There are four types of Hear All, one for each of the major bondable creature groups (Dragons, Whers, Firelizards and Wyverns), and each Hear All exists on a spectrum of four levels.
The level descriptions are written from a Hear All Dragons perspective, though with notes for the other Hear-All types as well.
The original descriptions for hear-all levels were written by our members, Serenade, and can be read in their entirety here. There have been expansions and explanation made here to increase ease of use when determining levels.
These are the easiest to find, and the weakest of the HADs. They can hear dragons, and speak to a select few. It causes them no stress of any form, and often the ability fades when they bond to their own dragon.
They are incapable of hearing private exchanges between rider and dragon, and dragons aware of a listener may be able to, with considerable effort, hide their words from this level of hear-all even when speaking to another dragon or human.
They make excellent candidates, with very high rates of impression, and there is some theorizing that all candidates have a degree of 'hearing,' which allows searchdragons to select them from the masses.
There is a precedent for HADs who have become Dragonless to spontaneously develop level two hearing, possibly as a result of the 'open wound' left by their dragon's absence.
HADs at this level may be male or female, though females are more common by a two-to-one ratio. HAWs at this level are as likely to be male as female. HAWyvs at this level are twice as likely to be male as female. HAFs at this level are equally likely to be of either sex, but are also likely not to realize their own abillity, due to the low grade, and will probably just seem like 'firelizard people' much in the same way that there are 'dog people' and 'cat people.'
These are a little more uncommon then the usual HADs. They have the ability to hear all dragons, and speak to all of them, though they must exert some degree of effort. They can 'silence' the voices with relative ease, but will be somewhat prone to mild headaches after both over-use of their skills, and over-exertion of their 'shields'.
They are often considered the luckiest type of Hear-All, as they have all of the major benefits with few of the drawbacks. However, like level ones, they are not able to hear private exchanges between riders and dragons. Unlike level ones, though, a dragon will not be able to consciously shield conversation outside of their bond from these Hear-alls.
Spontaneous change from level two to level three has been seen, but tends to require extraordinary circumstances, and often leads to severe problems.
Given a degree of practice, a Hear-All at this level may be able to hide their 'hearing' from dragons nearby, though by doing so they much 'turn off' their ability to hear, meaning that they cannot spy on dragonspeak, but can be somewhat useful in subterfuge nonetheless.
HADs at this level are five times more likely to be female than male. HAWyvs are five times more likely to be male than female. HAWs and HAFs are equally likely to be male or female.
Lessa of Pern was (or rather, will be) this level of Hear-All.
Dragons are filled with an innate urge to be near and please these HADs, and will go out of their way to avoid harming them, even disobeying rider commands. For this reason, they are able to exert a degree of control over most dragons, though this control is more suggestive than imperative.
Like level twos, they can hear and speak to any dragon. Unlike level twos, this ability seems to extend to nearly any distance, so long as they are familiar with the dragon, but does require increasing effort to achieve. Southern level three HADs might, technically, be able to hear Northn dragons which whom they are familiar or friendly, but the exertion would very likely cause them to black out or fall into a seizure.
With practice, they can learn to silence the voices of dragons around them, and must do so, or risk going mad from the input. Characters who go from level two to level three often suffer a degree of damage for this reason. Without silence, they will be prone to severe migraines. Those who are bonded to a dragon can usually depend on their bondmate to help dampen the other voices, however.
Again with practice, they can sometimes break through the privacy that surrounds bonds, and hear private exchanges between dragon and rider. This is, however, fairly rare and hard to do.
There have been no recorded male HADs at level three, though it is technically possible. There have been no recorded female HAWyvs at this level. HAFs are twice as likely to be female as male at this level. HAWs are twias as likely to be male as female at this level.
Level Four: Beacon
The strongest level of Hear-All, this concept was only recently introduced into the novels of Pern, and it rarely explored in fandom.
Lorana of Gold Amith was the only previously recorded Beacon of dragons, and in the interim centuries, she and her magical 'cure' for an unexplained sickness of dragons have been relegated to the status of myth, and an obscure one at that.
When a Beacon awakens to their unique gift, it is not as if they can hear every dragon on Pern, but as if they can feel them. To them, it seems that each dragon has bonded to them, on at least a firelizard's level, and among dragons they are more familiar with, that sensation is much stronger. Such beacons are not born hearing all dragons, as Hear-Alls of every other level, but rather, mature into the ability. And with good reason. The trauma of the awakening can easily kill a weak person, reducing their mind to rubble. Fortunately, it seems that weak minds do not hold the key to becoming beacons, or if they do, they never turn it in the lock.
Only one beacon for each species is capable of existing at any one time, and even then, they usually do not. Beacons, it seems, are awoken only in the most desperate of times, with their comings prophesied by the strange, seclusive Trader families, and correlated by odd, ancient harper songs and equally musty predictions of the Great Mothers of the past.
These beacons are capable of exerting a formidable control over the appropriate species, with the Beacon of Dragons capable of preventing a riderless dragon from going between and in the right circumstances even rebonding it to a new rider. The beacon of Wyverns is able to force the feral and unbonded wyverns of the world to behave peaceably, forgoing their usual territorialism to work together. The beacon of firelizards will usually find herself bound to more firelizards than she can count, with more impressing at every clutch, because the little ones cannot help but choose her, love her, and protect her. The beacon of whers is the only being in all the world that could come between two fighting, egg-heavy queens in the same territory, and leave without so much as a scratch.
Part of this control is related to the almost obsessive way that creatures flock to these hear-alls, as if compelled. Where dragons want to please a level three HAD, they are quite nearly convinced that if they do not please a Beacon, the world itself just might end. Not literally, of course, but the sensation is there all the same.
It must be noted that a Beacon must learn to exercise immense control over her abilities, of run the risk of, rather humourously, losing him or herself to the endless tide of mating flights of dragons that aren't their own. The dark side of this is, of course, that the death of any dragon feels like the beacon is losing a part of themselves. It may not be as severe as the death of 'their' dragon, but it is traumatic nonetheless.
There can be only female beacons of dragons and firelizards, and only male beacons of whers and wyverns.
Population of Hear Alls
- Lord Holder Teval
- N'xul of white Osgiliath
- Bree of Bronze Ryzedoth
- Sosse of rock feline Temath
- Villanara of White Spotted Feline Kattith
- M'ja of Brown Dekath
|Bone Gnawer||Level Two|
- Bone Gnawer of Green Bonegnask
- Mikathren of Bronze Mikathresk and White Mikathrsk
- Tolna of Iron Tonask, Blue Olsk, and Green Losk
- Enasai of Phoenix Saisk, Blue Esk, and Green Nask
- Syvriae of Iron Sysk and White Eisk
- Lunesta of Gold Lunestask
- J'kal of Bronze Scalpeth
- T'Lar of Fighter Gold Therendoth
- Vidian of Red Feline Iryoth
Dragons: Maegara of Gold Jennath
Whers: The Wild Wher Child of the Jungles
Wyverns: Dehan of Black Westie Lebaro
Firelizards: Milona of Matlese Red Feline Balath
What about Lopers, Hevrens, and Fyxi?
At this time, there are several unique hybrid creatures on Sapphos which do not fall under a Hear-All category, in particular the Lopers and the Hevrens. In addition, there are other bonding pets, such as the Fyxi, which seem ripe fodder for a Hear-All conversion. However, there are no plans to create these hear alls. If this circumstance changes, you will be informed.
Until then, you may decide whether your loper or hevren is subject to the draws, eavesdropping and control of the Beacons and Hear-alls of the Dragons and Wyverns, or Wyverns and Whers respectively.