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The ranks of the Dragonriders are well-organized and concise, every man and woman depending on each other. Here you will find information on their complex structure.

 
Dragonriders
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Weyrleader:  The commander and chief of the Weyr.  The Weyrleader is the rider whose dragon has mated the senior queen during her mating flight.  He is in charge of the fighting wings and responsible for their conduct during a Fall.  He is also responsible for the training and discipline of all the Weyr's riders.  During Intervals, the Weyrleader is responsible for the continuance of Threadfighting tactics, making sure to keep alive the fighting abilities of dragon and rider.  The rank symbol of the Weyrleader is a dragon.(Only one per Weyr)

Sr. Weyrwoman: The Sr. Weyrwoman is the rider of the Weyr's Senior Queen.  She is responsible for the conduct of the queen's wing druing Fall and answer's only to the Weyrleader.  The Weyrwoman also is charged with the care of dragons, riders, and all Weyrfolk; and for the peace and tranquillity of the Weyr during a Pass and during Intervals.  She appoints all subordinates, insures that all tithes are delievered or collected, and mediates all disputes except honor contests among riders.  The Weyrwoman is responsible for the training, fostering, and disposition of the Weyr's children and nonrider personnel, overseeing with the Weyrleader the training of weyrlings under the Weyrlingmaster.  As any dragon will obey a queen, even against the wishes of his or her rider, the Weyrwomen, Jr. or Sr., are in fact the most powerful people on Pern.  Weyrwomen have autonomy in their own Weyr, but will act in concert with other Weyrwomen when necessary for the good of all the Weyrs.  Her rank symbol is a dragon.(Only one per Weyr.)

Weyrlingmaster: By tradition the Weyrlingmaster is usually an aging rider with good skills and the ability to discipline and inspire the young.  He is responsible for training the young riders and their dragons, although he is usually not above correcting errors made by Senior riders.  The Weyrlingmaster usually rides bronze or brown.  Most Weyrlingmasters step down after only a turn or so in the position returning to normal duties within a fighting wing.  The loss of the young usually weighing heavy on the mind, this is not a job for those who do not deal well with grief. (Only one per Weyr.)

Weyrlingmaster's Assistant: Just as the name suggests,  They aid the Weyrlingmaster in training the young dragonriders. They can ride any color.  (There can be as many as the Weyrleaders and Weyrlingmaster deem necessary)

Wingleader:  He is in command of a fighting wing.  The Wingleader is subordinate to the Weyrleader.  One of his duties is to report to the Weyrleader every sevenday, giving account as to the condition of his wing.  Usually Wingleaders ride bronze. A wingleader acts as judge and jury inside his wing, only taking the most urgent of situations to the Weyrleader.  Most of the time honor duels within a wing are overseen by him. Rank Symbol: Double Bars (Only one per wing.)

Jr. Weyrwomen:  The riders of the younger golds in the Weyr.  The Jr. Weyrwomen aid the Sr Weyrwoman in the management of the Weyr. In the event of the death or voluntary retirement of a Sr. Weyrwoman, the next oldest queen rider will assume the position.  A Jr. Weyrwoman is ranked the same as a Wingleader. Rank Symbol: Gold Star (Each Weyr has from two to five queens, the larger numbers occurring during a Pass.)

Wingsecond:  The Wingsecond is second in command to the Wingleader.  He aids the Wingleader in overseeing the training and drill work of the Fighting Wing.  They listen to complaints and take those deemed worthy to the Wingleader.  They basicly act as the eyes and ears of the Wingleader during Fall and all other times.  A Wingsecond usually rides bronze or brown.  Rank Symbol: Single Bar (Two to a Wing)

Searchrider:  Usually a blue or green rider, they along with their dragon tend to show more empathy than normal.  A searchrider is able to locate candidates that are most likely to impress.  It is an added duty that can be held by almost any rider. (as many as the Weyr requires.)

Wingrider:  Basicly the backbone of the Weyr's fighting force.  Without them, the Weyrleader and Wingleaders would be out of a job.  They are the ones that feel the burn of thread without the spotlight being cast on them.  Some, more during intervals, have second careers.  When not drilling with their wing, careing for their dragon or flying equipment a Wingrider lives a pretty normal everyday life, devoid of the stress that rank tends to entail. Riders of fighting dragons seldom out live their careers...but during an interval most enjoy a long life well into their 10th decade. (as many as a Weyr can house or the queens can produce)

Weyrsinger:  The harper for the Weyr, usually himself a rider.  The Weyrsinger entertains the riders, but also keeps his ears attuned to the over all attitude of the Weyr, reporting back to the Weyrleader, Weyrwoman or where ever his or her loyalties lie. The Weyr's harper tends to hold much sway...depending on how well they are at  working their craft.  This is an added duty.  (Usually one per Weyr...sometimes more.)

Dragonhealer:  Healer for the dragons. A person, usually themself a rider who is well versed with dragon anatomy and the art of healing...does not have to be from the healing craft though.  Dragon healing is not a recognised craft and holds no rank as such.  It is an added duty.  (As many as the Weyr can obtain.)

Retired Dragonriders:  The rider and dragon pairs that have reached an age where they can no longer safely fly with the fighting wings.  It by no means suggestes that they cannot still be productive...they have just slowed down a bit. Most have decided to leave the fighting to the youngbucks, and have found niches else where in the Weyr.  Enjoying well earned retirement and dispensing advice whether asked for or not.

Weyrlings:  Young dragonriders and their lifemates.  They are under the authority of the Weyrlingmaster.  Rank Symbol: Inverted Stripe (as many as the queens can clutch)

Weyrfolk
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Headwoman:  She is selected by the Weyrwoman to run the Lower Caverns, and supervise the general domestic machinery of the Weyr and the individual weyrs of the riders.  Among her duties are the care of the young and old; the supervision of food collection, storage, and preparation; weyr maintenance; and nursing, supervised by the Weyr healer. She answers directly to the Weyrwoman. (one per Weyr)

Stewards:  They make sure that the Headwoman's orders are carried out to the T.  They organize supplies, oversee repairs and replacement to furniture, rugs, tapestries, rider's clothing, sleeping furs, boots, and provide hide for the repair of riding gear.  They also oversee the inventory of the Weyr. From foodstuffs to medicines to the Wine and Beer brewed or tythed by or to the Weyr, they keep and give the Headwoman a report at the end of each sevenday.  They are the extra hands, eyes and ears that the Headwoman needs.  The Stewards oversee the work done by the drudges.  (As many as the Weyrwoman and Headwoman deem needed.)

Head Cook:  Oversees the day to day meal prep for the Weyr.  He or She also oversees the prep work behind any special occasion, including the feast held after hatching.  Assigns duties to his/her assistants.  The head cook is appointed by the Weyrwoman.  (One per weyr.) 

Head Cook's Assistants:  Just as the name suggestes, this are the people that get their hands dirty so to speak.  They, under the direction of the head cook, prepare the meals for the Weyr.  They cut, chop, and gather all the things nesserary in the making of a meal. (As many as the Weywoman, Headwoman and HeadCook deem needed.)

Butcher:  Oversees the slaughter and cleaning of herdbeasts and wherries.  Keeps the cool rooms of the Weyr stocked.  Organizes the cleaning and despensing of carcesses after a Mateing Flight. Also aides new weyrlings in carving meat for their hatchlings. (As many as the Weyrwoman and Headwoman deem needed...Usually one and then his/her assistants)

Weyr Healer:  The man or woman, usually a journeyman, assigned to the Weyr to aid and over see the major medical emergencies to the smallest splinter or bruse.  They administer medicines when needed and work in concert with the Weyrwoman and Headwoman in the gathering of medicinal herbs.  They also oversee all nursing done by the Headwoman and those that she assigns to the task. They answer to the Healer Hall and the Masterhealer. (One or two per Weyr.)

Tanner:  They turn raw hides into a usuable product, supplying the Weyr with leather for shoes, flying gear and anything else imaginable.

Smith:  From their forge comes all the metal tools, blades, and hardware that the Weyr needs.  In their spare time they are known to try out new inventions.

Miner:  Not a craft ususally associated with the Weyrs, When the Dragonriders moved South they brought with them those from the mining craft that were willing.  The miners search out and bring to the surface the useful minerals that are buried deep within Pern.

Herder:  Cares for the Weyr's livestock.  Makes sure that animals sent in from tythes are kept seperate from the regular herds for at least four sevendays.  Also is responible for gathering the herds into the Weyr before a fall. 

Weaver:  Makes the cloth used by the Weyr.

Seamstress/Tailor:  Not everyone in the Weyr can handle a needle nor do they like too.  Those who lack the time can bring their garments to the Seamstress or Tailor to have them repaired or they can commission new ones to be made. (As many as the Weyr can support. Usually one and his/her assistants.)

Laundress:  Oversees the care of the Weyrs laundry. (as many as the Weyrwoman and Headwoman deem needed.)

Nurse aka Nanny:  Takes care of the weyrbrats that are still too young to be assigned chores.  Nursing mothes stop by to feed babes that have not yet been weaned.  (Assigned by the Weyrwoman. Usually one per Weyr with many assistants.)

Drudges:  The untrained majority.  They make up the main workforce.  Usually lacking in any particular skill, they do the more menial type tasks that most would rather avoid.

Weyrbrats:  The children of the Weyr.  They belong to both riders and weyrfolk...sometimes both.  Weyrbrats are fostered at an earily age to those that they are most compatiable with.  If they show signs of interest or are gifted in a certain skill they are fostered to someone in that particular craft.  It is a nessecity for dragonriders to foster...they lack the time to care for both a child and a dragon.

Aunties/Uncles:  Those that are entering into their twilight years.  Well respected by the younger folk, they willing give advice.

All references to worlds and characters based on Anne McCaffrey's fiction are copyright ŠAnne McCaffrey 1999- 2004, all rights reserved, and used by permission of the author.

The Dragonriders of PernŽ is Reg U.S. Pat & Tm. Office, by Anne McCaffrey, and may not be used or reproduced without permission of the author.