The Charter was the basic governmental form of Pern from colonization on. The Pern novels are rather inconsistent about it, however. The MasterHarper of Pern suggests that the Charter was well-known in the Second Long Interval, and that many copies - including the original one - existed. However, in All the Weyrs of Pern, the Charter comes as a shock when the AIVAS prints it out, though it was found that Pern's basic social setup had remained the same.