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|Rank|| Admiral, Colonial leader of Pern Expedition|
|Affiliation|| Landing |
Boca River Stake
|Children||Four not named|
Admiral Paul Benden, along with Emily Boll, was the overall leader of the colony during the fifteen year voyage to Pern as well as the first years at Landing. He was very respected and loved among all the colonists. Benden Weyr and Hold are named after him.
Paul Benden was a hero of the Nathi War, an experienced battle commander and leader of men. He was the driving force behind the original expedition, known as the First Crossing, and was one of the charter signing members of Pern.
After the initial landing, his role as leader diminished, and was effectively abolished, as the colonists spread out to found their own individual holdings. With his wife Ju Adjai, he set up Boca River Stake, which they later abandoned for Landing during the First Fall of Thread. In the subsequent panic, he and Emily Boll were re-elected leaders for the duration of the crisis.
After the Second Crossing, the colonists relocated to the Northern Continent in a settlement that came to be known as Fort Hold, with Paul Benden and Emily Boll as Lord Holder and Lady Holder — though the terms as such did not exist at the time. Paul died in the twenty-sixth Turn, presumably of old age, and was greatly mourned by all. Torene Ostrovsky's impression of her queen Alaranth was the last one he attended, and he was there to wish her good luck with her queen. He had two unnamed sons, and M'hall helped him.
Personality and traits
Paul was older than many colonists but was described as «still vigorous». He is used to being in command of any situation. In Rescue Run, it is said that he was in his seventh decade when he traveled to Pern.