The White Dragon


Lord Jaxom had been torn from the womb of his dying mother as the dragonrider F'lar was killing his father, the treacherous Fax, in a duel over who should Hold proud Ruatha, brought into near destitution by the activities of a hidden survivor of the old Holder's family. Taken to the Weyr to be Weyrwoman, Lessa of Ruatha saw her ancestral Hold ceded to Jaxom.

As he grows up, Jaxom finds himself lonely, his only friend the equally lonely son of the Benden leaders. As they are left to their own devices, Jaxom is shown a secret way out onto the hatching ground where a clutch of eggs lie hardening and has his interest taken by the single white egg that lies to one side of the ripening clutch. When it's time to attend the Hatching, Jaxom is naturally invited to attend as one of the major Holders of Pern. As the ceremony draws to a halt with all the eggs hatched and the dragonlets successfully Impressed to their new riders the Great and the Good begin to disperse. All the eggs bar one that is! The small white egg still lies there, the dragonlet inside unable to crack the thick shell of the egg. Unable to sit by and know that his inaction led to the death of a Dragon, Jaxom rushes down onto the sands of the hatching ground and smashes open the shell to Impress Pern's only White Dragon.

No one is really happy about this, except for Jaxom and the dragon Ruth, but it's done and there's no undoing an Impression short of death.

As the years pass it becomes clear that Ruth is more than a pet; he becomes a proper dragon even if quite a bit smaller than his larger brethren (quite a bit smarter too, truth be told!). With his help, Jaxom is able to visit other holds and the Weyrs where he is able to mix with other people of his own age as they study the secrets of the Ancients.

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