tor Books in Jule 1988, cover by Doug Beekman. The book inside has illustrations by Todd Cameron Hamilton.
Mirrim, the only female rider of a fighting dragon, green Path, never seems to know where she belongs. She is a special protege of Weyrwomen Lessa and Brekke, and she is trusted by Masterharper Robinton, until she is falsely accused of stealing an artifact from the dig at Landing. Path is injured in the next Threadfall. Someone IS stealing from the Ancient Timers' site, but it isn't Mirrim. She wants to help find the thieves, who are willing to risk killing a dragonrider and a dragon to prevent their discovery.
Dragonfire, while still a story, is a «gamebook», where the events are determined by the choices of the reader and also by dice rolls, determining if a character succeeds in a chosen goal or not. As such, a number of endings are possible; three «written» endings exist: two where Mirrim manages to prove herself innocent, and a third ending, where she ends up stuck at Benden Weyr doing chores. The latter of these is the default ending if Mirrim gets into deep trouble, or if she or Path are severely injured in any way.
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Taking place some time after the events of The White Dragon, Dragonfire begins at Cove Hold, where Brekke and Mirrim have been caring for Masterharper Robinton, following a recent collapse caused by overexposure to the hot southern sun. Since Robinton is unhappy at the idea of remaining at Cove Hold for two sevendays — at which time Mirrim will convey him to Southern Hold to attend the wedding of Doriota, a sister of Lord Toric — Mirrim offers to travel on Robinton's behalf to the ancient site near the Two-Faced Mountain, and bring back anything Lytol wants him to see.
At the ancient site, Mirrim talks with Lessa, Fandarel and Lytol, before heading into a building where the artifacts that have been uncovered so far are stored. Inside, Mirrim takes an object that appears to be a musical instrument to show to Robinton, but is stopped by Breide — one of Toric's men — who accuses her of theft. Regardless of whether Mirrim lies to them or not, the truth is soon discovered.
That night, during a dinner at Cove Hold, it is revealed that a number of ancient objects have been stolen recently — Lytol believes these are linked to the traders who have recently arrived at the site. Since Breide suspects Mirrim is linked to the thefts, she is forbidden from returning to the ancient site until she can clear her name. If she fails to do so, she will also be barred from attending the wedding at Southern Hold.
The next day, Mirrim and several other dragonriders fight Thread over Cove Hold. If Mirrim and Path make it through the Fall relatively unscathed, several uneventful days later Mirrim meets Dannen — the son of Brekke's foster mother — who has been wandering across the Southern Continent, gathering herbs for Masterhealer Oldive, as well as experimenting with cross-pollination in a field southeast of Cove Hold. Since Mirrim would like to get to know him, she offers to have Path fly the pair of them to the field, where she can also help him gather herbs.
A small «earthshake» shakes the field as they arrive, but they are able to land after it ends. The two end up separating — shortly after Mirrim thinks Dannen is trying to kiss her — and Mirrim ends up exploring one of two routes in the area. Depending on the route she takes and her actions, Mirrim can end up:
- Hunting a wild wherry.
- Being stung by a needlethorn, or seeing a whersport get fatally stung by one.
- Finding a dead whersport that can be used for meat.
If Mirrim has escaped major injury, she goes to find Dannen, only to stumble across Joras, a friend of Dannen's searching for rare species, who fell from a tree during the «earthshake» and injured his back and leg. Dannen arrives, and Mirrim has the choice to attempt to treat him herself, or get Brekke to treat him — by going on Path to Cove Hold, or by sending Dannen on Path. If they manage to fix his back, Joras tells them a number of Telgar traders have been in the area, and he heard them talking about the sale of ancient artifacts. If not, he is taken to Southern Hold to recuperate.
Afterwards, Dannen and Mirrim talk to each other — revealing Dannen will also be attending the wedding at Southern Hold — as they harvest herbs and Dannen's cross-pollinated plants: onions. Dannen asks if Mirrim would consider taking him and some of his plants to his family at Telgar Hold the next day, although Mirrim notes they could be destroyed by the cold of between. If Mirrim decides to transport Dannen and the plants, they travel to Telgar, but the plants are destroyed from the cold of between — although Dannen notes he will be able to plant the seeds from them. If Mirrim decides not to transport the plants, they instead get Master Idarolan to transport the plants north via ship, before Mirrim takes Dannen to Telgar Hold.
At Telgar Hold, Mirrim finds a trader attempting to sell an object she recognises from the ancient site. She accuses him, resulting in one of the following outcomes:
- Mirrim apologises to the trader, in a failed attempt to get a closer look at the object.
- Mirrim apologises, but is attacked by one of the trader's apprentices as she leaves Telgar Hold (after Dannen kisses her).
- Mirrim accuses the trader of theft, and ends up fighting one of the trader's apprentices.
If Mirrim avoids injury — and discipline from the Hold Steward — she leaves Telgar Hold to fight Thread at Cove Hold. As she goes, Dannen asks her to «save six dances for him» at the wedding, and kisses her.
Path tells Mirrim they are running late, and Mirrim prepares to fight Thread. Unknown to her, the trader's apprentice has cut her riding straps, in an attempt to scare her away. If Mirrim checks her straps before mounting Path, she finds the cuts, and ends up missing the Fall to deal with them. If Mirrim decides not to check them to save time:
- Mirrim's straps break over Telgar Hold, but she is rescued by dragonriders from Telgar Weyr.
- Mirrim's straps break over Telgar Hold, and she falls into a forest, before she is taken to Telgar Weyr to have her injuries treated.
- Mirrim's straps break over Cove Hold, and she falls into the sea, but Path rescues her and brings her to Lytol and Brekke.
If Mirrim is not grievously harmed by this ordeal, F'nor lectures her for missing Fall and allowing her riding straps to become so weak. Despite this, Mirrim is well-prepared for the next Fall, where the normal dragonriders at Cove Hold are joined by F'lessan and three other riders — regardless of the choices made by Mirrim, Golanth ends up with a minor Threadscore on his back. If Mirrim and Path make it through the Fall relatively unscathed, Mirrim ends up tending the injured, before being dragged into the sea with the other riders, who are playing around.
The next day, Brekke calls Mirrim outside, where a man named Dunnel has arrived with a message from Dannen, which he says is private. In reality, he is a holdless man who has been hired by the Telgar trader to stop her from investigating them, first by warning her away, and then by attacking her if she shows no sign of giving up. If Mirrim refuses to listen to his message in private, or succeeds in overpowering him, Dunnel reveals the true nature of his message, before escaping. Upon hearing this, F'nor becomes convinced of Mirrim's innocence, and states she will be able to go to the wedding at Southern Hold.
The next day, Mirrim flies Robinton to Southern Hold — accidentally causing a delay as the other riders wait for her to land first with Robinton. While there, she runs into Lessa, who didn't think she was allowed to come, but Robinton convinces her to let Mirrim stay — although she tells her to avoid Toric. Mirrim next avoids dancing with T'gellan — Path notes that she and Mirrim both like him, but Mirrim tells her she wasn't ready to see him — before meeting up with Menolly and Piemur. When they go to see a lyre Menolly carved as a wedding present, Mirrim sees the stolen artifact among the gifts. Recognising several of the guests as people who were present at the ancient site, Mirrim goes to Path and decides to time it back to the day the artifact was taken to discover the thief's identity. Several scenarios can occur as a result of this:
- Mirrim times it back to before her arrival at the ancient site, and witnesses a Masterminer taking an artifact to a workshop full of them — however, if she returns to the wedding and accuses him (instead of timing it to her arrival at the ancient site), it turns out he is working for Toric to analyse the metal content of the artifacts.
- Mirrim times it back to before her arrival at the ancient site, and witnesses the Telgar trader's apprentice talking with a journeyman about their theft of the artifacts.
- Mirrim times it back to her arrival at the ancient site, and follows the Telgar trader's apprentice as he takes the artifact, only for him to attack her — if Path comes to her rescue, she is able to return to the wedding in time to clear her name.
Returning to the wedding, Mirrim makes her accusation. If she is successful — either Dannen arrives to back up her story of the events at Telgar, or Path tells Lessa about Mirrim being attacked at the ancient site by the Telgar trader's apprentice — she is proved innocent, and the guilty — including the Telgar trader's apprentice, Beterli, banished from Benden Weyr for violence in «The Smallest Dragonboy» — are taken away. Mirrim then dances with Dannen.