|First appearance||All the Weyrs of Pern|
Norist was the Craftmaster of the Glasscraft Hall and one of the foremost leaders of the efforts against AIVAS during the Ninth Pass. He was described as a tall man with scarred lips and broken capillaries in his face for being too close to the heat of his glass-forges.
The Rediscovery of AIVAS
When AIVAS was found at the Landing site on the Southern Continent during the 17th year of the Ninth Pass, a meeting was called on the spot by Lord Holder Jaxom of Ruatha Hold, one of those who'd found it. In time, all of the Lord Holders and Craftmasters heard the recitation of Pern's early history. However, several were not convinced of the necessity of such a machine, or - as the years went by in its plan to end Thread - of the improvements it had suggested.
Referring to Aivas as "the Abomination", Norist was most vocal among the dissenters, expressing skepticism at Aivas' ability to end Thread's influence (sarcastically asking if it planned to blow up the Red Star) and stubbornly insisting that glass was glass, "made with potash, sand and red lead", and could not be improved upon. In the Thirty Turns he been plying his craft.
However, several of Norist's own crafters, such as Master Morilton, and Wansor received training from Aivas to do just that, and Norist threatened to revoke their ranks. He also withheld these Glass-smiths' access to the fine-grained sand pits at Igen and Ista that were used in glass-making, forcing Jaxom and ex-Weyrleader D'ram to find alternate sources to circumvent him, found in Paradise River Hold and Cardiff.
Efforts had been made fairly early on to sabotage Aivas, including an attempt to destroy the battery packs that gave it power. Norist, in league with Lord Sigomal of Bitra, sent professional mercenaries - led by his son and apprentice Glass-smith, Shankolin - in another sabotage attempt, ordering them to blindside Aivas' defenders and destroy the "Abomination". Aivas itself reacted, deafening the attackers with a powerful sonic blast. After being questioned, Shankolin and his mercenaries were sent to work the mines of Crom Hold as punishment.
The Abduction of Master Robinton, and Exile
Shortly before the final implimentation of Aivas' plan to end Thread, Norist decided to up the ante. Aided by Sigomal and Lord Begamon of Nerat, the Masterglass-smith prepared a plan to kidnap Masterharper Robinton, the one man everyone on Pern respected and admired, spirit him away by ship to an island off Nerat, and hold him for ransom in exchange for the destruction of Aivas. Although Masterharper Sebell and Lords Larad of Telgar and Asgenar of Lemos had been warned of the plot and increased security, the kidnappers were audacious enough to kidnap Robinton right in the middle of a crowded Gather in Ruatha. The kidnappers had drugged his food and wine with fellis and spirited him away; a decoy, Biswy, was left at the Gather table dressed in Robinton's clothing to avert suspicion. The plot was quickly discovered (Biswy was found dead from a heart attack as a result of a fellis overdose from consuming the wine), Robinton was recovered, and the kidnappers arrested.
The kidnapping squad, led by a holdless man named Halefor, were captured and questioned on who had hired them, and Norist, Sigomal and Begamon were implicated. The Craftmaster, several of his subordinates, and the two Lord Holders were arrested, as well as Sigomal's son Gomalsi, who captained the ship (masquerading as a shipmaster, in an insult to the Fishcraft) intended to take Robinton to Nerat. Of the defendants, Norist alone was unrepentant, declaring that Aivas was poisoning Pernese tradition and that the people would rue the day they allowed the "Abomination" to influence them.
Because Biswy had died under accidental circumstances and Robinton had survived the ordeal, Norist and his associates were sentenced by Lord Jaxom to exile rather than death, and transported to an island in the Eastern Ring, along with the allowance that their families could go with them if they wished. Master Morilton was named by a conclave of Craftmasters to take over the Glasscraft Hall in Norist's place.
Despite his crime and his punishment, Norist's condemnations of "the Abomination" continued to influence others, and several groups of agitators - known by the public as "Abominators" - rose up in the years after the completion of Aivas' plan, spreading rumors that it had killed Master Robinton (he died in Aivas' control room not long after it self-terminated). Their primary targets were the Printer Hall, for "spreading the Abomination's lies", and the Healer Hall, for their use of surgical techniques that required cutting into living bodies.
Years after his father's exile, Shankolin escaped from Crom's mines after a meteor impact and rallied the Abominators in their attacks against Aivas-influenced crafts. Shankolin managed to get into the old Admin Building where Aivas was stored, hoping he would at last destroy "the Abomination" once and for all. He did not get far; though the artificial intelligence had terminated itself years before, its memory banks recognized Shankolin as part of the sabotage squad it had deafened during their attack, and being a repeat offender, killed him on the spot with a laser beam.