|Chapter 18||The MasterHarper of Pern|
After the humiliating confrontation with Fax, Mastersmith Fandarel removes all of his masters from Fax's holds. Other Craftmasters soon follow suit. The Masterminer moves his headquarters from Crom to Telgar. Idarolan, the Masterfisher, refuses to lay any new keels for Fax. The only craft which did not remove masters was the healercraft, for humanitarian reasons.
Fax attempts to prevent the masters and journeymen from leaving his holds, with little success.
Over the next five Turns, he starts self-defense classes at the Harper Hall. Sebell becomes closer to Robinton, becoming his "shadow". Sebell suggests that Traller, a troublemaking apprentice, could put his talents to best use as an assistant to Nip. Nip initially was reluctant to accept an assistant, but came to like the young lad, who he renamed "Tuck".
One night, two Turns after that, Nip appears unexpectedly, informing Robinton of something unusual going on in Ruatha, an apparent subtle rebellion (later revealed to be the working of Lessa). Bargen, too, had increased his actions against Fax, having gained more followers.
Jora had died some time earlier. Nemorth continued to live as long as the eggs remained on the hatching grounds. One of the eggs was a queen egg. The Riders planned to go on Search for a Weyrwoman for the egg.
Robinton goes to Ruatha in disguise as a drudge. Robinton witnesses their arrival. He is shocked at the poor state of the Hold. He later changes disguise to that of one of Fax's soldiers, and is in the Hall to witness the duel between F'lar and Fax (See Part 1, Chapter 5 and Part 1, Chapter 6 of Dragonflight for more details).
After F'lar leaves to check on Lessa, Robinton reveals himself as MasterHarper of Pern, and tells the guards to return home. Tuck has made it up to the drum towers, and is sending out the news of Fax's death. Fax's guards scatter, realizing that their protection is over with Fax's death.