Piemur from "People of Pern" © by Robin Wood
Vital statistics
Gender Male
Rank Journeyman
Era Ninth Pass
Affiliation Harper Hall
Southern Hold
Cove Hold
Spouse Mastersmith Jancis
Children Pierjan (son)
Fire-lizard(s) Gold Farli
First appearance Dragonsinger
Notable appearance Dragondrums

Harper Southern Shield Cove Hold BlankHold

Piemur was a journeyman Harper during the Ninth Pass. He appears as a major character in Dragondrums (1979) and The White Dragon (1978). Later on he is part of the group that helps with AIVAS projects.


Piemur, originally the son of a farmer and cattle trader, is taken to the Harper Hall as an apprentice due to the excellent voice he possesses, though he has very little aptitude concerning other Harper skills. Piemur is apprenticed to Master Shonagar, the Master of Voice at that time. Due to Piemur's small stature, he is forced to develop other talents in order to be able to enjoy his residence at the Harper Hall, and therefore becomes known as a person of constant mischief and disregard for Hall regulations.

Harper Hall

When, during Dragonsinger, Menolly arrives at the Harper Hall (though both this and Dragonsong are viewed primarily through the eyes of Menolly), Piemur is one of the first to get to know her. At first this interest is merely a curiosity regarding Menolly's possession of nine fire lizards, though it grows to a closer mutual friendship throughout Dragonsinger, the second book in the Harper Hall trilogy. Piemur has doubts about his future in the Harper Hall, unsure of what will become of him when his voice breaks, and shares these doubts with Menolly, who convinces him to concentrate more on the present.

Piemur's voice starts breaking at a most inconvenient time for many of the Harper Hall residents, including Piemur himself, as he was to play a major role in a musical performance at the spring gather, which required the fine voice Piemur no longer possesses, and another is forced to take his role. The moment is not, however, inconvenient for Masterharper Robinton, who had plans for Piemur after the inevitable failure of his voice. During Piemur's adaptation to life in the Hall — and being one of the smallest apprentices — he learned that information was one way of keeping himself in one piece, and it turned out that he had a natural affinity for piecing all the information about various people together. This talent is brought to the attention of the Masterharper by Menolly, his personal journeyman, and Piemur changes apprenticeships to Master Robinton himself. This is unknown to the rest of the Hall, other than to Robinton, his two journeymen (Menolly and Sebell) and the Drummaster, Olodkey, to whom Piemur is officially apprenticed to learn the complicated drum measures used to communicate across Pern. He is warned that he will need to be discreet about to whom he is in truth apprenticed, and sees this as a test of his ability to remain discreet.

The Drumheights

The other apprentice and journeyman harpers at the Drumheights know enough of Piemur's long history of devilish achievements, and fully expects these to continue at his new posting with them and the Master of Drums. They do not, of course, know that Piemur is secretly apprenticed to Masterharper Robinton, nor of the warning delivered regarding Piemur's silence, and bully him according to the mischief they expect in return. Piemur, having taken the warning to be discreet altogether too seriously, does absolutely nothing in return for the treatment he is given. He mentions nothing to anyone else concerning his sleeping affairs being sewn shut, soiled, his laundry hung in the gutters, etc. Instead, Piemur redoubles his efforts in learning the assigned drum measures, and can perform them more correctly even than those who have been there for several turns. This only gains him the further disapproval of his fellow apprentices.

During Piemur's stay at the Drumheights, Menolly recruits him several times for missions set by Masterharper Robinton, including a visit to a nearby mine, which produces the sapphires given to newly raised Masters. Piemur discovers that the mine is subject to ravages by the notorious Oldtimers, banished to the Southern Continent of Pern, who take precious stones without payment, threatening the mine's economy. It is also found out from this visit that Lord Meron of Nabol Hold, a dying Lord Holder, has close association with the Oldtimers of the southern continent. Also during this time, Piemur learns of the relationship between Menolly and Sebell, and is probably one of the few aware of it.

After several of these absences from the Drumheights, Piemur's fellow apprentices' attitudes worsen further. After several unpleasant incidents, they lower themselves to greasing the steps and handrail of the stairway Piemur is bound to ascend shortly, causing a fall that could have ended his life. Piemur escapes with a severe concussion, and is removed from apprenticeship at the Drumheights.

Journey and Residence at Southern

When Piemur recovers from his fall, Master Robinton assigns him a mission with Journeyman Sebell. They are to join the Gather at Lord Meron's Hold (disguised as cattle traders, ironically enough), to report the commoners' mood concerning Lord Meron's association with the banned Oldtimers as well as the Lord Holder himself, who is slowly dying of a wasting disease. One of the first things they notice is the extreme number of fire lizards in the Hold, and deduct that this is the payment Lord Meron has been receiving from the Oldtimers. After a series of events, Piemur finds himself being chased around Nabol Hold, unable to escape, and with a fire lizard egg, stolen from Lord Meron, that he believes is that of a queen. He hides in a sack in a small storage room, and promptly falls fast asleep, presumably due to his recent head injury.

While Piemur sleeps, with the egg tucked warmly in his shirt, the sacks are transported between to Southern Weyr, where the Oldtimers reside, and Piermur escapes without notice. He flees the area until the fire lizard, which he was correct to assume was a queen, has hatched. He names the firelizard Farli (possibly due to a coincidence, this has the same pronunciation as the Scandinavian «danger» — «farlig», «farleg», etc). Along the way, he finds a young runnerbeast whose mother had been killed by Thread. Piemur chooses to keep the runnerbeast and names him Stupid.

On his way to Southern Hold (not inhabited by the Old-timers), Piemur meets Sharra, a girl from the very place he is going to, and helps her in the research she is conducting on the native plants of the Southern Continent. They eventually make their way back the Hold, on the same day that Menolly and Sebell, who, until now have been searching the Northern Continent for him, arrive at Southern Hold. As there is no reason for Piemur to return to the Northern Continent — his good voice is gone, and Masterharper Robinton was interested in exploring the Southern Continent regardless of where Piemur was — he is instructed, or rather permitted, to stay and map the coast of Southern.

Having been promoted to Journeyman, Piemur was able to teach drum code and set up Drum Towers at different Holds. When that became regular, he talked Hamian in to taking him along on his exploring of Island River to map an overland route to the mines near the old stake site.

Exploring, Cove Hold and Landing

While exploring along the Southern Continent he meets the 'shipwreck couple' at Paradise River Hold, and would later inform Robinton of their existence. Continuing on, he comes to a cove where Jaxom was recovering from firehead fever. Piemur takes part in the exploration of the surrounding area, and becomes overjoyed when Robinton arrives, as the newly constructed Cove Hold is to be the retired MasterHarper's new home. Piemur is later reassigned to become Robinton's journeyman at Cove Hold by the newly created Masterharper Sebell. After the discovery of Landing, he tells Jancis about his observations about fire lizards and earthshakes. He would later fall in love with Jancis and marry her, with the couple having one son, Pierjan.

Piemur would play an important role in AIVAS's project to end Thread. Piemur was among a small group taking advanced classes. He would also take part in the first trips to the Yokohama, and assisted in returning the remains of Sallah Telgar back to Pern for interment.

Some years later, the discovery of a planned attack in the Printer Hall led Piemur to search AIVAS's files. He would discover a file and a flame retardant which ultimately helped to prevent damage to the Hall.

Personality and Traits

As a herder's son, Piemur has some skill working with runnerbeasts. He is known to be a light sleeper, handy for being a watcher of the herds at night, and so the others don't play tricks on him in the Harper Hall. His excellent singing voice as a child led him to the Harper Hall, though he had little affinity for other aspects of the Hall. Piemur developed a reputation for pranks, as well as a talent for discovering and piecing together information. Despite his lack of affinity for Harper traits, Piemur is a quick study when he applies himself, learning drum codes at a far faster rate than the other apprentices.

During his time in the Southern Continent, Piemur becomes more independent and self-sufficient.


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