Sapphire Weyr

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Website
Name: Sapphire Weyr
Owner/Maintainer:
Dates: ?1999 - 2009
Type: cyberpet agency
Fandom: Dragonriders of Pern
URL: Wayback Machine copy
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Sapphire Weyr was a Pern cyberpet agency on GeoCities.[1] As such it offered—subject to certain conditions—a variety of Pern-related art for other fans to use to decorate the pages of their own websites.

History of the Site

The art on Sapphire Weyr is copyright to Jewel in 1999/2000, suggesting that that was the period when the site was active. It remained on GeoCities until Yahoo! closed the service in 2009. An archived copy exists on the Wayback Machine.

Disclaimer

Like many cyberpet agencies during the period when Anne McCaffrey laid strict restrictions on fan use of Pern, Sapphire Weyr has a disclaimer at the bottom of the main page. This states: "This site is not an Online Weyr. This site is merely a medium to exchange cyberpets based on the world of Pern created by Anne McCaffrey, copyright 1967."[2]

Site Design

The top of the main page of the Sapphire Weyr website.

Like many cyberpet agencies, Sapphire Weyr is written textually as if the reader is a visitor being taken on a tour of the weyr. On the main page, therefore, "you arrive at the weyr" on the back of a green dragon to be greeted by the Weyrwoman, who then sends you off to find your way round (by clicking on links). Most of the webpages describe some section of the weyr; and the text on them provides a sort of story in which you meet the people and dragons who live at Sapphire Weyr.

Contents of the Site

Map of Sapphire Weyr (drawn by Jewel).

At the top of the main page of the site is a poem (presumably written by the site owner, since it refers to "the Weyr of Blue"). This is followed by a description of "your" arrival at the weyr, which is accompanied by a picture of the green dragon that you came on.

Below the links to the interior of the website, there is a map of Sapphire Weyr, with the location of the Hatching Sands, Lost Sands (where one can request a piece of previously assigned dragon art that was never picked up), Little Sands (for firelizard art), cattery, stables, kennels, docks, and herdbeast field.

Besides the webpages offering art, Sapphire Weyr also has the following:

  • an art gallery with several pages of paintings and sketches of dragons or Pern, many of which were sent to the site by other fans for display purposes (not adoption)
  • a sound file collection, sung by Arua, the Weyr harper
  • contests
  • games - specifically, hunts and races, which are played by the website owner tossing a coin or die to determine the winner, who gets a certificate to put on their own website

History of the Weyr

One page of the website (where you "visit" the Weyr's historian), recounts the history of Sapphire Weyr and its current Weyrwoman—a transparent Mary Sue, riding a draconic "Maryth Suth".

In Pern's early days, a small group of dragonriders founded the weyr in a volcanic cone partly filled by a lake. Under the lake, a bronze dragon discovered a huge sapphire. "Soon, they found out the entire Weyr was full of sapphires and could be found anywhere you dug a hole in the ground."[3]  Hence the weyr's name.

The final clutch of the previous queen, Menith, contained a gold egg. During the search for girls to impress the little queen, Jewel was found as an apprentice at the Harperhall, and MasterHarper Robinton let her go to Sapphire Weyr, where she spent the time until the eggs hatched painting the walls of some of the weyrs. When the Hatching came, the gold egg produced a pair of green dragons instead of a gold queen. Jewel impressed the larger of them, Rith. Even though she is coloured green, Rith sparkles golden, and is as big as a large queen. She produced a gold and 6 bronzes in her first clutch.[2] Since the old queen has now died, Jewel is the Weyrwoman although she is only 16 or 17 years old. She also has a white "flit" (firelizard) named Dystar.

Pern Fanart Offered

Like other cyberpet agencies, Sapphire Weyr offered its fanart under a variety of conditions that depended on how "valuable" the type of art was considered.

Dragons

Dragons are the heart of any Pern cyberpet agency. Periodically, Sapphire Weyr's Rith would rise to mate and lay a clutch of eggs. Dragon art was then shortly to be available under a strict set of conditions: the applicant had to create a page for the candidate, including a background story; and, when the dragons "hatched", the site owner decided who would get which picture.

Runners

Unusually, Sapphire Hold offered runner art under the same conditions. The prospective owner had to create a persona and decorate a "stall" (webpage) before being offered a runner. The runner (i.e. horse) art was noticeably the best drawn on the site.

Firelizards

The firelizard lottery.

The "Little Sands" offered firelizards by lottery. An array of 17 identical white eggs was proffered, and you chose one at random. When you clicked on it, you were taken to the page where you could click-and-save on your piece of firelizard art. Of the eggs, 2 led to pages with a gold firelizard, 2 to pages with a bronze, 1 to the page with a brown, 6 to pages with a blue, and 6 to pages with a green. (Apart from colour, the firelizard pictures were identical.) After getting the art, the visitor was asked to sign a logbook.

Whers

Whers could be freely chosen; but the visitor was asked to sign a logbook.

Other Art

In addition, there were pages for felines (kittens), canines (dogs), herdbeasts (goats), runners (horses), and dolphins[3] There was also a page of clothing (dresses, jackets, trousers, and boots). In each case, the same outline was used, but filled in with a selection of colours. This minor art could be saved by anyone, with only the condition that a link be provided back to Sapphire Weyr and the artist (no logbook). A form was also provided so that people could ask for art to be coloured to their own preference.

References

  1. Sapphire Weyr's url on GeoCities was http://www.geocities.com/enchantedforest/tower/9550/weyrs.html
  2. Adapted from the story told to the viewer on the Historian's webpage.
  3. The text on the page for the "dock" at Sapphire Weyr uses the word "dolphin" rather than the canonical "shipfish". [1]