Callamere Hold: Firelizard Information
Entered by: Lynn
Date: 2008-01-21 Relevant to: Arolos
Summary: The partner article to the wher information pack, summorising with a brief history of the Callamere firelizard line as well as a basic 'care pack'. Like the wher article, this is to ensure continuity of information and to ease playing especially at busy periods such as the Mid-Summer Gather.
A brief history:
The Callamere flits and the "wild" flits are really variants of the feral, altered flits from the canon Ancients' tinkering. Truly wild flits, of the type indigenous to Pern before the arrival of humans, are extinct in canon and in Arolos canon-- though this is not a fact that would be known in gameplay.
Callameres are in the early generations of being specifically selected for greater intelligence, trainability and devotion as well as for physical perfection. As a side effect of superb care and nutrition, as well as breeding "the best to the best," their size has increased as well. In the beginning it began as a desire to see if it were indeed possible to make them something more than a nuisance that could, once in a blue moon, be made to be of some use. In the beginning, if traced back far enough, the Callamere line as it is today has its origins in the wild firelizards of the South though the efficient, intelligent creatures that they are today are a far cry from their original predecessors.
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What does Callamere breed for?:
In a nutshell, quality. Originally the brainchild of Revai, like the whers she bred, the cultivating of the firelizard line within the Hold was about expanding the potential of the creatures. Not only could there be mental improvements of a more enhanced intelligence and concentration when compared to the wild cousins, but also physical improvements in both color and build. The most noticeable feature of the Callamere firelizards when compared to a wild firelizard, is that their size is considerably bigger, a factor contributed to both breeding and nurture.
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Who breeds them now?:
With her attention now fully on her whers, Revai has passed the responsibility of continuing the betterment of the Callamere line onto her eldest daughter, Sythy, who showed promise in developing the line after proving herself to be an apt and responsible trainer.
However, this doesn't mean that the rest of the family isn't involved with them or that their knowledge isn't up to scratch. For instance, any member is more than capable of advising a person looking to buy as to the care and well-being of their new firelizard.
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What do the Callamere firelizards look like?:
Compared to their wild cousins, it is very much apparent that Callameres are substantially bigger than a wild bred firelizard. Whilst still small enough to easily make themselves comfortable upon a shoulder or arm, over all the line has been cultivated to gradually evolve into a much more balanced and proportioned appearence and to Revai and Sythy, the appearance is as much the seal of approval as is the name of Callamere itself. Like a dog breeder on Earth, Callamere prides itself on the fact that its stock are visually identifiable. It is highly unlikely that a buyer or receiver of a certified Callamere egg would ever find that an ugly or physically unappealing firelizard hatched from it.
Approximate size guide of the Callamere line - max. sizes from nose to tail:
Gold - 24ins
Bronze - 18-20ins
Brown - 16 - 18ins
Blue- 13 - 15ins
Green - 10 - 12ins
Whilst on the odd occasion a color bracket will fall out of its expected ratio, Sythy however, prides herself on the fact that the sizes of her firelizards are holding steady with very rare occasion of exceptionally small or exceptionally large. However, there will for example never be a green as large as a brown or a bronze as small as a blue. The usual rule of thumb is that a draconic of any sort will only be as large as the smallest of the next color up and vice versa. I.E. A green may be as large as the smaller size of blue and a blue might be as small as the larger sized of greens. As of yet there is no established 'preferred' size for the line, however if the Sythy finds that the line suddenly increases dramatically in size, then she would then work to scale them down again and vice versa.
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How do they behave and communicate?:
The basic temperament of the firelizard color hierarchy is very similar in basic protocol to that of their wild cousins. Where Callamere is working to improve however, is the mental capacity resulting in improved concentration, higher messenger efficiency and the over all reliability of a firelizard to carry out its requested task. Of course, Callameres, like all flits, think and communicate in pictures, sensations, and emotions. They're just more coherent and less scatter-brained than most flits, and more easily trained. They also tend to be drawn to music, can be trained to "sing," and the metallics often have perfect pitch. Which could be a boon to Harpers. Like having a living, electronic tuner!
"Give me an A minor, Flick. Thank you, here's a bit of meat roll."
All these qualities varies among the colors, like it does among all draconics:
Gold: The Queens are usually the most steady and intelligent and like their larger, draconic counterparts can exert their will on the 'lesser' colors.
Bronze: Whilst having the potential to be intelligent, they tend to be more ego driven and have more desire to find the next willing female with whom to ensure the continuation of the line.
Brown: Steadfast and steady, the browns seem the be the quiet thinkers. Whilst not as intelligent as a gold or even a bronze, a brown seems more likely to appear to think before they act.
Blue: The romeos of the color hierarchy, soft, poetic souls who seem to be little harpers in disguise. Often seeming to be a little slow and can often be labelled as lazy.
Green: Ditzy, emotional balls of hide. The most forgetful of the color hierarchy. Of all the firelizards, it is the green who is most likely to return 3 hours after sending them to deliver a note only for the note to still be tied to their leg, never delivered.
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Breeding and Gestation:
Within the Hold, the only clutches that are 'worked' with are those that have come from one of the golds within Sythy's fair of firelizards. Whilst as of yet it is impossible to neuter green and blue firelizards, because of the better color ratio that come from the golds, only gold clutches are monitored and developed to better the Callamere line. Ideally, in the future, Sythy will have been able to neuter all greens and blues that come from Callamere.
When is my flit a "Callamere" flit?
When it is bought either from the Hold itself or from the Mid-Summer Gather stall. At no other time will a firelizard (or wher for that matter) which has been obtained beyond the Hold be classed as a Callamere. Even if the breeding is from two Callamere bought creatures, the name itself is the Hold's seal of approval and must not be given to creatures that are bred outside Callamere's jurisdiction as their breeding cannot be 100% assured of. Much like the dog breeders on Earth, Callamere is probably best described as an 'affix' or 'kennel name' and so is only a name that can be 'bestowed' by the people who own that name and therefore, is theirs to give. For example, a gold Callamere was won at the Harper Open and upon mating, bred with a bronze Callamere that was purchase from the Gather stall or Hold. Whilst the parents are assured Callameres, because it was a mating that took place out of Callamere's ownership, the offspring would NOT be considered Callameres. However, had the same mating occured only with a pair that was 'owned' by Callamere and resided within the Hold, the resulting clutch would therefore be sold as Callamere bred. As stated previously, the name itself is the Hold's 'seal' and identifying mark.
Note: Since the devastation that was caused on their stock by the Flitbane, Sythy has now gone to measures to identify her own fair at a distance utilising the same approach that Potrin of the Weyr undertakes, and bands the firelizards known as Callamere bred with the Hold colors. One a safe sedative becomes available, there is little doubt that she would endeavour to have the creatures permanently marked and also to have green and blues neutered to ensure control over the line such as that which is kept over the whers.
Flights and Clutches:
For several days before hand, a firelizard, like their bigger dragon cousins will become 'proddy'. It could be as minor as a sulky firelizard and nothing else, or it could be an all out personality change. Each creature is different
Whilst a green will mostly likely take to the skies for her first flight at around 9 months of age, a gold will not rise until she is well into her first turn. A flight in its basic essence is not dissimilar to a dragon's, however the 'back draft' is minimal to none, compared to the all out orgy that otherwise ensues when a gold dragon is in the air. It is important to note that a person will not be rendered incapacitated during a flight. The owner of a green might get a little antsy and the bonded of a gold might get a little more so, but it will not be that all out urge to copulate and therefore is fully capable of controlling themselves. The same is of a wher run though naturally the desires are a little stronger. The important thing however to remember is that a person is still able to take complete control of themselves.
After mating, of which the time itself depends entirely on the creature that has undertaken it, gestation and incubation takes approximately 3 weeks, or one IC month. There is 2 weeks of internal gestation and then 1 week to 10 days of external incubation. It is very very rare that an egg still unhatched by the tenth day will prove itself to be a viable egg. In the extremely rare case that an egg goes unhatched if purchased from Callamere, then the Hold is always more than willing to either offer another egg or refund. As much as they love their stock, it is still also their livlihood.
How big are the eggs when they're clutched?
When a firelizard is hatched, they're literally a mere handful of inches. That said, a firelizard egg can vary from about 3 inches in size to 5 or 6 inches. Whilst within Callamere the skill of color guessing is down almost to a fine art, this has come from turns of trial and error. Few to no people outside the Hold, except perhaps Beastcrafters and Dragonhealers who have chose to specialise in draconics are likely to be anywhere near correct in guessing what colors will hatch out of eggs.
My flit was approved for a clutch, she had a flight but what happens IC now?!
What happens to a flit, like every other creature that gets pregnant is that she'll get bigger. And the bigger the flit gets has nothing to do with how many eggs will come out at the end. Whilst some egg bulges might be visible, a firelizard that barely grew at all could shock every one and lay half a dozen eggs, whilst another that got positively huge could only produce a couple. Whilst usually the size can determine the quantity of the eggs in terms of 'lots' or 'few' - this will not always prove to be the case.
Whilst gravid, the owner of the female will need to ensure that the expanding belly is lavished generously with oil. It can be shocking to see how much they expand and on an especially slight firelizard, lack of oiling can result in dry patches, flakiness, and in worst case scenarios can begin to split and tear.
The personality may change too, the female might encourage the sire to stay near whilst some others might shoo them away and never have anything to do with them. Their appetite will surely increase and whilst it may seem like she's just being greedy, don't forget she's burning a lot more energy and her body is working hard to create the eggs inside her. In the build up to the clutching, a female may start disappearing for long periods of time. This is a sure sign that she's already got a nesting ground and that if she's not around then she could be just about anywhere. However, almost unanimously, a firelizard will go somewhere where she can pack her eggs into a warm substance and more often than not, eggs will be found at beaches or lake sides in soft piles of sand.
But what happens when she has the eggs?
That is up to you and how you plan to play it out. If you're playing out a clutch to 'give away' then the owner of the firelizard would need to retrieve the eggs as soon as possible after they're clutched. This is of course to prevent damage and from being acquired by some innocent passer by. Once the eggs are retrieved, like dragon eggs they are soft and therefore need packing into small pots of sand almost entirely covering the egg and then placed in a warm-hot environment such as on a hearth in front of a fire. When eggs are bought from Callamere, they are already packed in egg pots, however they still need to be kept warm. ICly, your character would need to ensure that the top of the egg peeking out of the sand is kept hot enough so that when touched, it prickles the skin slightly. To ensure an even balance of heat, the eggs are turned frequently until they begin to hatch.
Please Note: Whilst clutches and pictures are more than welcome for any played out clutch, please remember that the amount, color ratio and images all need to be BOD approved before a clutch is played out. For more information on picture information (which is also applicable to whers) please go to the article link at the bottom of the page.
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At the Gather:
OOC Things to remember:
- Gold whers are never for sale and are only distributed by BOD agreement
- Gold firelizards are only obtained through the Harper Open
- Any bronze, be it firelizard or wher cannot be ICly purchase by any persons who has been a part of the club for less than six months.
- Whers are NEVER sold to Candidates
- If there are eggs on the Hatching Sands or are likely to be soon after the Gather, no firelizard may be bought by a Candidate
- No draconic is sold to Weyrlings and whilst they are permitted to be owned by full riders, Revai will NOT sell a wher to a newly graduated Weyrling. Firelizards however, may be purchased once a weyrling has reached their 10th month and are therefore unlikely to be scared away by a posessive hatchling dragon.
- Revai will not sell a wher be it to Bond or Impress to any persons under at least 15 turns. Whers are difficult to train and control at the best of times. Similarly, Callamere will not sell firelizards to be impressed to children under 9 turns. A winner of the children's Harper Open is the only exception to this rule.
- Callamere Whites are expensive and time consuming, they will not be sold to children under 15 turns and are seldom sold to riders due to their first priority being their dragon.
- In recent Gathers, the BOD has established a 'first come, first served' policy on firelizards and whers on a feasible amount of stock. This is to keep a degree of realism in the game and also to ensure that the game is not suddenly overrun with Callameres.
- Because of the above rule, priority is given to those with no draconic pets to ensure fairness of distribution. Also, no flit or wher may be bought at the same time for the same character.
- If it is deemed unfeasible for a character to have access to the funds required for the necessary draconic, then sale can be refused. Similarly, the Callamere stall is permitted to refuse sale if it is decided that the character requesting to buy is an unsuitable party.
How much does a Callamere Firelizard cost?
Gold - Not available by purchase
Bronze - 12 marks
Brown - 10 marks
Blue - 8 marks
Green - 5 marks
I've just bought a Callamere, what now?!
ICly, if purchasing a firelizard or wher egg, you character will be informed about keeping the egg warm until it hatches. Upon hatching your character will need to be on hand with a meat based food in order to entice the new hatchling and ensure Impression. Unlike dragons which know their own name and lifemate, the new and ravenous hatchling is swayed to impress with whoever feeds it first, not dissimilar to the memory imprint of a duck who makes its mother the first person it sees. With wild firelizards and whers, impression will take place to the creature that feeds it first, often the mother of the clutch or another member of the fair. For humans to impress their new charge, this is a short window of opportunity that closes fast so it is advised that they be prepared in readiness for when their egg hatches.
How long until the egg will hatch?
Callamere will usually tell their customers to expect their egg to hatch within 3-5 days with the agreement that the rare egg that does not hatch can be replaced or refunded.
Obviously with a bonded wher, there's no need to wait for any hatching and impression but for all proud new owners, the basic care of regular feeding, bathing/oiling and beginning to train their new charge applies across the board. Because of the time and effort that has gone into the breeding of their livestock, Callamere informs all new owners that any new buyer is welcome back to the Hold be it for advice, training or even just to let the Hold know how their new draconic is doing.
You're the proud owner of a Callamere, a creature bred for distinction and quality. Congratulations!
All references to worlds and characters based on Anne McCaffrey's fiction are copyrightę Anne McCaffrey 1967,2005, all rights reserved, and used by permission of the author.
The Dragonriders of Pern« is registered U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, by Anne McCaffrey, used here with permission. Use or reproduction without a license is strictly prohibited.