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

Ruatha Hold

Jaxom was Lord Holder of Ruatha and the rider of white 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, who was the son of Lady Gemma of Crom Hold and the self-styled «Lord of Seven Holds» Lord Fax, was born moments before a duel between Fax and bronze Rider F'lar, at which time Fax was killed. Jaxom was then raised by 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 lavished 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 was educated to be a future Lord Holder by Lytol, who emphasized respect toward dragons in his lessons, as well as proper decorum. As an adult, Jaxom claimed that he knew more Hold policies and procedures than the older Lord Holders.

Jaxom became close friends with Felessan, a main Ruatha Bloodline relative and the son of the Benden Weyrleaders F'lar and Lessa. On a visit to Benden Weyr, the boys peeked at Ramoth's clutch. While 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 from viewing the eggs, Jaxom and Felessan became lost in some old corridors and discovered an ancient room. In that room, Lessa, F'lar, Lytol and several others discovered ancient objects, such as a microscope.


When Jaxom was young, Lytol took him to the Benden Hatching of the eggs which Felessan and Jaxom had peeked at on the earlier trip. At the Hatching, the little egg Jaxom had seen did not hatch at first. When Jaxom saw that it was rocking, he leaped down to the sands to help the dragon break through the tough shell membrane, using his belt knife. A white dragon tumbled out, less than half the size of its clutch-mates, then Impressed Jaxom. The dragon told Jaxom that his name was Ruth.

Jaxom's unplanned Impression of Ruth caused a great deal of upheaval for the attendant Lord Holders. 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 allowed to return to Ruatha, where they prospered.

Coming of Age

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 publicly proclaimed that, since he had no wish to displace Lytol, he would struggle with the uncertainty of his situation in private. Eventually, he gained some privacy by seeing a Holder's daughter Corana, though the relationship ended when Jaxom met Sharra.

Slowly, Jaxom began to prove himself. He secretly retrieved the stolen queen egg belonging to Ramoth, though he was injured by Thread after mistiming a jump between. Later, he was 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 Fort Hold. Before he could fly Thread for the first time, he was stricken with Fire-head Fever. Traveling to a cove on the Southern Continent, he collapsed there and was nursed back to health by Brekke and Sharra, sister of Toric. Over time, Jaxom and Sharra fell in love.

While recovering at the cove, Jaxom began exploring the Southern Continent, and continued to do so after the cove became Robinton's retirement home and was 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 began to seriously consider his future and was able to marry Sharra, but only after a 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 revived Runnerbeast breeding, which had been a major craft at Ruatha prior to Fax. Whenever Threadfall took place, Jaxom and Ruth flew it with Fort Weyr. Jaxom eventually sired two sons with Sharra, Jarrol and Shawan.

Discovery of AIVAS

When he had time, Jaxom helped excavate the site around Landing, which 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 became a major leader of the subsequent effort to end Thread 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 an attempt to remove him as Lord Holder of Ruatha Hold.

It was eventually revealed that Jaxom's Ruth was the key to the effort to end Thread. Ruth's ability to always know when he was in Time allowed for the antimatter engines to be exploded at specific points in time, in order to shift the Red Star's orbit. As part of this effort, Jaxom and Ruth became the first pair to do a spacewalk and take an exploratory mission to the Red Star. In addition, Jaxom and Ruth went forward in time, considered to be extremely dangerous, as part of AIVAS's secret mission to observe how much the orbit of the Red Star had shifted after the antimatter explosion (and, apparently, a second time to retrieve the gloves Jaxom had forgotten). Though the effort was successful, AIVAS's subsequent self-shutdown angered 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 slowly came to terms with the decision.

During the effort to eliminate Thread, Jaxom held a Gather at Ruatha, at which Masterharper Robinton was abducted by Anti-AIVAS conspirators who were commonly referred to as Abominators. Jaxom and Ruth assisted with the search for Robinton. Following Robinton's rescue, Jaxom presided at the trial, as he was resident Lord Holder, and passed judgment on all unaffiliated conspirators. When Robinton died from the after-effects of the abduction, Jaxom mourned his loss.


In the years following AIVAS's shutdowm, Jaxom remained as Lord Holder. He witnessed the Fireball that eventually caused the Fireball Flood. Later, he was present at the meeting where dragonriders tried to decide the best course of action to minimize damage and loss of life. Jaxom 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 into Ruatha's caves. Since he was taught to maintain decorum, he rarely showed open anger. He was extremely knowledgable, having taken part in 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 wey. The fact that he was not full of himself made him a good leader during the project to eliminate Thread. As a child, he had 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 helped develop a more independent and occasionally more impulsive personality for a dragon, but Lytol commented that Jaxom's cautiousness gave 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 were 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 at Ruatha) and Kale's surviving daughter Weyrwoman Lessa and her son F'lessan through her mate F'lar. Though Lessa had the strongest Blood claim to Ruatha, she renounced it after Jaxom's birth to become a dragonrider, on behalf of herself and any future issue, though she maintained an interest in Jaxom's future and endeavors.


Additional Information

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.