Sebell from "People of Pern" © 1988 Robin Wood. Used with Permission.
Vital statistics
Gender Male
Rank Masterharper of Pern
Era Eighth Interval
Ninth Pass
Affiliation Harper Hall
Spouse Menolly
Parent(s) Rantou (grandfather)

Robinton (cousin/adoptive father)

Children Robse
Fire-lizard(s) Gold Kimi
First appearance The Masterharper of Pern


Sebell was a Harper in the Ninth Pass. He was a student of Master Robinton, and succeeded Robinton as Masterharper of Pern following his retirement. He has a gold fire-lizard, Kimi.


Sebell was the grandson of Rantou, a cousin of Robinton's mother Merelan, and was likely born at Pierie Hold. As a boy, shortly after Robinton became Masterharper of Pern, Rantou brought Sebell to the Harper Hall so he could become a harper.

Sebell became Robinton's «shadow» at the Harper Hall, ensuring that whatever his MasterHarper needed was done. As the years progressed, Sebell followed closely in Robinton's footsteps, becoming a journeyman at around the same age as Robinton himself had. After sending the newly-minted journeyman to Igen as was traditional, Robinton had Sebell recalled to the Harper Hall after realizing how invaluable he was as his assistant, teaching the slower-to-learn at the Hall and providing useful information and advice to his mentor.

Sebell met Menolly upon her arrival at the Harper Hall, and they became friends. Both served as Robinton's journeymen, taking on a variety of tasks. Sebell was often required to travel to various locales in disguise as he worked to discover information regarding the exiled Oldtimers. While traveling to the Southern Continent on a search for Piemur, Sebell's Kimi would be flown by Menolly's bronze Fire-lizard, Diver. The mating-influenced sexual encounter that followed led Sebell and Menolly to admit their feelings towards one another and enter a relationship. They would later marry and have three children together.

The Masterharper's Successor

After Robinton suffered a heart attack that nearly killed him, he decided to retire and named Sebell to succeed him as Masterharper of Pern. Along with his old mentor and the Benden Weyrleaders, F'lar and Lessa, Sebell helped lead the efforts to end the threat of Thread following the rediscovery of AIVAS, the ancient computer system that had been left behind by Pern's first settlers. He was also instrumental — at the behest of AIVAS — in the creation of the Printercrafthall, the establishment of a printing press that would allow the more efficient dispersal of information (one of the duties of the Harper Hall). Sebell would be informed by Larad and Asgenar of an attempt to kidnap Robinton by people against AIVAS. He would relay the message to Cove Hold, however, despite all precautions, Robinton was kidnapped at a Gather at Ruatha. Robinton would be discovered, but suffered the effects of Fellis overdose. After Robinton's death, Sebell and Menolly sung their farewells to the venerated Masterharper.

During the time of the Abominators attacks, Sebell would make use of spies such as Pinch to track the activities of the organization. Together with Pinch, he realized that the leader was Shankolin, who had been previously imprisoned in the mines for attacking AIVAS.

Personality and traits

Sebell seemed to mirror Robinton in almost every way; he possessed a keen acumen for music and a great sense of fairness and patience, teaching the slower children — such as Robinton's son Camo. He was unquestioningly loyal to his mentor and would defend him by any means necessary. In return, Robinton cared for Sebell like a son, and eventually began training Sebell as his successor. Even after becoming Masterharper of Pern, Sebell was quick to respond to Robinton's summons whenever he was needed.

Possessing as keen a mind as Robinton himself, Sebell was able to come up with expedient and ultimately fruitful solutions; in the case of a particularly energetic and rebellious apprentice named Traller, Sebell recommended that he be apprenticed to Journeyman Harper Kinsale (better known as «Nip»), the Hall's top runner and infiltrator; the team of «Nip and Tuck» became invaluable to the Hall late in the reign of Fax, the «Lord of Seven Holds». As MasterHarper, Sebell would make use of Master Harper Mekelroy, known as Pinch, in a similar way.

In the years he spent under Robinton's tutelage, Sebell picked up on many of his mentor's mannerisms and preferences — particularly his fondness for Benden wines, a «tradition» Sebell continued as Masterharper of Pern.


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