Very little is known about skyhunters, because very few of Discovery Weyr's inhabitants have gotten a clear look at one. They are elusive and dangerous, never revealing themselves to dragonriders or wherhandlers unless they are about to strike.

Up until very recently, the only contact had with them was from daring dragonriders trying to explore beyond the basin, past the mountains. Such expeditions inevitably ended in a sudden, garbled burst of panicked mindspeech, a call for help, then - the keen of a lost dragon. Little wonder that the Weyrwoman put a ban on further exploration beyond the basin, at least until Discovery Weyr had enough riders to spare that they could send out a full fighting wing.

In the summer of 2914, however, the skyhunters made a first move. A large group of them snuck into Discovery Weyr under cover of dusk; the dragons were sleeping, and the skyhunters flew far enough overhead that the wher patrols didn't detect them until it was too late. Half a dozen of them together attacked gold Hilayleth on the hatching sands; she successfully protected her clutch and fended them off, but not without permanent crippling injuries. The rest of them scattered, distracting Hilayleth's reinforcements and causing widespread chaos. Two of them picked off a wher packleader, causing his grief-maddened wher to turn on her packmates and dissolve the formations into chaos. Another one snatched the Candidatemaster straight off his dragon's back, then dropped him, sending his dragon between with a cry of agony. The Weyrlingmaster, too, died protecting his vulnerable charges. Then the attackers vanished back into the night.

No one has yet seen one in full daylight, but from the wherhandlers' reports, they seem to be six-limbed avian predators, somewhere between a large wher and and a grey dragon in size. Certain facts are known: the group that attacked the Weyr moved in a tight, coordinated pattern like a well-trained wher pack, indicating some degree of communication. They also seem to be intelligent enough to recognize that killing a rider kills the dragon as well, a condition otherwise known as "too clever".

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