It was only a couple of turns ago when the Zingari caravan came rolling into the desert Weyr of Igen.

At that time, the caravan was successful. The Zingari were led by a strong man named Baomos and his wife, Sabina. This clan was also special, for the matriarch of all the Zingari clans resided here - Baomos' mother, Ethelinda. The successor of this clan was a fresh faced, eighteen turn old girl named Willimina, but everyone called her Willa.

The caravan had always traveled the breadth of Pern, and with the absence of Thread, profits were there for the taking.

Baomos tired of traveling, though, and for the first time in Zingari history, a caravan became rooted. The lead Zingari clan planted their roots at Igen Weyr, and flourished - for a time.

Small events happened - the wedding of Willimina to Ephraim, the passing of time, Gathers and others. Willimina began to foster a young cousin, who turned out to be far more than she could handle at such a young age. Then she became pregnant with Ephraim's child, and all was happy in their little world.

Things were good…

And then…

The return of Thread, and with it, a long line of trouble for the Zingari - and Willa.

A freak Threadfall struck at a Keroon Gather, and among the injured was Baomos' wife, Sabina. Sabina made it home alive, just barely. But she did not make it long. An agonizing death from Threadscore claimed the poor woman.

The death of Sabina threw Baomos into a drunken, wallowing stupor. This put all the Zingari and their troubles in Willa's mourning, very pregnant lap.

Almost killing herself and her unborn child, Willa did everything in her power to get her people through the after-effects of Thread and the damage to the caravan (i.e. skilled people, wagons, and supplies lost at the Gather).

Soon after, Willa lost her foster son to…well, they still haven't figured that out yet. No one knows if Jhael is MIA, dead, or has just run off. Within a few sevendays, Willa had her daughter, named Lillia at birth. Willa and Ephraim start working on a plan to bolster the caravan's supplies and profits, and then Ephraim was murdered trying to stop bandits from robbing the Zingari blind.

After burying her husband, pleading with the Weyr to catch his murderers and getting almost nothing back, Willa took her people's fates into her own hands and began searching out a safe haven where they could heal and hide. That landed them in the abandoned caverns. They mended, got well and fortified the section of cavern they were living in. Then, they threw a party…which caught the attention of one of Igen's goldriders. This promptly got them evicted from the caverns.

They returned to the caravan grounds. But due to some very clever thievery and some outright bad luck, the Zingari either lost or made no further real profit. The Caravan fell into chaos. Desperately in need of help, Willa cried out to her sister clans to send her a second in command, someone she could trust. She found that person in Wrenari, a Zingari who came flying to Willa her hour of need.

Things got better. They worked hard to fortify the wagons, to set up a guard at night, to make sure that their profits were made. But, as traders do, Willa got itchy feet, and decided to take the caravan from the Weyr (Phase 1), carefully traveling from Weyr to Weyr to make some profit. But while crossing the desert, an illness came upon her people.

By sheer luck, they found an oasis among the rolling yellow dunes, and they camped there, the metal fortifications of their wagons allowing for safety against Thread.

However, the sickness took its toll on her people and many died. Among them were her father Baomos, her trusted friend Merivel, and many many others. Willa almost lost her infant daughter, and my was it a near miss. During this time, Willa again cried out to her sister clans. She needed wagons, people, mayhap a healer in the group. She needed runners and livestock. Her sister clans flew to her rescue, sending her all she needed and more. (Phase 2, collecting people)

During the months that it took for the survivors of the illness to recover, the new Zingari clan became a tight knit, beautiful, and ruthless group. They still had a code of honor, and wouldn't do you wrong if you stayed honest with them, but dirty dealers…they learned not to tread on the Zingari's toes. And Willa dropped her moral standing on thievery; she wouldn't do it, but she'd pretend it didn't happen. Rough times call for rough measures. (Phase 3)

When all were strong, hale and healthy, Willa directed her caravan back to Igen to try for a second chance at success.

The Zingari made a wonderful come back, throwing festivals and carnivals, hawking their wares, spying and lurking, and even some slightly…immoral business.

Willimina is taking Pern by storm, flaunting old traditions and doing things her way. In many ways it has made her an excellent leader. In others, she is still young, and still has much to learn. But with her children and her husband Tallel at her side to love, help and guide, there's nothing they can't accomplish.