Vital statistics
Gender Male
Rank Masterharper
Era Eighth Interval
Ninth Pass
Affiliation Telgar Hold
Harper Hall
Half-Circle Sea Hold
Spouse Merelan
Children Robinton (son)
Camo (grandson)
First appearance Dragonsong
Notable appearance The Masterharper of Pern

Telgar Shield Harper Half Circle

Petiron was a Masterharper during the Eighth Interval and Ninth Pass and was the father of Robinton.


Petiron was born in Telgar Hold; his family can claim ties to the Telgar Bloodline.

Trained as a Harper, Petiron possessed an uncanny talent as a composer of complex and lengthy works, which would make him both famous and infamous.

Petiron was married to Merelan, a Mastersinger of some renown; for much of his career, he wrote his works to accommodate his wife's voice. After three previous attempts to have a child had ended in miscarriages, Merelan gave birth to a son, Robinton. For much of Robinton's childhood, however, Petiron displayed a sense of antipathy and irritation with his only offspring, despite Robinton's every effort to please his father. Petiron saw him as a competitor for Merelan's attentions, and was oblivious to both Robinton's innate musicality and the fact that many of the Teaching Ballads circulating around Harper Hall had in fact been written by his own son. Merelan and the rest of the Hall, particularly MasterHarper Gennell himself, were largely responsible for Robinton's education.

Petiron was known as a particularly strict instructor and a demanding composer; while training the daughter of an Istan holder, her inability to understand what he termed a «simple score» (a somewhat ironic comment, considering the source) resulted in an argument heard throughout the entire Hall, which ended as he was forced to slap her to stop her hysterical ranting. He was also especially demanding with Robinton (who had stepped up to sing the treble for Petiron's latest work), even when he was probably the only other person, besides his mother, who could sing Petiron's work, and sing it well.

Despite a reputation for composing complex arias, Petiron was known from time to time to show a more gentle, simple side in his music — once, while Merelan was away at Benden Hold, and again for Robinton's marriage to Kasia. After Merelan's death, however, Petiron never wrote another note of music, his inspiration gone with her passing. He became somewhat easier in Robinton's company, and grief seemed to have mellowed him (though his apprentices would probably have disagreed in that regard). When Master Gennell made clear that he wished Robinton to succeed him as Masterharper of Pern, Petiron did not oppose the selection, and in fact had helped take the count when the election took place after Gennell's death. Once Robinton was installed, Petiron took the contract for Half-Circle Sea Hold along Nerat Bay, partly because they were in dire need of a Harper, and partly so Robinton could conduct his duty as MasterHarper without feeling that his father would not agree.

While at Half-Circle, Petiron was aided in his duties by a young woman named Menolly, the daughter of Half-Circle's Holder Yanus. He referred to her as his apprentice in the messages and musical scores (written by Menolly herself) he sent to the Harper Hall, though evidently not by name; she was not discovered until a chance meeting with Robinton at Benden Weyr.

After many years of service to the Harper Hall, Petiron died during his contract at Half-Circle, and was laid to rest in the waters of Nerat Bay. As the one who spent the most time with him in his final days, Menolly sang farewell to the venerated MasterComposer.

Personality and traits

As probably the most venerated composer of his generation, Petiron was known as being something of a perfectionist in his work, demanding that the performers meet his exacting standards; he had a reputation for the complexity of his music, and comparisons were often made between Robinton's simpler, easier-to-sing ballads and Petiron's grandiose works. He was also extremely possessive of his wife, Merelan, going so far as to consider his own son as a competitor for her attentions. At the same time, he was an extremely loyal spouse, as devoted to Merelan as she was to him.

While considered somewhat condescending at times, Petiron's mood mellowed somewhat following Merelan's death, though there were times his stubbornness re-surfaced — such as when he took the position at Half-Circle despite Robinton's protests.


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