Portrayed By David Tennant
Position Masterstarsmith of Pern
Former title(s) Starsmith Master, Starsmith Journeyman, Smith/Starsmith Apprentice, Bronzerider, Weyrling, Candidate, Blood of the Hold (Fort)
Sex Male
Age 39
Place of Birth Fort Hold
Family 9 elder brothers
Faction Progressive

Character History

Donal was born to a cadet branch of the Fort Hold Blood, cousin of the current Lord Gregor in some degree he doesn't care to remember. His parents were Sydnei and Verite, and he had many full-blooded siblings, for Verite was a strong and sturdy women. The family was expected to help out around the Hold and to be leaders amongst the lesser holders on the major off-chance that something happened and one of them might be tapped to be the next Lord, Faranth forbid. Donal didn't get much by way of childhood, because he was always expected to be responsible and he hated it. He longed for the freedom of the other Hold kids, and he thoroughly pestered the local Harpers across the road for tales of the past and songs and all the interesting things that his family Disapproved Of. Trifles like that were no place for a child of the Blood.

That changed to some extent when Donal reached his age of apprenticeship. While showing some cleverness at harper ballads, his keen mind was better suited for the smithcraft, and arrangements were made for him to be apprenticed. However, the dragons of Fort Weyr had other ideas as to what his fate should be. Despite his youth (the Weyrs taking in older teens rather than 12-turn-olds so they could have a better and more mature fighting force), Donal was Searched by a rather insistent blue, the letter tendered, and his parents' blessing (and siblings' envy) in hand, and off he went.

Donal had a somewhat eventful Candidacy. A couple of the other boys looked to him for leadership because he was of the Blood. A couple of bullies tried to cause trouble for him because he was of the Blood and they kept trying to get him caught trying to rank them. He was clever enough to avoid their manipulations and find himself a couple of cronies, a boy and a girl, to hang out with, do chores together with, and grouch about things with. When it came to their time on the Sands, after the usual weeks of the occasional prank, heated discussions about the nature of politics, what their chances were, and who was getting the next round of necessary-cleaning, the trio of friends all Impressed. D'nal, as he was now called, was forever bonded to great bronze Prydonith, even as his two friends Impressed another bronze and the sole queen respectively. D'nal's life was set in front of him. As a bronzerider, he was once again thrust into the role of a leader, more carefully watched than the smaller dragons' riders, and his cleverness was enough that some were murmuring already even as a weyrling that he should be groomed for Weyrleadership. D'nal always found this rather distasteful, as he had no desire for such a heavy burden. He would rather muck about with his little gadgets and distance viewers and pester the Smithcraft for their latest gizmo. His time as a weyrling was almost uneventful, other than a severe falling out with his fellow bronzerider over a few key points of ethics and philosophy, and the cold indifference of the queenrider who was once one of his best friends. It took a tragedy to cement his ultimate departure from the Weyr… and it was an event no dragonrider should have to survive.

It was an accident, you see. It wasn't meant to happen. They'd drilled and drilled and drilled until their wingleaders were as blue in the face as a master harper's sapphire. But it was Threadfall, and it was new to them, and people made mistakes. And of course, D'nal valiantly tried to hold the line left by the others who had fallen out of formation, but his brave Prydonith wasn't enough. The unlucky pair were caught in a tangle of Thread that got rider on arm and midsection and severed his riding straps, flinging him from his beloved dragon's back… Prydonith had to be caught by the queens before his pain-maddened mind sought the oblivion of between. D'nal screamed for someone to take him between as he fell, but he too was caught mid-air, by one of the swifter and more daring blues who left him in the care of the healers. His wounds tended and numbed away, he just existed in one of the back rooms of the Weyr, pitied by all for his lost potential. One day, for no reason known to anyone who had tended him, he snapped out of it. Stalking into the living cavern, he witnessed someone of some high rank or other, he never got a good look at the knot, proffering tiny egg-pots to a handful of the Weyr's dignitaries. Lost in whatever dark thoughts eroding his mind at the time, D'nal… now Donal again… snatched one of the smaller eggs and fled with it.

Donal's delirium and madness didn't last very long, because the egg he had stolen was due to hatch, and the tiny blue firelizard's cries were enough to stir some painful bit of his heart. He yearned so much for his lost Prydonith, but he couldn't just let this wee one suffer because of him, so he fed the creature, and the two of them bonded together and managed to survive until stumbling into Telgar's Smithcrafthall, a bit worse for wear. The women of the Hall took care of him until his madness passed and he was able to do for himself again. There, when it was deemed time for him to either prove himself useful or move on, Donal proved apt to the Smithing trade, particularly cultivating his original love of gadgets and toys that amused children or otherwise mystified others as to their function. The Mastersmith guessed his identity, or at least, the Fort Weyr and Hold leaders were told of Donal's presence. The Weyr politely left Donal alone, assuming being near dragons would be far too painful. The Hold invited him back home if he wanted, but he didn't. He and his firelizard preferred losing themselves in the mindlessness of glassblowing and hammering on metals and woodworking and inventing new mechanisms to make things better. Naturally, Donal gravitated to the subcraft and later separate craft of Starsmithing, because it was actually a quieter job. Having nothing else better to do and being completely oblivious to the advances of the women around him, he ground his way through his studies, progressing from apprentice to journeyman in only three turns, not surprising due to his maturity and single-mindedness at the time. Work… helped… It created a mindlessness to things where he could lose himself for just a little bit.

As a journeyman, specializing in the starsmith craft, Donal went to and fro on Pern, either delivering new distance-viewers or gathering supplies to make new ones. He preferred to travel by ship, and anyone who knew of his past granted him this peccadillo. Those that didn't, he listlessly rode dragonback, holding his firelizard close to ensure he was safe, and it was rare that any dragonrider would suggest that he ride with them a second time. As he grew older, and AIVAS was discovered, he too was embroiled in the political hot potato that it generated, and he considers it a personal affront to his craft that the painstaking calculations that he and the other starsmiths made for the effort to quell Thread at its source failed… in fact, things were made worse. It was shortly after the death of Masterharper Robinton that Donal was accorded the rank of Starsmith master. He continued to advocate a progressive stance for his craft and how it wasn't the starsmith's calculations, nor the quality of their farviewers, or any other foreseen issue that had caused the disaster. He has no proof at all (yet), but he is of the firm opinion that some complete and utterly selfish and violent moron(s) sabotaged the plan to stop Thread and are trying to blame technology in general for this failure. His anger at the usurping of the great plan is enough to cause him to forgo being polite in the face of rampant idiocy, regardless of rank, and he's earned himself a reputation for being crotchety, although more often he's proven right than he's proven wrong.

In the aftermath of the failure to stop Thread, Donal and his fellow Starsmiths are focusing on using their skills to determined what the fallout of the altered Red Star will be, literally. Their craft will be crucial to determining new Threadfall patterns and charts for the dragonriders, and he has no intention of failing his former colleagues. By now, the ache of having lost Prydonith has lost its harsh edge, but it's been etched in his face in a way that not even the giddiest of joys will ever fully erase this. At the age of 38, a new Masterstarsmith was needed, and Donal was the one elected to the job. He decided his first priority would be to have a proper full-time observatory built. Some people question his sanity, but he /insists/ that it's going to be built on the peak of the ancient volcano that covered Landing shortly after the colonists had arrived on Pern. He doesn't care if he has to build it himself. It will be done.


Donal's not exactly sure what is going on with her, but he's friends with Randi.

Memorable Quotes:

This section will probably start out empty, but as you go on, link to logs and friends' characters. If you like.

Trivia and Notes:

Donal has a blue firelizard named Tarrie that has a bad habit of singing with others.

Donal's Logs


If you attach some extra photos of your PB, they'll all be listed down here.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License