The Evildoer *evil laugh*
Member No.: 16
Joined: 18-November 10
Origins: Whers were engineered by Kitti Pingís daughter, Wind Blossom, after establishing a site at Landing and in effort to create creatures that could fight Thread at night.
History: Whers were engineered by Wind Blossom in an effort to create creatures who could fly against Thread at night, which dragons were unable to do. They were also genetically engineered in a different manner, making them different enough from dragons and firelizards that a single disease would not wipe out all three species, leaving Pern defenseless against Thread. However, if need be and the technology had not been lost, they could have been engineered into a last hope of replacing the dragons. The rest of Pern did not see them as the genius they were, nor were they supposed to. Instead, they were seen as less intelligent, crude, and failed copies of the dragons and most were allowed to run wild. There were a few, however, who were kept on and trained to work in mines and such. They became useful in this profession, as well as guarding Holds from invaders. These became their main areas of work.
However, around the sixth pass, a good deal of the population seemed to turn hostile against the whers. Their numbers plummeted during this time, as they were forced to stay in secrecy apart from the few who were used in mines and to protect Holds. Even this number took a hit, however. The whers have been in some level of danger ever since then, with their numbers being low.
Presently the Weyrs have renewed efforts to save the whers from extinction. The numbers are slowly rising again, but will it be enough for them to be helpful in the future of Pern?
Naming: Whers take their name from their handlers, adding an Ďskí to the end of it. They usually take intact portions of the handlerís name, for example Kanek could be Kask, Kansk, or Kanesk. However, the number of letters that a wher takes from its handlerís name is significant. The number of letters that a wher takes from its handlerís name signifies the strength of the bond between handler and wher. The more letters it takes on, the closer and better the bond is between wher and handler. For example, if Kanekís wher takes on the name Kask, they have a very basic relationship with few words exchanged, relying mostly on empathic feelings or images. However, if Kanekís wher takes on the name Kanesk, than the bond is significantly heightened. They can communicate with more words, which can involve simple sentence structure. The wher is also guaranteed to train easier and stay with the handler longer if they take on more letters from the name. Ultimately, the more letters it takes, the better off you are. Whersí names will also change if their owners change hands.
General Appearance: Whers look, to put it bluntly, like deformed, smaller dragons. They are about the size of a runnerbeast when they reach their largest. They share many qualities with dragons, such as a smooth hide, six limbs with a tail, eyes that change color to reflect their emotion, and a muscular reptilian build. They are, however, much more muscled in relation to their size than any dragons are, giving them a bulky and imposing appearance. Their eyes, while they do change color with emotion, have no facets and present a smooth surface (which is used to see thermally; whers see in heat patterns). Also, rather than the pendactyl foreclaw that dragons have, they only have the initial tridactyl that firelizards originally had before genetic engineering was used. Their wings, needless to say, are much smaller than a dragonís in relation to their body and are only able to lift them at night when the air is thicker. Otherwise, they appear rather useless in comparison to the muscular bulk that is a wher. Otherwise, their body structure basically follows that of a dragonís. Also, while their hide colors do have distinct coloration, the metallic sheen tends to be slightly more dulled on wherís than on a dragonís hide.
General Disposition: Whers have a reputation for being very hostile creatures, and this is true on some regards. When left to go wild, these creatures are very violent, hostile, territorial creatures who will attack anyone that comes into their area. This is why any whers that do not bond in a Hatching must be killed, to protect the humans and dragons that could be killed at its expense. Wild whers are simply too dangerous to let stay around if anything can be done about them. Whers that have been Impressed, however, have a very different disposition. Not only are they more intelligent than wild whers, they are much tamer. They have pleasant dispositions, for the most part, and are much more like a dragon or firelizard. They can be grouchy, or broody at times, and have a great fear and hatred of the sun, but they are overall much different than the horrid name they get from stereotypes of whers. In communication, they are intelligent enough to use Ďverbalí cues, as well as feelings and pictures to express what they want. Depending on the bond with their handler, they can also use sentences and words to explain what they want, though even the most intelligent of whers can only grasp simple sentence structure. Also, the higher the rank of the wher, the more intelligent they tend to be. While they are much tamer on the whole than wild whers, their personalities vary just as much as dragonsí or firelizardsí would, so you could still end up with a rather hostile wher. One place in which all whers are incredibly hostile is around their handlers. If you attack them, you may not live long enough to think about what you did.
Note: Colors listed in order of rank
Abilities: Whers are very strong and are capable of quite a bit of physical labor. They can see in the dark thanks to the fact that their eyes see using heat, allowing them to navigate in darkness. While they are able to fly, this can only happen at night when the air is thick enough to give their small wings an extra boost on supporting their bodies. Rather than flaming Thread, like dragons and firelizards, whers are engineered to eat Thread, and so they fight it by consuming the substances. Whers are technically able to go /between/, but they are often unable to do so on command because it would require an image given in heat signatures, and that is too risky for a human who does not see that way to even try. It would be far too easy for the wher to get lost /between/, and so it is not done.
Mating: Despite popular belief, whers do actually fly to mate like dragons or firelizards. However, this causes their mating flights to take place in the nighttime hours because they need the boost to keep them aloft. Unlike many dragons, they are not particularly picky about who chases after them. They want the strongest mate, and so they will take whichever wher can prove themselves to be the best. Their flights are normally fairly short because their wings are easily tired, even at night. Their flights, much like dragons, effect anyone who is in a close radius to them.
Golds- up to 15 eggs, no duds
Green- up to 4 eggs, half duds
Note: Golds can clutch Hematites, and vice versa, however, an Amber or Red can only clutch as high as Ambers or Reds, and will never clutch a Gold or Hematite
Obtaining: Whers are obtained in two ways primarily. The first, which is hardly used in the case of the Weyrs, is that when a clutch is laid, prospective handlers approach the female wher and are tested by her to see if they are worthy. If they are found worthy, they are allowed to take an egg and care for it until it hatches. The second method is much more common in the Weyrs, and this functions much as the firelizard and dragon hatchings, where Wher candidates stand before the femaleís clutch and wait to see if a wher will choose them. The process is highly random, like a firelizard, and whers do not have a specific set of genders of sexualities they Impress based upon their color. They will choose anyone that they see fit and who has food to give them. When a wher chooses their bonded, it is important that they make the blood bond with the wher to make the bond complete and as strong as it can be. This involves cutting the hand and allowing the wher to sample the blood of the handler, thus binding them. At the moment, whers are making a comeback in Pern, and so will be available through numerous hatchings at the various Weyrs.
Whers are also transferrable, unlike any other creature thus far, however, this is a rare occurrence. Normally when a wher's handler dies, they die too, or die trying to save their handler in the case of an accident. However, whers with weak bonds to their handlers or in some cases, the wher will change owners, so they will live even after their handler dies.
--Written by Firewing, do not copy without her permission
[I own Unified Pern and I'm posting this here for general use, this information was compiled by Firewing ~Dragon]