Firelizard Anatomy

Firelizards are carnivorous, oviparous, warm-blooded animals native to Pern. Like all of Pern's land fauna, they have six limbs – four legs (two front limbs with handlike forepaws and two muscular hind limbs with three-toed feet) and two wings. Their blood, referred to as ichor, is copper-based and green in color. Firelizards are serpentine, with long necks and tails and sharp, wedge-shaped heads. They sport two hornlike knobs on the back of their skulls, which are anecdotally the structures that allow them to mindspeak to humans.

Firelizard eyes are faceted like an insect's and reflect light in varying colors depending on the mood of the dragon. The faster the colors shift or swirl, the more excited or agitated the dragon. Typical dragon eye-colors and what they indicate are as follows:

  • Blue and Green: Contentment, happiness, excitement
  • Yellow: Fear, worry
  • Orange: Agitation, aggression, hunger
  • Red: Hunger, anger, aggression
  • Purple: Mating lust
  • Grey: Extreme fear or pain; grey eyes indicate a dire situation
  • Rainbow: Impression

Flits can breathe fire by chewing a phosphine-bearing rock called firestone, which reacts with an acid in a specialized second stomach to produce a volatile gas that can be exhaled at will and ignites upon contact with air. Firelizards cannot digest firestone, and chewed residue must be regurgitated - frequently in very inconvenient places, depending on the attitude of the individual 'lizard.

Firelizard Behavior


Firelizards are capable of limited teleportation by use of an extradimensional space known as between. Any place a firelizard has either seen or been given a clear mental picture of, they can jump. Unlike dragons, firelizards are not particularly equipped to make the jump between Pern and the Green Star, and while some extremely devoted flits followed their humans to Discovery Weyr, it's unlikely that they will ever follow them back to Pern.


Firelizards are innately telepathic, capable of sending images and emotions to the minds of humans and dragonkin around them. For the most part, firelizards are indiscriminate, happy to talk to other firelizards, whers, dragons, or any human Mental communication with a firelizard is usually extremely simplistic, consisting of animal observations and occasionally emotions such as fear or physical sensations such as hunger. While some very talented flits are capable of sending the sound of specific words (very short ones like "No" and sometimes their own names), the ability is rare and most stick to images and feelings only.


Like dragons, firelizards mate after a trial known as a flight. A female firelizard will call to any likely suitors and lead them on a chase, at the end of which she will choose a partner. Firelizards mate in the air, but as they're significantly less intelligent than dragons, may misjudge distances, leading to aborted couplings or even injuries if a pair falls out of the air onto something hard or sharp. A flit-Flight can be a risky business.

Several weeks after mating, female firelizards lay eggs. Gold flits protect their clutches fiercely and will violently attack perceived and real threats to their offspring. Greens, on the other hand, often forget that they have eggs at all or lay them in dangerous locations. While some greens are good mothers, a majority are not, and it's up to the owner of a green flit to figure out exactly where the eggs ended up this time.


Upon hatching, firelizards bond mentally with the first thing that feeds them. In the wild, this is the female who produced them; wild groups of firelizards are known as 'fairs' and generally consist of the offspring of a single clutching female. If not Impressed by a human, a firelizard will go wild - it is theoretically possible for a flit to remain un-Impressed by anything. This is more common in females than males. Flit hatchings are generally a frenzy of prospective owners attempting to coax a flit to them in order to stuff it full of food and ensure it stays theirs, but there have been stories of people who simply Impressed by accident, when a young firelizard made off with their food and then never left.

Firelizard Colors



Gender: Female
Flights: Rarely
Size: 3 feet to 3 feet 6 inches



Gender: Male
Flights: Catches golds primarily
Size: 2 feet 9 inches to 3 feet 3 inches



Gender: Male
Flights: Can catch green or gold
Size: 2 feet 6 inches to 3 feet



Gender: Male
Flights: Catches greens primarily
Size: 2 feet 3 inches to 2 feet 9 inches



Gender: Female
Flights: Too often
Size: 2 feet to 2 feet 6 inches



Gender: Sexless, owners usually just pick a pronoun arbitrarily
Flights: Never
Size: 1 foot 9 inches to 2 feet 3 inches

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Gender: Varies
Flights: Varies
Size: Varies
The genetic engineers responsible for new colors in both dragons and whers didn't come from nowhere. Long before they were creating reds and silvers and violets and coppers, they were tweaking firelizard DNA, using the knowledge AIVAS gave them to make designer pets for rich Holders. The problem is, all these engineers were working separately, introducing their own genes, and then many of those designer firelizards went on to breed with "normal" wildtypes. So rather than a single set of clearly defined colors, firelizards have… a lot of weirdness in the gene pool. Every now and then you just get a one-off pink, or blue with red stripes, or a giant white for seemingly no reason.

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