Chapter 14 The MasterHarper of Pern Chapter 16

Covers the Turns 2LI415-426 (2472-2483 AL)

Robinton returns to the Harper Hall, immersing himself in studies for his Mastery. While there, he hears his Sonata being performed. He is outraged, considering it his private domain. He furiously interrupts the performance. Merelan sooths him, telling him she's honoring Kasia by playing it. Petiron tells his son that it's the finest piece of music he's composed.

He returns to his room, and initially tries to block it out, but then listens to it. It proved a cathartic release for him.

One day that winter, Gennel approaches him, and tells him that a journeyman named Karenchok had broken his leg, and asks if Robinton would be willing to cover his rounds in South Boll. He takes up the offer and leaves the Hall.

He arrives in South Boll, in a hold overseen by a man named Matsen. Robinton meets with Karenchok.

F'lon arrives just after Turn's End. He joyfully announces to Robinton that he was a father, having a son by Larna, which he named Fallarnon (later F'lar).

Nine days later a messenger arrives, with a message that Larna had died two days after Fallarnon's birth. Once Karenchok was recovered, Robinton returned to Harper Hall. While there, he finds that Merelan is in poor health, Ginia is concerned with her health, as well as that of Betrice.

Gennel sends Robinton off on another assignment, this time in Keroon, a short contract, which came with it a list of holds that harpers do not go to.

Robinton encounters Nip, who tells him that he was too late to save Mallan, he'd died in the mines.

He does his rounds on the Keroon plains, teaching and entertaining. He encounters Nip again briefly during his stop at Red Cliff Hold.

After completing his round in Keroon, he is sent to Nerat, fortunately for him, a traditional Hold which still honored the Harpers and Dragonriders.

In the Spring, he returns again to the Harper Hall. His mother is in even worse shape than the last time he'd seen her. She passes away.

Petiron never again composed music after her death. Relations between Robinton and Petiron thawed, and they became more friendly.

Betrice died that same Spring (?). Halanna shows up for Betrice's funeral. Gennel asks Robinton to keep an eye out for promising girls for the Harper Hall.

The following Turn, he attained his Mastry. Gennel continued to send him all over the Continent. He continues to maintain contact with F'lon, and learns that his son was being fostered by Manora. Three Turns after Fallarnon's birth, Manora gave F'lon a second son, who was named Famanoran (later F'nor).

Nemorth had still not risen to mate, leaving leadership in the hands of C'vrel, C'rob, M'ridin and M'odon. F'lon was increasingly concerned about this, and about the fact that Jora seemed to prefer C'vrel, who was afraid to "anoy" the Lord Holders. F'lon tells Robinton that there had been only four candidates for the queen egg that hatched Nemorth. F'lon was also concerned that the Lord Holders wouldn't take the threat of Fax seriously.

Fax had continued to seek a male heir, and to duel any opposition. Fax was nibbling away at the borders of Crom and Nabol. Fax had recently espoused Gemma.

The following Turn (2LI420/2477 AL), F'lon became Weyrleader of Benden. That same Turn, M'odon died, one of 24 Dragonriders to die that year. Nemorth laid 19 eggs.

Dissatisfaction with the Harper Hall continues to worsen. Several cases of Harpers being beaten were reported. The worst incident occured in Crom, where Evenek had been severely beaten, his laranyx crushed and his hands broken. Though the healers were able to save his hands, there was nothing they could do about his laranyx, and his voice remained ruined for the rest of his life.

Gennel continues sending Robinton all over the continent.

One day, in the year 426 (2483 AL), Gennel informs Robinton that he intends to make him his successor as MasterHarper. This is on the same day that Lessa was born.

Two days later, Robinton and Gennel went to Fort Hold to attempt to convince Grogellan and his wife Lady Winalla, to allow them to perform surgery on Grogellan to remove an inflamed appendix. Winalla refuses to consider allowing them to cut into her husband, calling it "barbaric".

Lord Fax is not invited to the Council to confirm Groghe as the new Lord Holder of Fort.

Soon afterwards, Lady Relna of Crom and her two youngest children crossed the border into Ruatha to seek refuge from Lord Aschmichel and Lady Adessa*. Neither Lesselden or her eldest sons had survived Fax's invastion. Fax was now Lord of two holds.

Groghe, Tarathel, and Melongel increase their border patrols.

The following winter, MasterHarper Gennel died of a heart attack. During the vote for a new MasterHarper, done by drum (as no one wished to wait until Spring), he is kept company by Silvina, who had recently succeded her mother as headwoman after her retirement. Ogolly and Jerint announce to Robinton the results of the election - unanimously in favor of Robinton as MasterHarper.

The next day, he meets his father in his office, who requests a transfer out of the Hall. He selects an offer at Half Circle Seahold. Robinton attempts, to no avail, to talk him out of that choice.

Characters Introduced Edit

  • Laela - Nurse at Matsen's hold, promiscuous
  • Germathen - Healer who tended to Evenek
  • Karenchok
  • Matsen - Holder at South Boll

Characters Appearing Edit

Characters Mentioned Edit

*An apparent continuity error - Lady Adessa is later definitively stated as the wife of Kale, though here, she seems to be Ashmichel's wife