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FAQ / Life on Pern

Last updated 17th October 2006 by Eimi

North vs. South

During and after the Ninth Pass, settlers from the North headed down to the Southern Continent to repopulate the land, establishing new Holds and Halls. After the Ninth Pass had finished, the dragonriders, believing that their Thread-fighting days were over for good, also moved south and established Weyrholds of their own. All of the Northern Weyrs were closed and all but a handful of dragonriders started new lives in the land allotted. Most took up crafts or agriculture, though some worked in transport or carrier work. The cultures of the North and South grew ever more independent of each other, with the exception of those studying a craft. But as crafthalls were established in the ever-growing South, even those alliances began to dissolve.

Over time, the two continents severed all but a few ties and began living autonomous of each other. The Weyrs were denied the right to Search for new candidates in the North as dragons and their riders were all but forgotten. There were only a few crafts that remained under the jurisdiction of the North as most crafthalls in the South became united under a Southern Main Crafthall.

Because of the lack of contact between the North and South, the North was not affected by the plagues that hit the Southern Continent from 1100, including the great Plague in 1160, the final and most vicious to hit the land. As a result, life continued as normal in the North while their Southern neighbors were dying by the thousands. Women were still allowed to craft freely, even inherit titles and positions of leadership. They were also allowed freedom in their choice of marriage partners. Very few Northerners had ever seen a dragon in the sky, much less come into contact with a dragonrider. They went about their business with very little thought to the South.

In the South, however, life changed forever. Women were banned from Southern Crafthalls, thus the only female crafters left were in the Weyrs or Northern aligned Halls. The North, which they had given very little thought to for turns, suddenly seemed like a safe haven for females who wished to craft, or avoid forced marriages. Many tried to escape up North, though very few Northerners wanted to come South.

Another great change happened about twenty-five turns after the Plague. The dragon population exploded, resulting in the need to re-establish Searches in the North. It soon became apparent that the dragons were responding to instinct and the larger clutches were signs of an impending Pass. A few turns before the Pass was to begin, there were enough dragons to re-open the Northern Weyrs. The North finally had opened up to dragonriders once more. Though Southern riders were now flying over their skies, Northern residents of Pern are still reluctant to move South considering the oppression of women in the hidebound Holds and Halls. Though Pern is united under its old enemy, Thread, the North and South remain divided from each other by more than just water.

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All references to worlds and characters based on Anne McCaffrey's fiction are © Anne McCaffrey 1967, 2013, all rights reserved, and used by permission of the author. The Dragonriders of Pern© is registered U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, by Anne McCaffrey, used here with permission. Use or reproduction without a license is strictly prohibited.