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The early part of the Ninth Pass saw the return of thread after a 400 year Long Interval. Initially, Pern was unequipped to deal with it, as only one weyr, Benden Weyr, existed and that weyr was undersized. However, Lessa, Benden's weyrwoman, undertook a journey 400 years into the past to bring forward the missing weyrs. At full strength, the Weyrs would combat thread, but cultural differences between the Oldtimers, as the Eighth pass riders came to be known, and the more modern Benden riders resulted difficulties, as the Oldtimers demanded absolute obedience from both Crafts and Holds. This eventually resulted in the mass exile of anyone who refused to follow Benden's lead.
The Ninth Pass also saw variety of technological developments and discoveries. The rediscovery of the Southern Continent led to a number of small holds and a new weyr being founded, while some old technolgies were rediscovered, including paper, telescopes (called farseers), and a species of grub designed to devour burrowing thread. This spur of development only continued as the artificial intellegence known as AIVAS was discovered in the Southern continent. AIVAS's memory banks contained many lost sciences and technologies, the redevelopment of which culminated in a change in the Red Star's orbit, meaning the end of thread.
Even after AIVAS shut itself down, technological development continued. However, dragonriders were faced with the prospect of finding new futures for themselves in when thread ceased. An impact by a fireball and the resultant damage led to a realization that asteroids and other space rocks should be monitored to prevent future disasters. To this end, the dragonriders proposed to form a new craft dedicated to this purpose. Combined with their dragons' newly discovered ability of telekinesis and the skills learned in moving the Red Star, the riders would be able to track and divert incoming fireballs.
Novels that take place in the Ninth Pass
Most of the Pern novels take place immediately before and during this pass. These novels are: