The game is a 3-D adventure game with an epic story that spans four chapters and contains dozens of subplots. At the heart of the game is a story that constantly progresses as you explore the world and interact with the vast array of characters that inhabit it. Set at the seventh pass of the Red Star, there is a whole new cast of characters exclusive to this title.
Note: Dragon Rider: Chronicles of Pern consists of a large number of large and small quests; many of which can be completed in any order, and some of which are not crucial to completing the game. The order of events as listed in this plot summary are thus based off a walkthrough detailing the most efficient order to complete them in. In addition to this, detail of some of the more minor quests has been omitted to make the plot summary less confusing. For a complete list of the "quests", see Quests in Dragon Rider: Chronicles of Pern.
Taking place towards the end of the Seventh Pass, Dragon Rider: Chronicles of Pern opens with a Hatching at Fort Weyr. Two boys; Roth and Dalkor stand before an egg; Roth is confident he will Impress, while Dalkor is fearful of being injured by one of the hatchling dragons. The egg hatches and the dragon; bronze Zenth, Impresses Dalkor; who becomes known as D'kor. After failing to Impress, Roth's father and family abandon him, and he is sent to the Healer Hall.
Many Turns later, D'kor is a fully fledged dragonrider. The day after the wake for the recently-deceased Weyrwoman Nalaya, D'kor is tasked by his wingleader; S'bor, to summon their wing - Alpha Wing - for a meeting. D'kor does so; several are able to come on short notice - K'tan, Lytah, S'lon, F'ben and V'hul - but others require extra effort; N'eth threatened Fort Weyr's cook; Tom Keeting, about the taste of the food during the wake - although the meat was indeed bitter, he was partly drunk and affected by his proddy green Azoth - and has to make amends first, T'men and B'rak are busy gambling, and L'tul is looking for a lost weyrbrat; Jim, who D'kor ends up rescuing from several dark caves in Fort Weyr's depths.
At the meeting, S'bor discusses the recent death of Nalaya - Lytah finds it odd that she died of a cold contracted after a visit to tropical Ista Hold - and notes that her queen, Morath, is bound to the Hatching Grounds by her clutch. S'bor sends D'kor and K'tan to Fort Hold to formally announce the death of Nalaya, and tells them to begin a Search for Weyrwoman candidates; of which he thinks there must be at least ten - these Weyrwomen are found throughout the game; a list of them exists at the bottom of the summary. Before leaving, D'kor reveals to S'bor] that their most recent tithe train was short of ore - something discovered while finding the dragonriders - prompting S'bor to tell him to investigate that.
After the meeting, V'hul gives D'kor a message to deliver to Lamrat, the steward at Fort Hold and cousin of Lord Gralt, and D'kor and K'tan travel to Fort Hold; where a Gather is underway. Although initially restricted to the exterior, D'kor later gains access to Fort Hold's interior after apprehending a young thief; Natty, who teaches him how to sneak past Lamrat in return for not being turned in, and also gains access to the Harper Hall after helping a trader repair and move his damaged cart.
Not long afterwards, Zenth informs D'kor that K'tan is ill, and has requested he ask about The Ballad of Moreta's Ride. In time, D'kor discovers that a sickness with similarities to the one chronicled in the Ballad - the main difference being that this strain is more virulent and appears to kill outright - is affecting man and herdbeast; as such, they may all be infected already. At Fort Hold, Lamrat gets D'kor to venture into the depths of Fort Hold to find "the Metal Cave" - in reality, an Ancient room full of mostly inactive technology - and retrieve from it a "skin" with information on it that may lead to a cure - it is also revealed that an old Healer Hall student attempted to take this information some time back, and was thrown out as a result. Lamrat leaves with the skin, and K'tan dies not long afterwards; his dragon Branth going between as a result.
After reporting to Lord Gralt, D'kor heads back to Fort Weyr, only for Lamrat to stop him and give him a message for V'hul, also revealing that he witnessed S'lon buying poison and believes he plans to murder S'bor - S'lon lost his eye in a recent Threadfall, and appears to hold a grudge against S'bor. At Fort Weyr, another meeting is held and S'bor decides to send D'kor to Ista Island - where a majority of sick herdbeasts seem to be coming from - with S'lon and N'eth, leaving B'rak at Fort Hold. In addition to this, he plans to make F'ben wingsecond following the death of K'tan, but the majority of the wing suggests D'kor be given the position.
Travelling first to Fort Hold, D'kor visits the Healer Hall and discovers that Lamrat hasn't delivered the skin, and has subsequently disappeared. D'kor, S'lon and N'eth next travel to Ista Hold, where D'kor obtains them rooms to stay in by forcing Hollin; a gambler who cheats with loaded dice, to repay his debt to Matrice; the owner of the Rising Star Inn, exposing his crimes in the process.
After waiting until morning for the herdbeast traders to arrive, D'kor discovers that the sickness isn't coming from Istan herdbeasts; the sick herdbeasts are merely travelling through. D'kor later visits relatives of Nalaya, and finds that her former lover Belan is staying in the Rising Star Inn. D'kor goes to meet him, and Belan confesses out of guilt that he poisoned Nalaya with the aid of others. After confining Belan to his room, D'kor continues investigating; learning that smugglers have been seen in the area, and that several people have gone missing recently. D'kor later finds that the traders are in possession of the skin with the cure; having been tasked with delivering it to a "green rider". D'kor manages to retrieve this from them by getting N'eth to pose as the rider, and then takes the skin to Masterhealer Jazon.
At the Harper Hall, Headwoman Salyn gives D'kor instructions on how to contact the Istan Harpers for their assistance. Upon return to Ista Hold, D'kor is informed by Fin; a runner, that the Harper will meet him on the beach in an hour. D'kor next heads to the Rising Star Inn, where he finds that Belan has been taken away by another dragonrider. S'lon arrives not long afterwards and reveals that N'eth has been abducted - he is blindfolded, but he can hear the tides; leading them to think he is still on Ista Island. D'kor accuses S'lon of being responsible, which he denies, and they decide to wait until they've rescued N'eth before doing anything else.
D'kor next heads to the beach, on the way being ambushed by Hollin and his men; D'kor defeats his men, and Zenth intervenes when Hollin gets the upper hand. D'kor then meets with Ista's Harper - Matrice; who poses as a landlady as a cover - who introduces him to three fishermen, who - after he wins several games of Blind Man's Shards against them; using Hollin's loaded dice and advice from B'rak - give him information about the smugglers; that they are using a ship called the Clear Endeavour and that they are docking in an old cove that was supposedly blocked off a while back. After discovering that a hidden entrance exists in a house in the Ista Village, D'kor gets Sorian - a would-be victim of Hollin - to distract the smugglers so he can gain entry.
Arriving in the cove; where the Clear Endeavour is docked, D'kor learns from Zenth that N'eth has been left to drown in rising water; if he is able to make it there in time, he will be able to untie N'eth and allow him to swim to safety. After exploring the area, D'kor finds a murdered Balen; and Zenth confirms via S'lon's dragon Gonuth that S'lon was not responsible. D'kor then stows away onboard the Clear Endeavour, which sails to Ierne Island to deliver supplies. After D'kor evades the smugglers on land and makes it to high ground, the Clear Endeavour sails on, and Zenth - having followed the Clear Endeavour - takes D'kor back to Fort Weyr to report. As they leave, both fail to see a mysterious man watching them.
At Fort Weyr, Masterhealer Jazon discusses the sickness with S'bor, who sends D'kor to find V'hul and S'lon. D'kor finds S'lon searching V'hul's empty weyr in an attempt to clear his name, and later finds a vial of poison and the letter he delivered from Lamrat. Realising V'hul is the true traitor, S'lon rushes upstairs to the Meeting Room and prevents S'bor from drinking a poisoned beverage. S'lon then accuses D'kor; noting he delivered the message from Lamrat, but Zenth vouches for D'kor's innocence, prompting S'bor to give D'kor two days to find Lamrat and prove his innocence otherwise he will be exiled to the Eastern Islands - in addition to this, D'kor must find the ingredients required to make the cure.
D'kor returns to Ierne Island and begins his search; encountering Lear - a man shipwrecked there many Turns ago who now considers it his home - who tells D'kor of a "Hold" established on the island recently, and teaches him additional stealth tactics, which D'kor uses to sneak through a feline lair to find one of the ingredients for the cure - Lear secretly follows him, and saves him when a feline goes to attack him. D'kor then explores an abandoned building on the island, but is knocked unconcious by Lamrat as he leaves.
D'kor wakes in an underground prison - and realises he is coming down with the sickness - but manages to escape with the aid of Flick, another prisoner - one of many who ran afoul of the "Hold Lord". D'kor eventually manages to free the others and make his way to the main level, where he fights Lamrat; who reveals that he was always jealous of Lord Gralt, and was told he would become Lord Holder if he aided in the "Hold Lord"'s plan. D'kor defeats him and tells him to leave, but is forced to kill him when Lamrat attacks him as he turns away.
Afterwards, D'kor witnesses V'hul giving orders to a number of "slaves" who are being forced to poison herdbeasts before transporting them - the origin of the sickness. After he leaves, D'kor frees them, and eventually kills the guards to allow them to escape. While doing this, D'kor passes a window; Zenth is able to use the view as an image to allow him to travel between to the "Hold" with aid from Fort Weyr. D'kor next fights V'hul; discovering that he and several other dragonriders - blues and greens who are "feeling treated like dirt" - are aiding the "Hold Lord" in his vendetta against Fort Weyr in return for him helping green and blue riders get proper respect in a new society. D'kor defeats V'hul, but allows him to escape.
Heading up to the next level of the "Hold", D'kor finally meets the "Hold Lord"; Roth, who reveals that his entire attack on Fort Weyr was directed against his father, who abandoned him once he failed to Impress. Following this, he was sent to the Healer Hall, where he taught himself how to manufacture poisons and diseases before he was thrown out. D'kor battles Roth as the wing arrives, but collapses as the sickness sets in. S'bor instead steps up to battle Roth Roth, but Roth kills him and flees.
A few weeks later, D'kor wakes at Fort Weyr and discovers that the sickness has been cured, but Roth was not captured. D'kor talks with Weyrleader V'kai and finds that he has been cleared of all charges and will now become the Wingleader of Alpha Wing - in addition to this, V'kai reveals that he will not participate in the next mating flight, and suspects D'kor will become the next Weyrleader. Afterwards, D'kor travels to the Mastersmithhall, and uses a key found on Lamrat's body to gain access to the Masterminer's quarters; inside, finding evidence about the ore shortages - stolen to make weapons on Ierne Island that would be used for an assault against Fort. Not long afterwards, Miner Rom and F'ben arrive, and D'kor confronts them both with his discovery; locking them both in the Masterminer's quarters to await trial.
Returning to Fort Weyr, D'kor discovers that new drudges have been brought in to replace those killed by the sickness. However, one "nasty man"; Soliard, has disappeared with Rowarth, a kitchen hand. D'kor eventually finds an injured Rowarth, and learns that Soliard is Roth, who is at[Fort Weyr to poison the queen egg. D'kor and Zenth alert the others, and make their way to the Hatching Grounds, where B'rak stops Roth from poisoning the queen egg, before D'kor defeats him in battle. Afterwards, the queen egg hatches, and the Hatchling - Coranth - Impresses one of the ten candidates - exactly who varies from game to game.
Following the Hatching ceremony, Alpha Wing travels to an uninhabited and barren area of the Southern Continent - likely Cibola - as Thread falls in the distance to carry out the sentence D'kor - made Flightleader by V'kai - has decreed for Roth; to be staked out for Thread.
- Emmara - at Fort Weyr; busy working on a tapestry.
- Imogen - at Fort Weyr; attempting to complete a trundlebug collection.
- Gladeril - at Ierne Island; imprisoned.
- Janifer - at Ista Hold; Nalaya's niece, who can hear dragons.
- Kerill - at Ierne Island; imprisoned by the "Hold Lord" to force her husband to work for him.
- Kilimi - at Harper Hall; trying to remember a Ballad for the Hatching.
- Kiristi - at Ista Hold; seeking a new headstone for her grandfather Gannell's grave.
- Maria - at Ista Hold; the wife of Siral; a man who succumbs to the sickness at the Fort Hold Gather.
- Mianna - at Harper Hall; aiding Lockenn.
- Ramalla - at Fort Weyr; daughter of Kendrick.
- Roem - at Ista Hold; sick from eating poisonous mushrooms.
- Although it may seem odd that several characters have names ending in "-th"; making their names sound more suitable for a dragon, the publication of Sky Dragons confirmed that such names are occasionally used for humans.
- Although no characters other than D'kor are shown with them, fire lizards are not considered mythical by the residents of Pern; which would imply they were rediscovered some time during the Sixth Interval and subsequently lost again by the Seventh Interval at the latest - provided of course that the events are considered canon; see below.
- Despite the custom falling out some time after the Third Pass, the character Lytah is a sign that women are considered able to Impress green dragons; although the lack of them by the Eighth Pass] suggests the custom died out by the Seventh Interval at the latest - provided of course that the events are considered canon; see below.
- Judging by its location on Ierne Island and the complete lack of religion on Pern - oddly, the captain of the Clear Endeavour remarks "to Hell with him" at one point - it is likely that the oddly-named Ierne Temple that appears in the game was really the ruins of a Stake Hold; probably Uppsala Stake.
- When encountering a Dolphin at Ista Island, D'kor has to be particularly intelligent and concentrate hard to understand its speech; potentially shining a light on why
- The shield for Ierne Island may predate Roth's settlement of the island, since a brooch with the symbol on it is used to open a locked metal door. Alternatively, the brooch may have already existed, and been modified by Roth's men.
At this point in time, women are still eligible for working in crafthalls (such as the Harper Hall). Dragonriders think hold stock inferior for candidates, save for Weyrwomen?
Canon or Non-Canon?
Dragon Riders: Chronicles of Pern takes place in the Seventh Pass. It is not thought to be considered canon.
- Although it is never explained why, it is said that bronze riders and green riders are not meant to have relationships; Zenth remarks that D'kor and Lytah's feelings for each other should be ignored, since "these relationships always fail", and D'kor himself notes that "tradition" forbids such relationships.
- Despite there being no religion on Pern, the words "I pray that...", "by all that's holy..." and "to hell with..." are said by several characters. Of course, it could be argued that the words remained in use, although their original reason was lost.
- D'kor remarks to Dorn that his wherhide riding leathers were made from a Wher, but wherhide actually comes from wherries.
- Hal is shown breaking up massive chunks of firestone within Fort Weyr; instead of
- Oddly, several characters use the words "Year" and "Week" instead of "Turn" and "Sevenday".
- Several times, D'kor will change his clothes to hide his identity as a dragonrider, but occasionally it will
- Although barring dragonriders from entering the archery contest, Neelat still addresses D'kor by his name.
- Although D'kor is prevented from entering Dawn Sisters Pub since Ista Weyr's dragonriders have given themselves a bad reputation recently, N'eth is allowed to enter.
- Occasionally, several dragonrider names are oddly capitalised; e.g. D'Kor, V'Kai
- Even after the sickness is cured, Cruften remains bedridden in the Healer Hall.
- Despite the game taking place in the Seventh Pass, one of the documents in the Weyr Library confusingly refers to a "Lord Torric" who founded a hold on the Southern Continent.
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