Southern Weyr is the first Weyr on the Southern Continent. It is located on the far northern tip of the Southern Continent, on approximately the same longitude as Ista, Igen and Telgar Weyrs. It was the first Weyr to be established on Pern after more than two thousand years, when Eastern Weyr was briefly established on the eastern half of the Far Western Continent. Only Southern Hold is beholden to Southern Weyr.
- A detailed description of the Weyr, established, the surrounding countryside, the economy and the other (on the basis of the The Dragonlover's Guide to Pern)
After twenty-four hundred years during which no one crossed back to the South, the dragonriders were surprised by their first view of the Southern Continent. The lush tropical forest, thicker than any in Southern Boll or Ista, was fruitful and healthy, exceeding the hopes of the Benden Weyrleaders that it would be merely safe to live in. A grassy headland with a small freshwater lake that proved to be a plateau without exit suggested itself as an ideal Weyr, though without the usual cavern complex. The Hatching Grounds were situated in a small extinct volcano sloping down onto the beach between the main Weyr complex and the Hold. Plenty of rocky hollows would provide comfortable wallows for the dragons, who were not as upset to be sleeping in the open air as their riders were.
The Southern Weyr began as a desperate venture by the sole remaining Weyr on Pern to build up their numbers of dragons before the Pass began. T'bor and N'ton, bronze riders, and Kylara, Weyrwoman for Ramoths first daughter, Prideth, were sent down with F'nor to breed as many dragons as possible between times.
Because of Lessa's discovery of «timing it» four hundred Turns, and because of the effect such a long period being doubled up in time had on men and dragons, the Southern venture became obsolete, but the Weyr continued. The main Weyr and the west Weyr, honorary names for buildings and sand wallows instead of the volcanic homes to which the northern dragonriders were accustomed, became the infirmary for any rider who was badly injured. It was while convalescing here that F'nor, napping on the beach, rediscovered fire lizards and learned that they were Impressable.
Southern Weyr changed leadership frequently, reflecting the political situation up north. First Kylara and T'bor were the Weyrleaders, then T'ron and Mardra after they were banished by F'lar from the North, and finally D'ram of Ista, who leads the Weyr alone, sadly waiting for most of the Oldtimers to die before requesting a Weyrwoman and queen from another Weyr.
The Southern holders, immune to most ravages of Threadfall in a thoroughly grubbed land and adequate stone buildings for protection, have a different attitude toward dragonriders than those in the North. They are used to protecting themselves by stowing beasts and humans under cover and flaming any remaining Thread with flamethrowers and agenothree. They do not need the dragons to fight for them. Nowhere else on Pern are the Weyrs considered expendable.
The Weyr's relationship with Hold and craft runs cyclically, depending on the phase of the Red Star. Before and during the early part of a Pass, Holders and craftsmen are so afraid of Threadfall that they will go so far as to bribe dragonriders to save them. Unscrupulous riders can extort nearly anything they want in this phase. As the Pass progresses, the three parts of the society fall into a mutual interdependence in which the Weyr is supplied by the other two groups it is protecting. When the Pass is near its end, the Weyr becomes the supplicant. While the dragonriders are still entitled to a tithe of the harvests and goods from each Hold and Hall, the immediate need for their services is ended.
It is this third part of the cycle that Lessa and F'lar of Benden are working on changing by opening up the eastern half of the Southern Continent as dragonrider land. In the Present Past there is still a need for dragons and riders to sear Thread from the skies, but once grubs arc established in the North, the Weyr's job will be limited. When that happens there will likely be new disillusionment with the concept of the Weyrs, and the dragonriders want to be prepared.
After the events of Dolphins of Pern, Southern Weyr is known to have relocated to a new location that was «previously unoccupied». This location has not been named as of Skies of Pern, which means it is currently unknown where the Weyr is.
Since Xanadu Stake was considered as a location for a ninth Weyr during the events of All the Weyrs of Pern, but hasn't been mentioned since, this could suggest Southern Weyr relocated there. However, as stakes resettled after Landing was rediscovered have used the ancient names, this suggests that Southern has settled in an entirely new location.
Since the name «Southern» Weyr still applies, this suggests that the Weyr is located within the borders of Southern Hold; in the old Delta, Dorado and Ierne Island provinces. Since Weyrleader K'van is often suntanned, this suggests the Weyr is located in the tropical climate zone of Southern; placing it north of the main fork in the Island River and the mines. Although a full list of minor holds is not known, Delta Province is known to be more settled than Dorado Province, which could suggest the Weyr is there.
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Eighth Interval / Ninth Pass — Founding
When Kylara managed to impress Prideth of Ramoth's first clutch, F'lar, Weyrleader of Benden Weyr, sent Kylara and Prideth ten turns back with the younger dragonriders of the Weyr, plus bronzerider T'bor and his half-brother F'nor to give them time to mature and rise to mate. F'lar's aim was to allow Prideth and Ramoth to refill the empty weyrs.
While this plan was unsuccessful in its intent due to the lack of time before the return of Thread it did become a place of rest and recovery for dragon riders wounded in battle against the Thread due to the fact that the Southern Continent was protected by the grubs engineered by Ted Tubberman, and as such didn't require Thread to be destroyed.
T'bor remained Weyrleader of Southern with Kylara as his Weyrwoman from its foundation until the two were relocated to High Reaches Weyr. After a battle for superiority over Pern between F'lar and T'ron, Weyrleader of Fort Weyr, ended with F'lar victorious, the Benden Weyrleader issued an ultimatum; all who did not recognise his authority were to be banished to the Southern Continent. The former riders of Southern Weyr were thus relocated to High Reaches Weyr, which was largely empty after the majority of its inhabitants moved south.
Banishment of «Oldtimers»
Many dragons and their riders, along with «their women» — presumably Weyrmates and Lower Cavern staff — ultimately took up lodgings in Southern Weyr. Their numbers are known to have included;
- T'ron and Mardra of Fort Weyr, and twenty other dragonriders.
- Ten of the «older» dragonriders from Telgar Weyr.
- T'kul, Merika and all but fourteen dragonriders of High Reaches Weyr; including Pilgra and M'rand.
Unfortunately, the exact number of dragonriders is not known, due to the various sources being inconsistent; The White Dragon lists seventy riders going south, with R'mart contradicting this by counting recent deaths and estimating two hundred and forty eight remain, while Piemur in Dragondrums; which takes place five years prior, estimates the same number initially going south.
Misfortune fell repeatedly for the «Oldtimers»; in the first turn south, seventeen of their number accepted F'lar as leader and returned north. Next, forty died from old age and sicknesses such as fire-head. Another forty had reportedly died by the events of Dragondrums. A trade of fire lizard eggs for goods briefly existed between the Weyr and Nabol Hold in the north, but this ended with the death of Lord Meron.
During this time, Mardra of Fort Weyr was the Senior Weyrwoman of Southern Weyr. Leadership appeared to alternate between T'ron and T'kul; with the former High Reaches Weyrleader being in charge during the events of Dragondrums, but T'ron being in control shortly before the events of The White Dragon.
By the time of The White Dragon; some seven turns after they had been banished, all the green riders had perished, only five bronzes remained, and only Loranth and one other queen remained alive; though they no longer rose to mate. D'ram of Ista Weyr considered it unlikely that they would last another year; Eight dragons had died the previous turn, one of whom was likely T'ron, as T'kul declared himself Weyrleader around this time as a result.
Prompted by the lust of the dragons of the Weyr, T'kul and a majority of the dragons of the Weyr practised timing; planning to kidnap a Queen Egg from an upcoming Hatching at Benden Weyr and hide it at an obscure moment in time. This was kept secret from the surviving Weyrwomen, as T'kul knew they would be unwilling to give up their positions to a younger queenrider.
Although they succeeded in abducting the queen egg, the white dragon Ruth was alerted to the secret location used by the Oldtimers by several fire-lizards who had witnessed the egg, and he and his rider Jaxom timed it back to the Oldtimers' hideout to retrieve the egg.
Soon afterwards, T'kul attempted one final mad feat; attempting to become Weyrleader of Ista Weyr by joining the mating flight along with B'zon, another Oldtimer. T'kul also had a hidden agenda; knowing that his elderly dragon Salth would likely overexert himself to death, he planned to attack and kill F'lar in the mad rage that would consume him. Over the course of the mating flight, Salth burst his heart, and T'kul attacked F'lar, although the Benden Weyrleader succeeded in killing his opponent.
Re-establishment & Move
Following this, D'ram, who had stepped down as Ista Weyrleader, was sent to Southern Weyr as acting Weyrleader to re-establish the Weyr. He gradually began bringing in new dragons from the other Weyrs. In time, Southern Weyr was a thriving Weyr again, and D'ram was succeeded in his post by K'van, who became Weyrleader after his dragon Heth mated with Beljeth, the queen dragon of Adrea; the new Weyrwoman.
After the events of Dolphins of Pern, Southern Weyr is known to have relocated to a new location that was «previously unoccupied».
- T'bor and bronze Orth; Weyrwoman Kylara and gold Prideth.
- T'ron and bronze Fidranth/T'kul and bronze Salth; Weyrwoman Mardra and gold Loranth.
- D'ram and bronze Tiroth (Acting Weyrleader); Weyrwoman Mardra and gold Loranth.
- D'ram and bronze Tiroth (Acting Weyrleader); Adrea and gold Beljeth.
- K'van and bronze Heth; Weyrwoman Adrea and gold Beljeth.
- Dragonrider with status: junior Weyrwoman Brekke, Vanira, Merika, Bedella; Wingleaders N'ton.
|Northern||Benden • Fort • High Reaches • Igen • Ista • Telgar|
|Southern||Southern • Monaco Bay • Xanadu • WeyrHolds: Honshu • Malay River|
|Western||Eastern • Midriver • Northern • Sky • Southern • Southriver • Western|
|Holds • Stakes • Crafts and Halls|