The Mystery Solved
The Story of Barrier Range Weyr Hold is complex to say the least and is inextricably linked to a string of mysterious disappearances that occurred on the same day that Canyon Weyr's first clutch was laid. On that day Canyon's Weyr Leaders reported that a Gold Candidate, nearly 100 head of cattle and several Weyr Workers and bags of grain disappeared without a trace. No rider, dragon or weyr folk reported seeing anything or anyone strange that day and the occurrence was almost relegated to an entry in the Weyr's records when a blast from the past winged in from the South.
Eia, resplendent upon her Queen Liveniath returned to the Weyr that she had left as a Candidate two turns ago. Behind her two full fighting wings and almost ten thousand head of cattle and enough grain to supply an army followed. During the ensuing meeting with Palora and J'lon of Canyon Weyr, the mystery unraveled
Turns before, in the eerie predawn light, as Tranath retired to the Sands to clutch the first eggs on the Canyon Weyr Sands, four Bronzes, blinked from between just East off the Herd Fields. Recognizing the Bronzes and under strict orders from his Weyr Leader, the Brown watch dragon did not raise an alarm nor report the occurrence to his rider. Subject to the same rule of short memory that all dragon kind suffer, by the time the brown was questioned about his watch, all memory of the incident had faded.
Woken from a deep slumber, Eia, then fourteen turns old was raised when a strong but slender hand covered her mouth and stifled her scream. The Canyon Weyr Woman sat crouched be side her gesturing for her to be quiet and follow. Stunned and tired, the young woman followed Palora up into the Plains where several sleepy eyed cavern workers and a small contingent of Herders stood shivering in the cool early morning. In the distance, she could just make out a flurry of activity as dragon bodies could be seen moving over the Herd Fields in the distance. The bronzes with several other browns landed nearby and J'lon hurried the assembled to mount the dragons. Every time Eia attempted to question what was happening, she was told "Later."
Within half a candle mark the girl was drinking a hot cup of Klah at the base of a cave riddled Mountain with a stretch of grass plains as far as the eye could see. A river cut through the scene, and she watched it's gentle waters while digesting the unbelievable tale her Weyr Leaders were disclosing. They stated that in ten turns time, she would return to Canyon Weyr on the back of a Queen, bearing a swarm of cattle and grain and several Wings of Dragons. She laughed at their suggestion and honestly thought the pair had gone mad. That was until she spotted the Golden egg hardening on the sands of a large cave nearby.
It was at that moment she understood the gravity of the situation. She was eight turns in the past, destined to impress a Gold dragon within the turn. A mixed group of riders, herders and weyr folk would stay with her at this remote outpost and in an operation so clandestine that no contact with the outside world could dare be made, they would breed the cattle brought with them from Canyon Weyr at both her time of departure and from her Weyr Leaders time in order to save Canyon Weyr from being unready to sustain themselves during the impending fall.
Knowing she couldn't refuse and that the road ahead would be long and arduous, Eia accepted her fate. Left with a moderate pile of hides to guide her way, Eia began her new life with the help of a group of people who would fast become her dearest and most loved of friends.
Within their first turn Eia stood as the only candidate at the extraordinary hatching where she impressed Gold Liveniath. That same turn saw the herd grow from four hundred to nine hundred between breeding and capturing wild herd beasts into the fold. Within two turns the herd had grown to two thousand and the first successful harvest was reaped. By the third turn Liveniath rose and was caught by U'mon's bronze Cadarth. Barrier Range Weyr saw it's first clutch hatch with seven dragons including two bronze and three greens.
Search of candidates was made simple, by the hide records that Eia kept hidden from prying eyes. For on these hides was listed the name location, and exact time of search that each candidate could be found. Few were already in residence and many clandestine runs were made into both Southern and Northern Pern, including one risky return to Canyon Weyr to retrieve a young drudge.
As the Weyr Hold grew, so too did their crops and herds. All hands were needed to tend the herds and plant and reap the crops. Although some herd beasts were picked off by felines, the biggest loss of cattle came during their fifth turn. A severe heat wave and drought struck the settlement. Almost half the herd was lost and the crops all but failed that turn. It took the next two turns to rebuild their numbers and the final three were spent desperately working to obtain the ten thousand head of herd beast they knew were destined to be returned to Canyon Weyr.
Barrier Range Weyr Hold was founded at the foot of the Barrier Ranges from where the Plains River finds it's source. There within a system of cave networks, dripping with stalactites and stalagmites, the small community has forged their home.
The main cavern is dotted with small caves perfect for individual weyrs. The main cavern also plays host to the the Main Hall and leads off to a smaller number of caves which are well ventilated and utilized as the kitchens. A larger branch of caves connect to the Hatching Ground, as such they are the Queens and Weyr Leaders Quarters. Over the turns vast Herd Fields and Crops have come to surround the Weyr Hold. A Roadway has been etched towards the North in anticipation of the first traders to be allowed to travel to the location.
However, one lone trader came upon the settlement some turns back. He was briefed on the situation and became the Weyr Holds only link to the outside world. He brought many rare goods with him on his visits and news of the outside world. The trader still visits the Weyr Hold to this day and has become quite dear to the Barrier Ranges Weyr Hold Woman.
Location and Maps of Barrier Range Weyr Hold
Basic Layout of the Weyr Hold
1. Hatching Grounds and Entry to Queens quarters
2. Main entry into weyrs for dragons and to dragon Infirmary
3. Herd Beast Cavern
4. Entry into Weyr Hold
5. Herd Fields and to greater Herd Fields
6. Crops and to greater Crop Fields
8. Wherry and Porcine Pens
9. Plains River
10. Entry to Weyrling Barracks
*Star Stones and Eye Rock
Floor Layout of the Weyr Hold
A. Hatching Grounds
a. Passage up to Queens quarters
B. Main Cavern
b. Dining Hall
C. Dragon Infirmary and Healer weyr
c. Weyrling Barracks and Classroom
d. Cavern Worker Quarters
d1. Head Woman's quarters
e Candidates Quarters
A. Hatching Grounds
a1. Queens Weyr
a2. Weyr Leader's Weyr
a3. Conference Rooms
a. Passage down to Hatching Grounds
B. Main Cavern Including Dining Hall
C. First Floor Rider weyrs and bathing chambers
E. Rider briefing rooms and classrooms
F. First Floor Ledge
g Slope down to ground floor
Weyr Leader's Wing
Weyr Woman's Wing
Weyr Hold People
Head Woman TBA Open
Master Herder TBA Open
Master Beast Handler TBA Open
Weyr Harper TBA Open
Cook TBA Open
Drudge TBA Open