F'lar holding a map of Pern.
From "People of Pern"
© 1988 Robin Wood.
Used with Permission. http://www.robinwood.com
|Siblings||F'nor (half brother)|
F'lar was born Fallarnon thirty-two Turns before the start of the Ninth Pass, the son of F'lon and Larna, who died two days after his birth. Both his father and his grandfather S'loner were Weyrleaders in their time. He inherited his father's distinctive amber eyes. He was raised by Manora, the headwoman at Benden Weyr, who gave F'lon his second son, Famanoran (or F'nor as he became known later).
Fallarnon Impressed bronze Mnementh and shortened his name to F'lar, in the dragonriders' tradition. F'lon began training F'lar to one day take over as Weyrleader; but, F'lon's assassination put an end to that plan. Since the other riders considered F'lar to be too young at the time to replace F'lon as Weyrleader, closed-minded R'gul was able to fly the queen and become Weyrleader. Carrying on F'lon's legacy, F'lar became a Wingleader under R'gul. Like F'lon, F'lar believed that Thread would return and that, as a dragonrider, he must answer the call to fight it.
Lessa, Fax and the Return of Thread
After the death of the last living queen rider, F'lar went on Search to find a rider for the single queen egg in the final clutch. His Search brought him to Ruatha Hold, one of the «Seven Holds» held by the greedy tyrant Fax. F'lar, his half-brother, F'nor, and several Benden riders accompanied Fax for one of his inspections at Ruatha Hold. It was there that they encountered Lessa, the last of the Ruathan bloodline and the source of the mysterious power that was felt in Ruatha's halls. After Fax attempted to renege on a promise he had made — to turn Ruatha over to his infant son, Jaxom — F'lar engaged Fax in a knife duel and killed him, ending his rule over the «Seven Holds». Lessa then agreed to accompany F'lar to Benden Weyr and stand as a candidate for the queen egg.
After the queen egg hatched, whose name was Ramoth and who impressed Lessa, F'lar bided his time until Ramoth matured and he could replace R'gul as Weyrleader, provided Mnementh was able to fly Ramoth. R'gul attempted to ensure that both F'lar and Mnementh were absent from the flight, but failed when Lessa used her ability to talk to all dragons and called Mnementh back. Mnementh flew Ramoth, making F'lar Weyrleader of Benden. After his ascension, F'lar promised the Lord Holders of Pern that he would find a way to bring the end of Thread by destroying it at its source - The Red Star, the erratic sister planet of Pern. As Weyrleader, F'lar immediately began modernizing the Weyr. To provide enough candidates for the forty one eggs Ramoth laid, he allowed Hold and Craftbred boys to stand as candidates, preferring older boys who could fight Thread sooner. In addition, he allowed the candidates to see the hardening eggs, in order to reduce casualties caused by candidates being afraid of the newly hatched dragons. When the hatching occurred, he allowed families of the candidates to watch.
In preparation for the coming of Thread, he began searching old records from the abandoned weyrs, allowing him to create timetables to specifically pinpoint the time and location of threadfalls. Aware of the lack of dragons capable of flying against Thread, he called a meeting of the Crafts and Holds, asking that everyone work together to face the threat. Even with these measures, the first fall of Thread caused a number of casualties, and it became apparent that Benden Weyr could not fly Thread alone. F'lar sent the hatchlings and their riders back in Time to mature at Southern Weyr on the Southern Continent; but, the strain on the riders made this an incomplete solution. Lessa, risking the survival of dragonkind itself (as her dragon, Ramoth, was the last living queen in that time period), traveled four hundred Turns back in time and beseeched the other five Weyrs to come back with her to the present. The Oldtimers, as they became known, agreed to come forward and fight Thread alongside Benden.
Dealing with the Oldtimers
Immediately after the arrival of the Oldtimers, F'lar relinquished much of the authority he had to the more experienced Oldtimers. During this time, F'lar and Lessa had their first and only son, Felessan. The birth was so hazardous that F'lar and Lessa took steps to ensure that they did not conceive again. As time went on, F'lar faced several challenges to his authority, most notably from T'ron, the Weyrleader of Fort Weyr. During the Eighth Pass, the Weyrs held dominance over the Holds and Crafts. The Oldtimers expected similar behavior during the Ninth Pass, while F'lar recognized that the Holds and Crafts had gained much more importance over the years. Eventually, F'lar began hearing of Oldtimers demanding objects and people from others, putting them in contention with the holds and crafts they protected. Benden Weyr remained in good standing due to Benden's reputation for respecting the rights of craft and hold.
Eventually, F'lar was forced into a duel with T'ron at the wedding of Lord Asgenar. One Oldtimer Weyrleader, T'kul, was found to be deliberately neglecting his duties, and T'ron realized that F'lar would ask for the Weyrleader's removal. As a result, T'ron planned to kill F'lar, removing the Holds' main ally and allowing T'ron to control the other Weyrleaders unopposed. After defeating T'ron, F'lar challenged any other Oldtimers to either speak against Benden or to follow him and fight their ancient enemy. Many agreed to follow Benden's lead, effectively making F'lar the Weyrleader of all Pern. F'lar exiled all non-followers to the Southern Continent, where they could do little harm. He also continued his goal to modernize Weyr traditions, by stationing dragonriders in crafts and holds to allow for quick communication. F'lar was responsible for the rediscovery of thread-eating grubs, and helped to spread the creatures to protect vulnerable land in the North. F'lar initially kept the grub project secret, but came to realize the value of open communication after becoming sick due to traveling between with an open wound. Though F'lar desired to make a trip to the Red Star, as he had promised, the near death of F'nor after such a trip made him realize the dangers.
Even after the Oldtimers' exile, F'lar's leadership did not go unchallenged and there were some Oldtimers who persisted in their efforts against Benden. T'kul, the exiled Weyrleader of High Reaches Weyr, worked with other Oldtimers to steal a queen egg from one of Ramoth's clutches, which failed when Jaxom and Ruth recovered the egg. T'kul then decided to fly his dragon in a mating flight with a younger queen, resulting in the ancient dragon's death, causing the grief-maddened Oldtimer to be killed in a knife duel with F'lar. In the aftermath, F'lar learned that most of the planet considered him to be in charge of determining the settlement of the Southern Continent, thanks to the hard work of Masterharper Robinton. After learning the true extent of the Southern Continent, F'lar opened a portion for settlement, which gained the interest of many younger sons of holders. However, F'lar kept much of the knowledge secret in the hope of retaining a portion of the continent for dragonriders, allowing them to support themselves in the upcoming intervals. When time allowed, he helped explore the Southern Continent, becoming part of the group that discovered Landing, the original settlement created by Pern's founders.
The Discovery of AIVAS
When AIVAS was discovered on the Southern Continent seventeen Turns into the Ninth Pass, F'lar was among the first to give his support, as it promised to fulfill his lifelong goal to eliminate Thread. When he was not discussing the greater plan, F'lar's studies with AIVAS tended to the more practical duties of the Weyrleader - tactics, mathematical projections of Threadfall, and draconic healing. He did, however, gain a degree of proficiency in using a console. He was convinced that AIVAS' plan to end the threat of Thread forever was doable, and he and Lessa were among the major leaders (the others being Jaxom and Masterharper Robinton) in the plan to carry out the promise he had made upon becoming Weyrleader.
F'lar became one of the first people to explore the surface of the Red Star, when he carried out an exploratory mission with Jaxom and Lessa. Shortly after, Robinton was kidnapped by Abominators, who wished to see AIVAS destroyed. F'lar assisted in the search for Robinton and, when the conspirators were discovered, helped bring in the Lord Holders involved for trial. In particular, he confronted Sigomal and sent several wings to retrieve Begamon, who were both implicated. F'lar later lead one of the teams in placing large antimatter engines on the surface of the Red Planet, with the goal of knocking it out of orbit and resulting in the elimination of Thread reaching the surface of Pern.
Despite the success of AIVAS' plan, F'lar made it clear that he would remain as Benden's Weyrleader until the Pass was over, to carry out the duty he had assigned himself. He and Lessa helped oversee the approval of claims for holds in the Southern Continent, and kept a record of grants and deeds at their Weyr. However, he had yet to make plans for himself and Lessa for after the end of the Pass.
During the Fireball Flood, he, like every other rider on the planet, helped carry out a mass evacuation of the coastlines. In the aftermath, it became apparent that the population considered the dragonriders to be responsible for preventing more impacts. At a meeting to discuss a response, F'lar came to support a plan to organize a Sky Watch led by dragonriders to monitor potential hazardous objects. Though they did not yet have a way to stop them, F'lar believed that they could find a method in the future.
The next day, however, brought near-tragedy when F'lar's son F'lessan was nearly killed by felines. F'lessan, Tai, and their dragons were seriously injured in the attack, but were saved when the dragons discovered their ability of Telekinesis, allowing them to fling the creatures away. In the aftermath, F'lar was very upset by the thought of nearly losing F'lessan, but was astounded by the concept of draconic Telekinesis. In the following days, F'lar, Lessa, and the other dragonriders began exploring this ability, with the idea that it could potentially be used to divert dangerous objects from impacting Pern.
Personality and traits
F'lar was described by C'gan, the Weyrsinger, as having his head «screwed on better than F'lon ever did». Unlike his father, F'lar was even-tempered and even-headed, rather than being brash and reckless. He was also an opponent of any kind of injustice, having battled and slain Fax and defeated several Oldtimer Weyrleaders to prevent such injustice. F'lar was a forward-thinking man, having introduced several modernizations to Weyr tradition, and encouraged the development of new technology to help combat Thread. He held his dragonriders to high standards and was known to send Mnementh to scare watchriders who had fallen asleep on duty.
He held a firm belief that Holds, Crafts, and Weyrs could work together, with his strong friendships with Robinton and Fandarel as proof, as he rarely encountered a situation without asking their advice. In time, he was considered to be the only person on Pern capable of holding the planet together. One of his major flaws was a tendency to be secretive about his plans. A severe injury, however, changed his mind, and he began sharing his plans with others more regularly, having realized that such secrecy had led to previous losses of information. In addition, he sometimes arranged things to suit him if Lessa or F'nor were not there to stop him. Another flaw was an arrogant streak that several people, mainly Lessa and R'gul, noticed.