Born 2LI426
2483 AL
Dragon Gold Ramoth
Impressed 2LI448
2505 AL
Highest Rank Weyrwoman of Benden
First Appearance
(Publication Order)
First Appearance
(Personal Chronological Order)
The MasterHarper of Pern

Lessa is the current Weyrwoman of Benden. Her Weyrmate is F'lar.

Childhood and Adolescence Edit

Lessa was the daughter of Lord Holder Kale of Ruatha Hold. She was the only survivor of Fax's slaughter of the Ruathan Blood. Her survival was due entirely to a psychic warning she received the morning of the attack, which lead her to hide in the watch-wher's lair. After Fax's takeover, she remained in hiding, quietly influencing events in Ruatha, dragging down its productivity, and impovrishing it, in the hopes of undermining Fax's authority, and thereby reclaiming the Hold in the name of her bloodline.

Discovery by F'lar Edit

In the 448th year of the Second Long Interval, F'lar, at the time a Wingleader, came to Fax's Holds seeking a potential Rider for the Queen egg lying on the Sands at Benden. As soon as they arrived at Ruatha, it became clear to anyone with telepathic abilities that someone of great power was there.

Lessa manipulated F'lar and Fax, among others, to bring them to a duel, which resulted in the death of Fax. However, Fax had, prior to this, announced, upon the start of his wife, Lady Gemma of Crom's, labor, that he would renounce Ruatha in favor of her child, if it was male and lived. This child was Jaxom. Lessa initially attempted to contest Jaxom's authority - and indeed, would've had a strong argument against his right, she being much closer to the legitimate Bloodline - but F'lar convinced her that being Weyrwoman would be a much more suitable position than merely Lady Holder of a single Hold.

Weyrwoman Edit


Lessa as drawn in The People of Pern.

Lessa arrived at Benden, and shortly afterwards Impressed Ramoth. She was relatively old for Impression, being 22 (ordinarily, Candidates are under the age of 20). At the time, R'gul was still the default Weyrleader, having been Weyrleader to Jora. By ancient custom, the Weyrleader is the Rider whose dragon successfully flies (mates with) the senior queen (at this point, the only queen). Thus, when Ramoth first rose to a mating flight, the leadership changed when F'lar's dragon Mnementh flew Ramoth.

At about this time, a number of Lords Holder, lead by Meron of Nabol, decided to attack the Weyr, to put an end to the practice of tithing, and the occassional raid on their livestock, believing the Dragons to be obsolete.

Lessa and F'lar put into motion a plan to defeat their insurrection. Several Dragons were sent to kidnap the wives and children of the Lords Holder and hold them as hostages until the Lords Holder agreed to Benden's demands. They were returned unharmed, and, temporarily at least, peace was restored, though the Holds remained bitter towards the Weyr.

When the Ninth Pass began, the panicked Pernese gave the Weyr tremendous authority. For a brief time, Lessa and F'lar were, in effect, the absolute rulers of the entire planet.

Discovery of "Timing it" Edit

During Ramoth's training, F'lar agreed, grudgingly, to teach her how to go between. Lessa, wanting to see her home, inadvertantly travelled back 13 Turns to the morning of Fax's attack. Her presence warned the young Lessa of Fax's impending attack, and caused her to seek refuge. Shaken, she attempted to return to modern Ruatha, but appeared instead on the day of F'lar's arrival at Ruatha, and again, her presence proved to give her younger self a psychic warning of danger, connected with the Red Star. Finally she returned to present-day Benden Weyr, having rediscovered the lost art of "timing it", going between times.

Southern Weyr Edit

It quickly became clear that the few Dragons living in Benden were nowhere near enough to defend Pern from Thread, and even Ramoth's prodigious egglaying could not build up their numbers fast enough. Lessa came up with the notion of sending a group of Dragons 10 Turns in the past to the Southern Continent, to establish a breeding colony (which later became Southern Weyr). This project proved to be a failure. Though the Dragons had no problem, the humans found it too much of a strain to exist literally in two places at the same time. The colony had to be abandoned. It had added a little over 100 new Dragons, which, while a respectable number, was no nearly enough.

Lessa's Ride Edit

Lessa pondered the question of the empty Weyrs, and especially of the Question Song. She became convinced that the solution to the present problem, and the solution to those questions, was one and the same. Namely, that the Dragons of the Eighth Pass had gone ahead in time to the present day. For them to go ahead, she knew, someone had to go back to tell them of the danger. She learned of an old tapestry that portrayed Ruatha as it was at the end of the last pass, and acquired it. She studied it closely to see how Ruatha appeared in the final year of the Eight Pass.

F'lar, upon learning of her plans, forbade her to do so, and she assured him that she would not. This promise, however, she intended to break as soon as she could, and so, she travelled back 450 Turns to the first year of the Long Interval.

Travelling between places takes only 8 seconds. Travelling between times takes longer, proportional to the amount of time travelled. 450 Turns nearly killed her. It took her a couple weeks to recover. The Dragonriders of Fort Weyr were surprised to see an unknown queen, particularly one of Ramoth's size.

When she'd recovered, she told them of Pern's troubles in her time. Once the Riders had gotten over their initial surprise, they agreed to follow her to the Ninth Pass, in part because they'd become addicted to the rush of fighting Thread, and in part because they knew they had to, because they had.

Lessa's journey of 450 Turns had been nearly fatal, however, and she was young and healthy, and the question arose of how to bring so many Dragons ahead without killing anyone, particularly as many of the Riders were not so young. The Red Star proved to be the answer. It was possible to calculate how the Red Star would appear over 20-year intervals, and at last they set off. The Masterharper at the time was summoned to Fort Weyr, and charged with creating the Question Song which would later give Lessa the clue needed to solve the riddle of the Empty Weyrs.

At last, all the Weyrs save Benden set off to the present time, moving in 20-year intervals.

Pern had been saved.

Conflicts with the Oldtimers Edit

The Oldtimers, as the Riders from the Eighth Pass were known, found modern Pern to be bewildering. The Holds and Crafts had gained considerable autonomy over the course of the Second Long Interval, and, after the initial panic had subsided, the Weyrs' authority was lower. The Oldtimers attempted to return, by force, Pernese culture to the "proper" form.

Eventually, this lead to open conflict between most of the Oldtimers on the one hand, and Benden, reformist Oldtimers, and the non-Rider populace on the other. In the 8th year of the present pass, F'lar fought a duel with Weyrleader T'kul of Fort. Afterwards, those Oldtimers who refused to conform to the new Pern and follow Benden's leadership were exiled to the Southern Continent, taking over the Southern Weyr, most of whom took over High Reaches Weyr, the worst offenders of the Oldtimers. All but 20 Riders from High Reaches went into exile.

Exploration of the Southern Continent Edit

In their free time from fighting Thread, many of the Dragonriders set out to explore the Southern Continent. This was encouraged by F'lar and Lessa, who believed that the Southern Continent, a rich land, would give the Riders a home in the next Interval, and prevent them from ever again becoming dependant upon the Holds' generosity.

During their exploration, the AIVAS was discovered. This was a sentient computer left behind by the original colonists, and forgotten for 2,500 years.

Red Star Diversion Project Edit

The AIVAS, studying ancient records and astronomical clues, and fulfilling its ancient imperative to make Pern safe from Thread, conceived of a plan to divert the Red Star, thereby bringing an end to Thread once and for all after the present pass. AIVAS discovered that the two Long Intervals could only be explained by assuming that this diversion project had already begun. There was only a little over 4 Turns to teach the Pernese what they would need to know. They were put on a crash course of learning advanced technology. A small group were taught what they would need to know, and, at the crucial time, three groups of Dragons were sent to the Red Star - two of them sent back far in the past, to the ends of the Fourth and Eight Passes - to set rocket boosters from the original colony ships down. These boosters would provide a large amount of thrust at critically timed points to divert the Red Star slightly. The first two caused, respectively, the First and Second Long Intervals, while the third gave the Red Star the final last push to keep it from ever again bringing Thread to Pern. It did not affect the Present Pass, but it did assure that once the present pass was over, Thread would never again fall on Pern.

Post-AIVAS Edit

F'lar and Lessa remain highly respected on Pern, and are de facto rulers. They have managed to partition the Southern Continent between Riders and Holders. After the Present Pass is over, the Dragonriders will colonize their section of the Southern Continent, establishing "weyrholds", self-sufficient Dragonrider settlements.

Family Edit

Lessa is the mate of F'lar. She was the daughter of Lord Holder Kale and his wife Adessa, and is the mother of F'lessan.

Appearances Edit

Preceded by:
Weyrwoman of Benden
2505 AL-
Succeeded by:
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