From "People of Pern" © 1988 Robin Wood. Used with Permission.
Vital statistics
Gender Male
Rank Lord Holder
Dragon White Ruth
Era Ninth Pass
Affiliation Ruatha Hold
Spouse Lady Sharra
Parent(s) Lord Fax
Lady Gemma
Children Jarrol

Ruatha Shield

Jaxom was Lord Holder of Ruatha and the rider of Ruth during the Ninth Pass. The son of Fax and Lady Gemma, some disputed his right to hold, and there were a number of attempts on his life. He was very actively involved in AIVAS's many projects.


Early Life

Jaxom was born the son of Lady Gemma and Lord Fax, moments before a duel between the latter and the Bronze Rider F'lar, in which Fax was killed. He was then raised by the former Brown Rider, Lytol, who acted as Lord Warder until Jaxom's coming of age. Because of his premature birth and the death of Lady Gemma, he was nursed by his milk mother, Deelan. Dorse, his milk brother, was jealous of the attention Deelan laved on Jaxom and teased the young Lord mercilessly, often forcing Jaxom to hide in the bowels of the hold to escape Dorse's attentions. Jaxom would be educated as a future Lord Holder by Lytol, who emphasized respect toward dragons in his lessons, as well as proper decorum. As an adult, Jaxom would claim that he knew more Hold policies and procedures than the older Lord Holders.

Jaxom would become close friends with Felessan, a main Ruatha Bloodline relative and the son of the Benden Weyrleaders. On a visit to Benden Weyr, the boys would peek at a clutch belonging to Ramoth. There, Jaxom noticed an egg smaller than all the rest. Jaxom felt sorry for the little egg and gave it a pat. On the way back, Jaxom and Felessan would become lost in some old corridors, and discovered an ancient room. Lessa, F'lar, Lytol and several others would discover ancient objects, such as a microscope.


When Jaxom was young, Lytol took him to a Benden Hatching. At the Hatching, the little egg Jaxom had seen did not hatch at first, and Jaxom, seeing that it was rocking, leaped down to the sands to help the dragon break through the tough shell membrane with his belt knife. A white dragon tumbled out, less than half the size of its clutch-mates, and Impressed Jaxom. The dragon's name was Ruth.

Jaxom's unplanned Impression of Ruth caused a great deal of upheaval for the attendant Lord Holders. The Lords Raid of Benden and Sifer of Bitra contended that Jaxom should yield lordship of Ruatha, while Masterharper Robinton and Lord Warder Lytol maintained that Jaxom should remain at Ruatha. Lord Lytol, defending Jaxom's actions and sure that Ruth's days were numbered, stated that Jaxom should stay where his obligations would give meaning to his life after Ruth died. The Masterharper and Lord Lytol prevailed and both Ruth and Jaxom were removed to Ruatha where they prospered.

Coming of Age

Jaxom and Sharra

Jaxom and his wife Sharra at Southern

As Jaxom grew older, he found himself restricted in many ways. Though he was allowed to fly and go between on Ruth, he was forbidden from learning to fly Thread, due to the risk of injury or death. However, the political situation made Jaxom's confirmation as Lord Holder unlikely. Jaxom would publically proclaim that he had no wish to displace Lytol, but would struggle with the uncertainty of his situation in private. Eventually he would gain some privacy by seeing a Holder's daughter, though the relationship ended following Jaxom being influenced by a mating flight.

Slowly, Jaxom began to prove himself. He would secretly retrieve a stolen queen egg belonging to Ramoth, though he was injured by Thread after mistiming a jump between. Later, he would be asked by F'lar to track down D'ram, who had gone back in time. At this time, his Thread scar was noticed. Playing it off as an illguided attempt to teach Ruth to fly Thread, he was allowed to train with weyrlings at For Hold. Before he could fly Thread for the first time, however, he was stricken with Fire-head Fever. Traveling to a cove at the Southern Continent, he would collapse there, and was nursed back to health by Brekke and Sharra, sister of Toric. Jaxom and Sharra would fall in love.

While recovering at the cove, Jaxom would begin exploring the Southern Continent, which continued after the cove became Robinton's retirement home, named Cove Hold. Ruth's ability to communicate with Fire Lizards led to the discovery of Landing, where ancient settlers had first arrived on Pern. Jaxom would begin seriously considering his future, and was able to marry Sharra, after an confrontation with Toric. By this time, the political situation had improved, as the sons of Lord Holders were allowed to settle parts of the Southern Continent, allowing Jaxom to be confirmed as Lord Holder of Ruatha.

Following Jaxom's confirmation, he would revive Runnerbeast breeding, which had been a major craft at Ruatha prior to Fax. Whenever Threadfall took place, he flew it on Ruth with Fort Weyr. He would sire two sons with Sharra, Jarrol and Shawan.

Discovery of AIVAS

Jaxom would also help explore the site of Landing when he had time.One of these times led to the discovery of AIVAS, an AI brought by the original settlers. Calling a meeting on the spot, Jaxom was present for AIVAS's recitation of Pern's history and its claims that Thread could be eliminated. Jaxom would become a major leader of the subsequent effort, and was the most prominent of the Lord Holders to support the project. However, there were several attempts on his life, which were revealed be related to his retrieval of Ramoth's egg.

Eventually, it was revealed that Jaxom's Ruth was key to the effort to end Thread. Ruth's ability to orient himself in time would allow for antimatter engines to be exploded at specific points in time to shift the Red Star's orbit. As part of this effort, Jaxom and Ruth would become the first pair to do a spacewalk and would take an exploratory mission to the Red Star. In addition, Jaxom and Ruth would go forward in time, considered to be extremely dangerous, as part of a secret mission from AIVAS to observe that the Red Star had shifted (and apparently a second time to retrieve the gloves Jaxom had forgotten). Though the effort was successful, AIVAS's self-depowering would anger Jaxom. Being one of those who first discovered AIVAS's 'death', he attempted to awaken the AI with typed programming codes to no avail and felt betrayed by its unannounced departure. He would slowly come to terms with the decision.

During the effort to eliminate Thread, Jaxom would hold a Gather at Ruatha. During the Gather, Masterharper Robinton would be abducted by Anti-AIVAS conspirators. Jaxom and Ruth would assist with the search. Following Robinton's rescue, he would preside of the trial, as he was resident Lord Holder, and passed judgment on all unaffiliated conspirators. When Robinton would die from after effects, Jaxom mourned his loss.


In the years following AIVAS's depowering, Jaxom remained as Lord Holder. He would witness the Fireball that eventually caused the Fireball Flood. He would later be present at the meeting where dragonriders discussed their response. He was supportive of the effort to start a Sky Watch to track incoming threats, and offered territory in Ruatha for an observatory.

Personality and Traits

As a child, Jaxom struggled with being the target of bullying by Dorse, and often retreated deep in Ruatha's caves. He was taught to maintain decorum and rarely showed open anger. He was extremely knowledgable, having taken part in a cross-craft education with several of his peers as well as taking advanced lessons from AIVAS. He had many friends ranging across the crafts and weyrs. He was not full of himself, which made him a good leader during the project to eliminate Thread. As a child, he struggled with the perception that he did not have Lytol's approval, despite Lytol's deep feeling for the boy. As an adult, he was notably loyal to Lytol and the two had a close relationship. Ruth's circumstances would develop a more independent and occasionally more impulsive personality for a dragon, but Lytol has commented that Jaxom's cautiousness gives balance to the pair.


As the son of Fax and Gemma, Jaxom was related to both the bloodlines of High Reaches Hold and Crom Hold. Through Fax, Lord Holder Bargen and his older brother Farevene of High Reaches are his first cousins once removed. Jaxom was also distantly related to the main Ruathan Bloodline through his mother Lady Gemma to Barla, a cousin of Lord Kale, and her children with her husband Dowell, former minor holders in Ruatha, and Kale's surviving daughter Weyrwoman Lessa and her son F'lessan through her mate F'lar. Barla and Dowell's son, Pell, would later be a central objective in an Abominator plot to overthrow and murder Jaxom and replace him with a more amenable Lord Holder. Though Lessa had the strongest Blood claim to Ruatha, with Jaxom's birth she renounced it to become a dragonrider, on behalf of herself and any future issue, though she maintained an interest in Jaxom's future and endeavors.


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