... now they must watch their abundance of luxuries fall away, making room for the tools of survival, and witness this time of relative peace wither into the same fears that harper's ballads had warned them about for generations.
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Posts : 1314
Join date : 2012-09-20
Age : 35
Location : Sunning on my ledge


All the Crafts of Pern

There are two sorts of crafts on Pern: the “official” Hall crafts that have buildings and ranks and Hold crafts which are so common and widespread that it makes no sense to have a centralized location or system for learning them such as farmcraft, beastcraft, cookcraft, hunting, and trading, etc. Basic skills like singing, sewing, and fishing are obviously not limited to their respective crafts; however the highest quality and trade secrets are only found among crafters. Also few people would buy expensive goods not marked by a crafts seal of approval (ex. Tanner boots with a seal of the hall would show that it is a decent quality good while a random pair made by Joe Nobody might trade/sell but for much less because they aren’t guaranteed to be a certain standard)

Crafters will typically barter, trade and sell their wares at hold gathers, which are held in large holdings as frequently as once a sevenday in vendor stalls and shopfronts, but less frequently at smaller holds. Outside traders attend a little less frequently than locals of course.

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Craft Ranking Structure
(Apprentice>Journeyman>Master>The Craft Master)

Each craft uses an apprenticeship system to teach its students. Young boys and girls that show promise, are craft children, or simply want to learn a specialized skill are brought to a particular craft hall around 10- 12 Turns of age and begin an apprenticeship. During an apprenticeship students live together, take classes on their crafts subjects with Journeymen and Masters, and are marked for a specialization within their craft if they show promise. (i.e. A harper with excellent writing may begin special training to become an archivists/scribe during their apprentice years)

An apprenticeship generally last 5-6 Turns during which a child learns the fundamentals of their craft and gains some “on the job” experience. If the masters deem them experienced they will eventually “walk the tables” a ceremony of advancement where a Journeyman of their craft walks them from the apprentice dining table to the Journeyman dining table, marking their rise in the ranks. Most crafters are Journeyman and achieve no higher rank, though being a Journeyman is nothing to sneer at!

A Journeyman is often stationed at far away Holds or sent on special errands, trusted that their skill will see them through without supervision. Journeyman may also teach apprentices, sell their wares for high marks, and study independently. Most Journeymen have a specialization of some sort and the few that do continue to study will become specialized master crafters, the few elite of their craft. 

It is the Master craftsmen who teach. One of their peers is elected to become The Crafts Master who generally holds that position until he dies. 

Generally, being schooled under a local master is common, though all students travel to the actual Hall of a particular Craft to walk the tables when they graduate into the next rank of their profession. Those who are lucky enough to have the right connections, or those who come from more influential families who can manage to send their children to train at a Hall, traveling to do so would be considered fortunate. Studying at the actual Craft Hall would constitute as studying at Princeton or Oxford and Cambridge Universities versus at a local State University or Community College.

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Women in Crafts of the Hall
Though in recent turns, the role of women within the Halls has been strengthened, their roles are restricted within certain crafts, and any major role of influence within many of the crafts held by a woman, will be put to question. If you would like to have a female character in a particular craft you might want to run it by the Admins and make sure that your bio is well made. We are currently allowing women to be in any and all crafts, but that does not mean they will become a Crafts Master. 

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Hall Crafts Within the Holds
While Craft Halls are located at Holds and Journeyman often serve in Holds it is long standing tradition that Hold and Hall are autonomous. What’s this mean? It means that no Hall is obligated to send its craftsman to a Hold and no Hold may impede the wishes and will of the Crafts. A Lord Holder who mistreats his crafters or abuses them will find not just that particular craft pulling its crafters and refusing services but often in a show of support other crafts doing so as well. Hall and Hold need one another and even when relations are tense few on either side would risk alienation by overstepping their bonds.

The Harper Craft
(Color: A rich deep “harper” blue)
Major Craft Hall: Fort

Harpers are the teachers, record keepers, instrument makers, musicians, and yes professional singers of Pern. However while they are the primary entertainers of Pern they serve a far more important duty. Journeyman harpers teach hold children basic writing and reading as well history often through “Teaching Songs” and even if it isn’t their specialization most Journeyman are proficient in at least one or two instruments to help the process. They also act as a communication hub making the giant message drums and training their harpers to send and interpret drum code when living at a Hall. Through song, words of mouth, drum, and message they keep all of Pern connected and store its history. Traveling harpers are also often asked to serve in a civil capacity officiating weddings or dispensing justice.

The Healer Craft
(Color: Dark Purple)
Major Craft Halls: Fort/South Telgar

The Healer craft is the oldest most respected on Pern and has long had close ties with the Harper craft who also reside at Fort. If Harpers are respected Healers are sacred and to injure or impede a healer is one of the gravest offenses short of murder a man can commit. Due to the high demand for their skills it’s not unusual to have several healers stationed at Major Holds and many others doing regular routes through the smaller more isolated holds. Healers do serious work and their students must be hearty often faced with “on the job training” as there are no dummies to dissect or samples of plague to practice on.

The Vintner Craft
(Color: Dark Red)
Major Craft Halls: Benden/Smaller Tillek Hall

The Wine craft is special in that it is both a Hall Craft with a centralized location, ranks, and study and a Hold craft in that you’ll find people practicing it all across Pern! In fact you’ll be lucky to find a hold where someone isn’t making their own wine or beer. However to make the best and make a good mark off it a person has to learn from the Vintner Hall at Bender where craft secrets are close kept! In fact of all the crafts it’s said the master vintners of each region are the most stingy with their knowledge and slow to share with their own students much less other masters.

The Fisher/Sea Craft
(Color: Sea Blue)
Major Craft Halls: Tillek

The structure of the sea craft is slightly different than most other crafts. There is of course the Master Fisher the head of the craft and under him the Master Captains and Master Craftsmen.  The Captains however have a different way of ranking their Journeyman and apprentices using old sailor traditions. Apprentices start off as cabin boys and lure tiers before progressing through the Journeyman level ranks of seaman, able-bodied, second mate, and fist mate. Craftsmen however use the traditional apprentice and Journeyman titles.

Nautical Terminology Reference

The Weaver/Tailor Craft
(Color: Lavender)
Major Craft Halls: Southern Boll

While many holders practice the basics of this craft there’s no competitions in terms of quality. The weavers and tailors of southern boll have not only access to superior quality raw material and stores of knowledge but also giant looms and closely guarded craft patterns from the ancients. The hall is also very diverse making everything from sturdy work boots to fabulous gowns and all the cloth in-between. There is an ongoing rivalry between the weaver and tanner halls over which is the fashion center of Pern.

The Miner Craft
(Color: Black)
Major Craft Halls: Crom

While the biggest craft Hall and mines are in Crom there are many minor halls all over Pern. While the Hall has a large influence it is deliberately downplayed and the miner hall has a reputation for being solid, honest, reliable, and most of all discreet. Due to conflicts between miners wanting to mine land that the farm craft wants to plant there is a rivalry between miner and farm craft.  If they are often on uneasy terms with the farm craft miners work hand in hand with the smith craft. Traditionally they are a very forward thinking craft. Women in the craft tend to be focused on refining extracted materials or in charting rather than the actual mining process itself.

[Iron ore and Blackstone (Cromcoal) come from Crom Primarily.]

The Smith Craft
(Color: Bright Red)
Major Craft Halls: Telgar

The Smith Craft has several branches which specialize in various areas of expertise, creating a very diverse field. Apprentices usually begin by breaking up blackstone, sorting ore and sifting sand, cleaning tools and equipment, and working the bellows at the forges. Older apprentices learn how to make all the basic tools needed in the various subdivisions of the craft. By the time they walk the tables, they have learned enough about every subspecialty of the craft to make an educated decision about which part they want to specialize in.

The various branches within the Smith Craft are notably: Metal Smiths, Wood Smiths, Glass Smiths, and Stone Smiths. Some of these sub branches have broken off from the Smithcraft and now have their own respective Halls, but by many, are still assumed under the same umbrella as the Smithcraft since they still work closely together.
(See below for more detail on these individual branches)

The Smith craft works closely with the mine craft, taking the raw materials supplied by the mine craft and forming them into everything from cooking pots, ceramics, porcelain, elaborate jewelry, brass hair combs, to heavy machinery, and the big life saving flame throwers used by gold riders and ground crews. Because this craft constantly seeks to utilize their resources more efficiently and are responsible for improving and developing new techniques, as well as creating the next best technologies available to Pern, they are one of the most progressive and inventive crafts. Smith craft apprenticeships are the longest on Pern however for those that last they have the honor of joining one of the most prestigious and respected crafts on Pern.

The Stone Smiths in specific, are the architects of Pern and these crafters develop an understanding of physics, knowing how to do stress analyses of stone foundations, and build massive stone walls, pillars and arches that will be the standard for many free-standing buildings on Pern.

Metal Smiths have a number of sub specialties within their own ranks, though many Metal Smiths will have an understanding of how to make most of these items eventually. Amoungst their trade, they craft tools, weapons, doors and window shutters, household items and jewelry, runnershoes, parts for machinery, and metal sheets used to safeguard rooftops.

[Glass Smith and Wood Smith listed in later section]

The Tanner Craft
(Color: Sienna Brown)
Major Craft Halls: Igen

Stationed in the trade heavy Igen the tanner craft is constantly competing with the weaver hall for dominance in style and fashion. The tanner hall also has one of the largest non apprentice students, people who simply want to learn the basics and have no desire to make a profession of tanning. Due to the high demand and many uses of tanning the craft doesn’t see such people as a threat and eagerly takes on any student who wants to learn the basics. Like Vinters Tanners are blends of hold and hall craft with the best techniques and recipes privilege of craft members only.

The Beast Craft
(Color: Yellow)
Major Craft Halls: Keroon

The beast craft doesn’t just breed and raise animals; they also trace the best blood lines and act as the veterinarians of Pern. They make sure over ambitious lord holders don’t breed too many animals for speed and strength or weaken the blood lines through too much inbreeding. While anyone can raise animals those of the beast craft have the best insight and knowledge of the various species on Pern. While they mainly deal with runners, heardbeasts, ovine, llamas and the like they have also raised and studied wherries, chickens, and even the occasional tunnel snake… They DO NOT deal with flits or dragons.

The Farm Craft
(Color: Golden Yellow)
Major Craft Halls: Tillek

Like the beast and weaver craft the farm craft is seen as science for the average folk. Known to be at times blunt or gruff experts of the farm craft share their superior knowledge with holders big and small in hopes of having the beats yield. While some smaller more isolated holds may initially chaff at an outsiders suggestions the wisdom of the farm craft usually wins out over stubbornness. Farm crafters have an ongoing rivalry with the miner craft over land.

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Post AIVAS/ Alternative Timeline Crafts
As the title suggests these are crafts that came into existence during the 9th pass or depending on the game are part of an alternative Pern history. These crafts did not exist prior due to limited technology and previously lost knowledge.

The Wood Craft [This craft is currently practiced in our setting]
(Color: Forest Green)
Major Craft Halls: Lemos

Originally a very small subdivision of the smith hall after long interval where trees were allowed to flourish the craft grew in prominence and has since broken off from the smith craft though those who work with wood are still called wood smiths. A fast growing craft the wood smiths are responsible for the study and preservation of forests as well as the collection of raw materials and its manufacture into luxury goods such as furniture and pulp-made paper. Something else they make, is charcoal.

The Glass Craft [This craft is currently practiced in our setting]
(Color: Pale Blue*)
Major Craft Halls: Ista

Much later, with the discovery of new technologies and the push for more glass products it was decided that the glass craft would split from the smith craft. Like the wood craft glass crafters are known as “glass smiths” acknowledging their former attachment to the smith craft. They are responsible for the production of glass from the delicate lenses of spyglasses, rider's goggles, window panes, mirrors, crystal and lead glass to the artistic blown glass.

The Star Craft
(Color: Red)
Major Craft Halls: Lemos

The advancement of technology in other fields led to the creation of the star craft, a division of crafters who study the sky and all that reside in it. Their research allows them to accurately predict thread fall and to a lesser extent weather.

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Hold Crafts
These are the crafts that are so common or widespread that having a centralized location just makes no sense! Unlike Hall crafts hold crafts have no rank or center for learning. Instead someone interested in learning works under someone experienced until they are deemed acceptable.

The Vintner
(Color: Dark Red)

The Wine craft is special in that it is both a Hall Craft with a centralized location, ranks, and study and a Hold craft in that you’ll find people practicing it all across Pern! In fact you’ll be lucky to find a hold where someone isn’t making their own wine or beer. However to make the best and make a good mark off it a person has to learn from the Vitner Hall at Bender where craft secrets are close kept! In fact of all the crafts it’s said the master vintners of each region are the most stingy with their knowledge and slow to share with their own students much less other masters.

The Baker
(Color: Light Tan)

It’s not uncommon for the best bakers to have frequent offers from various Lord Holders, all eager to have the finest sweet rolls and breads to be made. Unsurprisingly many bakers keep the finer points of their recipes to themselves and are fairly competitive.

The Trader
(Color: Steel Gray)

Traders are technically Holdless, they owe no allegiance to no Lord Holder and have no guaranteed shelter from storm or Thread. Instead they make their living traveling in wagons and trading goods across Pern. Many traders travel in packs and keep a few Journeymen of various crafts in their ranks to both appeal to holds and guarantee fair deals are made. The life of a trader isn’t glamorous however and it’s not uncommon to face mistrust from holders and heavy fees from Lord Holders when circumstances require them to stay within the Holds shelter.

(Color: Pink)
Pillowcrafters are divided into two subcrafts of sorts. The first being more similar to courtesans, and the other being more akin to prostitutes. Though pillowcrafters are not well enough recognized for their 'craft' for most to even know how to differentiate, this is the reason for which both are generally assumed under the same name of 'pillowcrafter'. There is a hierarchy amoungst them though, similar to other crafts, which most pillowcrafters will adhere to very strictly and become quite competitive about moving up the ranks in. Their competitive nature is different than that within other crafts, because once a pillowcrafter, a girl's freedom is lost, and the only way to know freedom again is to be the best, or outlive the rest when it comes to experience.

Girls fall into the hands of pillowcrafting houses in a number of ways, the most frequent of which is probably being 'sold' to the House by family who are poor or fallen on hard times and simply become unable to afford raising children. Some are merely taken in off the streets having previously been orphans, and sometimes being taken to a pillowcrafting House is a form of capital punishment. It is possible for disobedient drudges to be sent to pillowcrafting establishments, just to get rid of them, and it is also possible for even Highborn to receive one of the highest forms of punishment, by losing their title and rank and being taken to such a place. This, for any holdborn girl of notable status, would be the worst imaginable fate. She will have lost face and lost respect amoungst all her peers, utterly disregarded by society.

There are a few children who are born into these entertainment venues, but those are typically few, as a pillowcrafter's value is at its highest when not pregnant, and thus many use forms of birth control to prevent this. The exception is generally the Mother or Mistress of the House, who may essentially do whatever she wants. Though most prefer to remain childless given that they live in a place of business and it would be difficult raising children with so many restrictions and demands on one's life. Their 'children' are usually the pillowcrafters working under them, who they oversee.

Ordinary pillowcrafters are generally little more than prostitutes. Little is expected of them except for silence and unquestioned obedience. Because their services are cheap, they are dressed in unremarkable style with only moderate care for appearance and behaviour outside of 'obeying' the House rules they live under. They are generally uneducated and unskilled in much other than drudgery and giving their bodies up to men. Their lives are very difficult and un-glamorous. Most will probably die of malnutrution or physical abuse early in life. If they try to escape their masters and are found, they usually face severe beating and possibly death. 

Hierarchy amoungst the courtesan class of pillowcrafters is more like a family structure. The Mistress of the entertainment house acts like a mother, usually strictly enforcing House rules in order to maintain order amoungst the 'sisters', obedience to the 'mother', and utmost respect to the customer. The Sisters in the house are often paired for the elder/ senior to mentor and educate the younger. The older sister will generally look after her younger sister with care -or be expected to- and will have to help take responsibility for the younger sister's actions and words, helping guide her until she's old enough to know how to do everything on her own.

Education for courtesans tends to start with body language, moving with grace and fluidity, manner of speech, etiquette, calligraphy writing, how to serve drinks to guests, how to engage guests in conversation and respond to their signals in regards to their needs, how to sing, dance, play instruments, write and recite poetry and well known romantic ballads, etc. Last but not least is the art of flirtation. They must always be clean, smell nice, be dressed to impress, have utmost regard for their customers, and know how to make these guests feel like kings in a far away palace. They must keep their bodies looking attractive, so they are kept on a strict diet at all times.

Though these pillowcrafters may be required to perform many intimate and sexual services, that is obviously not their only duty. Though they are pillowcrafters, they don't always have to sleep with their customers, as most customers are given a time for 'courting' in which the pillowcrafter is expected to be coy, finding a way to make the guest want to pursue her, but it is said to be bad luck if they sleep with a new guest on the first meeting. If they do so, the man has no fun in the pursuit and will no longer return for future services. Their first job is to keep men wanting to come back for more; 
more food, more entertainment, more delightful and even naughty conversation, and eventually sexual favors. That is of course it is a special guest and services are rendered by the order of the Mistress of the House. Otherwise, it's up to each individual pillowcrafter to learn how to work her customers and know how to keep them happy. Each will be different.

Likewise, it is up to each pillowcrafter to be attentive to each of her customers while he is present and while he is not. Each customer must feel like he is her only customer, or her most important customer, so she is expected to try to keep at least periodic correspondences with him through romantic letters and the like. It is generally the Mistress of House who handles most of the public relations and scheduling of events and appointments, finances, logs of meetings with customers, book keeping, etc.

These upper-scale pillowcrafting establishments generally act as entertainment venues for nightly fun, though it is not uncommon that a special host may ask for their entertainment at a private party elsewhere. Generally these are done with at least 4+ girls together for larger parties, as the girls are not generally supposed to meet frequently in the home of another to conduct their business. They must generally conduct their business at the establishment they reside in.

The pillowcrafting house is staffed with cooks and other drudges who usually do most of the upkeep of the place, chores and such. The exception is that when they are first starting, the beginning courtesans will be expected to know how to care for her mentor/ older sister's things as a manner of training. This is to teach her respect for the mentor and an understanding of what it takes to be a fully fledged high-class pillowcrafter. As she learns the basics though, she will move into more specialized training that will consume all of her energy, so she'll have little time for drudgery.

Unlike other crafts, courtesans class pillowcrafters are competitive because beating out the competition is their best chance at freedom. In the case that pillowcrafting may be their only set of skills, a pillowcrafter may be freed by becoming the Mother or Mistress of a House of pillowrafters, giving them power over others. This allows them to oversee a pillowcrafting/ entertainment establishment on their own, allowing them to dictate all the rules of the House, who lives under the same roof, what customers they see, etc. This is a relatively prestigious position, because the Head Mistress of these establishments generally have a history of being very skilled in their craft and are well liked by men -sometimes very powerful ones. The only drawback to this is that even as the most high ranking pillowcrafter, one is still sitting at the lowest levels of recognized society. This means that though within the greater world adult entertainment they may be liberated, in the eyes of society at large, they are no more than a drudge. 

Another option of regaining one's freedom is by being 'bought' by a wealthy person who appreciates their skills. Though this is not common because of the expense of doing so, if a pillowcrafter catches the eye of a man and he wishes to have her all to himself, he could pay the costs of her education and personal belongings, and thereby purchase her freedom so that she could leave the establishment forever, but then essentially be indebted to him for all eternity. She'd just have to hope he was nice, because if the price offered was high enough, the Mistress of the House may not let her have a say in whether or not she left with him.

The only other option for 'freedom' is simply being well loved by customers so that they give her expensive gifts, always requesting her over all others. Their adoration and affection might be enough to sustain her in her veritable prison. Though, it all just depends on how the pillowcrafter herself looks at the situation. Some may consider their life there a prison sentence, but others may relish the opportunity to learn how to be graceful, beautiful creatures, skilled in arts similarly to harpers, and at the same time adored by men.

Major rule of the Pillowcrafting House:
What is said inside these walls, stays inside these walls. The pillowcrafters are confidants of their customers and their silence is purchased with their services.

Hold Guard
(Color: varies Hold to Hold.)
For RoF use only.
Telgar: Dark Blue, White & deep, blood Red
Keroon: Green and Gold

:: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CRAFTS :: Bannerbarcenter_zpsa33c72d7
What if I want to be a...

Artist-Sure! There are plenty of mediums for artists! Designing furniture and clothing, painting patterns on cloth to create one of a kind fabric, designing tapestries, and in rare cases portrait painters just to name a few The truth is all the crafts have use for someone with a good eye and the ability to draw whether it’s a smith making schematics or a scribe harper.

Circus Performer-Those don't exist around here. The average Pernese simply doesn’t have the marks to waste on something so blatantly frivolous. Let alone the time to indulge it, though there are performers who entertain them at Gathers. Hold Harpers may also indulge them at other times. While there are probably some Harpers with acrobatic or other street-performing talents it’s not their “main” duty and probably amounts to that cool friend of yours who can do back flips.

Gypsy- Nope. When faced with the threat of Thread the traveling people either died, became traders, or assimilated into the Holds. They did not sing and dance for their dinner. See “Circus”.


Actor/Actress-Would be a skill used by Harpers but not necessarily their prime duty. There certainly are no “famous” actors renowned across Pern, though there may be a certain Harper who does a special performance you may have heard about or seen while at Gather, but notoriety is likely regional/ local.

Pirate-Yes, though they are referred to as Smugglers.

Inventor-Yes! Every craft could benefit from a creative mind wishing to improve things! Smiths especially are always tinkering with “toys” and making crazy useless eggshells. However keep in mind that for an active crafter this would be a hobby and possibly a passion but not their “job”.  

CREDITS: Compiled by Desh using these amazing resources.

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