About the Craft


A Harper's Life


Events in the Harperhall


Meet the Harpers


In the Vaults

A Harper's Duty

Craft Life ] [ Duties ] Advancement ] Rules and Consequences ] Class Logs ] Exam Logs ] Journeyperson Projects ]



A harper may be brought in as an arbiter in a dispute. It is, in such cases, the harper's duty to remain unbiased and impartial. If s/he cannot do so, s/he must remove her/himself from the dispute. The harper must listen to all sides of the argument, and work out a settlement which is fair and practical. In all cases, it is the harper's duty to uncover those sides to the problem which are not the obvious ones.

The Lord Holder, Craftmaster, or Weyrleader has final say in a judgement or punishment. If the matter cannot be satisfactorily resolved, a Conclave has jurisdiction.

At times, politics will rule the day and a matter may be settled unjustly but expediently. It can be difficult to sit back and watch this happen, but the harper must school him or herself to see all the sides of the issue, including those of the men and women who sit in judgement. Often, is is possible to find a balance which can be fair to those involved while still satisfying the imperatives of politics, but it can be a difficult job which requires originality, patience, and diplomacy.

Marriage Ceremonies

One of the more pleasant duties a Harper is called upon to perform is that of uniting two people in marriage. Any Harper of Journeyman level or above may perform the ceremony that legally binds two people together. Oftentimes, it is the Harper who helps arrange marriages for young men and women both inside and outside the hold.


When most people think "Harper", the first thing that pops into their mind is "entertainment". It is probably the most conspicuous of the many harper duties because everyone can attend a performance or look at artwork, although not everyone requires archives, the crafting of instruments, or teaching for their entire lives.

One of the major aspects of performance is music, both instrumental and choral. Harpers play at weddings, gathers, concerts, and a myriad of other special events. However, they also do other non-musical productions such as plays and storytelling. If it can be done in front of people, chances are some brave harper has tried it. Finally, artwork can be considered a form of entertainment. Painting and sculpture are among the many harper specialties.

Apprentices perfect their skills in these areas through years of practice, hard work, and lessons.

Record Keepers

Though each craft, hold, and weyr have records particular to themselves, Harpers are considered to be the living repository of Pernís history as a hold. The craft holds extensive archives pulled from all other areas, disseminating the history and traditions of the planet in the form of ballads, songs, and records. Apprentices are drilled in the archival and sribal methods necessary to maintain their status as official record keepers.


On Pern, the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic have been taught by rote by fosterers or Craftmasters, with the hold and journeying Harpers taking over History and the more advanced subjects, including the teaching ballads. Childrenís educations continue until they are fourteen, the age of reason and responsibility.

Information Center

The Harper Hallís, and by default, a Harperís, primary purpose is the distribution of information, which is accomplished by the network of journeymen and Masters posted Pern-wide. In addition to their teaching and entertainment duties, Harpers are expected to be barometers, gauging the prevailing mood of a place and people, and countering close-mindedness and ignorance when possible. Tactful inquiries and discreet information gathering is an established, if necessarily covert, Hall practice.







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