Beastcraft Color: Yellow and white
Beastcraft Badge: A yellow bull on a white field
Main Beastcraft: Near Keroon Hold
(Note: Please remember that the use of the Beastcraft Hall at Keroon in posts requires Council approval.)

[ General Craft Information | Species and Related Terms]
[ Bovine | Runnerbeast | Ovine | Porcine | Caprine | Chicken | Llama | Canine | Feline | Draybeast ]

General Craft Information

Beastcrafters on Pern work almost entirely with domesticated species that were brought to Pern by the original colonists. There is a small offshoot studying tunnel snakes, but that is solely for the purpose of understanding better how to deal with them. Their task is to study and improve breeding practices as well as the care and management of the various types of beasts. The Beastcraft is not involved with the care of dragons, whers or fire lizards, that area being the domain of Dragonhealers.

Species of Beasts and Related Terms


The original bovines chosen by the colonists were the long-haired Scottish type, though a small breed, hardy and able to subsist on poor pastures. Throughout the millennia, herders have no doubt developed various types through selective breeding, with some developed to produce more milk, some with shorter coats to better withstand the hot climates of equatorial regions and some likely to be larger than the original stock. Bovines provide a main source of food for many of the holds and Weyrs as well as hides for tanning used in various leather crafts. Some holds use oxen (steers that have been allowed to fully mature, growing to a much larger size than their intact brethren) as draftbeast to pull wagons and plows.

cattle bovines, herdbeasts
male bull
young male bullock
neutered male steer, ox, draftbeast
female cow
female before first lactation heifer
baby calf


Runners serve many uses in Pern. Some of great size have been developed as draft animals to pull wagons and plows; others of a smaller size are common riding beasts, often used to help manage bovines or other herdbeasts in a hold. The ultimate runner is the racer, developed for speed and endurance in racing.

horse runnerbeast, runner
male stallion
young male colt
neutered male gelding
female mare
young female filly
baby foal


Ovines are of basically two types. The meat-producing ovine has the more substantial frame and heavy musculature while those raised for wool have a longer and thicker coat. The length, texture and color of the wool may vary from breed to breed. If possible, ovines are sent to hill pastures during the summer where they can range more freely without destroying grazing land near holds. During the winter, they generally return to their home hold and are fed hay and some grains until spring weather allows them to go out again to the hills.

sheep ovine
male ram
neutered male wether
female ewe
baby lamb


Of all the meat-producing herdbeasts, porcines are the fewest in number. This has resulted in pork being a special treat and an expensive delicacy. Some porcine breeds are known for their mothering abilities and some for rapid growth/meat production. Porcine herders are forever using different combinations of the breeds to achieve the most live births and greatest weight gain.

hog, pig porcine
male boar
neutered male barrow
female sow
female before first farrowing gilt
baby piglet


Caprines are a common beast in many cotholds, providing both milk and meat. Caprines are usually good climbers and therefore often difficult to contain in any sort of enclosure; however caprines bred and raised solely for meat are generally larger than other types and because of their heavy musculature are generally poor climbers and are more easily confined. Able to thrive on even the poorest pasturage, caprines are generally easy to keep.

goat caprine
male buck/billy
female doe/nanny
baby kid


Chickens provide meat and eggs for those holdfolk vigilant enough to protect them from the predation of wild wherries. While not common, a few holds have begun raising them.

chicken chicken
male rooster
female hen
baby chick


Llamas are raised as burden beasts, sure-footed and able to bear heavy packs on their backs. Like ovines, they also provide a high-quality wool, and in the summer they are often sheared in warm climates to help them withstand the heat and humidity.

llama llama
baby cria


In addition to providing companionship to humans, canines are used to help herd bovines and other herdbeasts, to guard Holds and to serve as trackers. Smaller canines also help curb the numbers of tunnelsnakes around habitations.

dog canine, hound (especially in reference to a canine often used for trailing by scent or sight)
baby whelp, puppy


Felines are invaluable in helping to keep tunnel snakes in check in settled areas as well as keeping mice under control, considered more valuable after the mouse-born plague that swept through the area a few turns ago.

cat feline
male tom
female queen, especially a breeding female
baby kitten


Draybeasts are a group of burden and draft beasts which include donkeys and mules. They are more sure-footed than runnerbeasts, and their nature is generally more calm. They do often choose to do what is best for themselves, however, and that may not always be what their human has in mind. ;) Their usual purpose is to serve as pack animals or beasts who pull plows or wagons; however some Pernese do prefer to put them to use as riding beasts, and those who do firmly maintain that they are superior to runners. Donkeys come in all sizes, from the small animals commonly called burros to the larger donkeys which can stand as high as 15 hands at the withers(60 inches), although 14 hands is more common for the larger variety.

Mules, a hybrid species and therefore sterile, (a cross of a male donkey on a female runnerbeast) are also often used as pack animals for traders. A mule that is a result of a cross of a donkey on a draft runner will be more massive, some reaching more than 16 hands, and can pull heavy loads.

donkey, mule, burro draybeast, specifically donkey, burro and mule
male Jack
female Jennet
Neutered John

Compiled by MJ Dameron and Jennifer Miller with some information taken from The Dragonlover's Guide to Pern, by Jody Lynn Nye.
Last updated 10-Sep-05.

Dragonriders of Pern: A Fantasy-Fiction Writing Club -

The Dragonriders of PernŽ is registered U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, by Anne McCaffrey, used here with permission. Use or reproduction without a license is strictly prohibited.