In the Turn 2I188 (495 AL), a plague swept across Pern. In some places, as many as 1 in 3 holders died. In others, only the very youngest or very oldest died. Some outlying holds were left empty. Among the Holds and Crafts there was no one who did not have at least one close relative or friend who died.

The Dragonriders had remained in the Weyrs until the worst of the Plague was over, as it was necessary to have every Dragonrider for the upcoming Pass, leaving many bitter towards the riders.