Crafts and Crafthalls

Craft Ranks

Apprentice

Most children enter Crafthalls to Apprentice between the ages of ten and fourteen, though there are plenty who start later in life. Apprentice duties vary between crafts, but all Apprenticeships are entry-level. Apprentices are expected to learn basic theory and safety before they are allowed to practice. Think of Apprenticeship like a combination of primary and vocational school: children are taught the basics they need to know to succeed in the world (literacy, basic history, mathematics) during their early at the Crafthall. This is sometimes informally known as "junior apprentice," as opposed to "senior apprentice," which is where the basic training has given way to trade-specifics that crafters need to master in order to be considered competent to graduate to Journeyman through a process known as Walking the Tables.

On average, an Apprenticeship lasts seven to ten turns, which means that a majority of crafters walk the tables to Journeyman between seventeen and twenty-two.

Journeyman

When an apprentice is deemed competent at all basic, most intermediate, and some advanced aspects of their craft, they are allowed to Walk the Tables to Journeyman. A Journeyman crafter is Pern's equivalent of a skilled worker: they are judged to have absorbed all the skills necessary to operate independently of the Crafthall and would be able to run their own workshop in a Hold. Some Journeymen will remain at the Crafthall to teach lower-level classes to Apprentices, but most will take the newfound respect their rank gains and travel. Many establish themselves in minor Holds, where they may take on Hold students as apprentices, or find mentorship under a local Master Crafter, where they begin to specialize and hone their capabilities. While Journeymen are considered competent in and of themselves, it's not unusual for them to send particularly intricate or challenging jobs to Masters for completion or oversight.

Most crafters will remain Journeymen in perpetuity; those who do wish to seek their mastery should be prepared for perhaps a lifetime of study. On average, the youngest even a truly gifted crafter becomes a Master is thirty-five (older for crafts that require a high degree of specialization or training, like Healers and Harpers). This means that Journeymanship lasts a bare minimum of fourteen turns - usually it is upwards of twenty.

Master

A Journeyman who has chosen to devote themselves to achieving Mastery will generally specialize heavily for a decade or more. When they feel they're ready to try for Master rank, they'll produce a single body of work known as a Master-piece. What this piece entails will vary by craft: a Smith may produce an intricate piece of jewelry, a Harper may write a ballad or find a new way of cataloging tricky archives, and a Healer might write a paper on new methods of treatment for a specific illness. Once the Master-piece is finished, which generally takes at least five turns, the Journeyman will present their piece to the Master Crafters at their Crafthall. If they're judged worthy, they are granted Master rank.

Masters are generally expected to establish themselves in locales with other crafters that they can oversee, whether this is a Major Hold or remaining teachers at the Crafthall. Masters are expected to take apprentices and mentor Journeymen. As Master Crafters command high respect and thus high salaries, most minor Holds cannot afford them and make do with Journeymen.

There really isn't considered to be more advancement beyond Master. Though there's always a minute possibility that any Master may become Mastercrafter someday, it's not really something to which Masters are encouraged to aspire. They're at the top of their game. Why get greedy?

Mastercrafter

The Mastercrafter is the highest-ranked crafter in a discipline, the head of their respective Crafthall. Mastercrafter duties vary from craft to craft, depending on the discipline - some Craftmasters will be expected to remain hands-on Crafters even while overseeing the Crafthall and other duties, while others will be retired to administrative duties. Only one Crafter of a given discipline can be the Mastercrafter, and the position is generally held either until death or until the Mastercrafter chooses to step down. When the position is opened, the Masters still at the Hall convene to choose a new Mastercrafter. While the position is popularly-elected, it almost always goes to the eldest Master.

Crafts

Beastcraft

Beastcrafters cover a variety of disciplines, from the herdsmen to breeders to trainers, and even beasthealers - most of whom specialize in individual species or groups of species (hoofed animals, wherries, canines and felines, etc). Many Apprentice beastcrafters enter the craft with a lifetime of experience with animals, but Apprenticeship covers rudimentary anatomy and handling of many species. Journeyman beastcrafters usually choose both a species and an area of the craft to specialize in. Master Beastcrafters are also specialists, though the Masterbeastcrafter is expected to be a broad generalist, with decades of experience working with animals of all sorts.

At Discovery Weyr, beastcrafters are tasked primarily with tending the herds and domesticating new wildlife. Striders have become their primary focus.

Cookingcraft

Cookingcraft is a holdcraft, and thus lacks a crafthall and formal ranks. Most cookingcrafters learn in the kitchens of their home-Hold and never leave the walls - though those who begin in cotholds will generally need to move to a larger Hold should they want to advance. Cookingcrafters may be specialists, generalists, or even kitchen managers, depending on their proclivities and talents. Though the Cookingcraft lacks formal ranks, it's generally assumed that the rough ratio of turns is the same: cooks with fewer than seven turns' experience are considered novices, those with seven to twenty turns' are competent cooks capable of independent work, and above that are head cooks and kitchen administrators.

Dolphincraft

With the reintegration of dolphins into Pernese culture, the dolphincraft has experienced a booming renaissance over the past few centuries. Dolphineers work closely with sailors, assisting with both search-and-rescue and coast guard tasks, as well as collaborating with the healers on rudimentary ultrasound. Apprentice dolphineers learn dolphin anatomy and etiquette (and brush up on their swimming, if they're not already strong swimmers by the time they reach the hall). Journeyman dolphineers usually partner with a single dolphin (most frequently an adolescent male). Dolphin partnership is generally considered on-par with dragon or wher Impression, and a partnered journeyman dolphineer leaving the craft is strongly discouraged.

Because of the obvious impossibility of transporting them, there are no dolphins on the Green Star.

Farmcraft

All of Pern depends on agriculture, and the Farmcraft produces the only people who can keep it afloat. Every Major Hold and most Minor Holds demand a Master Farmer, and without Nerat training, a farmer is considered little better than the tools they use to till the fields. The Farmcraft teaches less about plants themselves, which can generally be found out on the fly or by asking the farmers themselves, and more about the practice of agriculture as a whole, focusing particularly on issues like irrigation, crop rotation, and soil quality. While all Holds maintain their own fields of local crops, Farmcraft Hall in fertile Nerat is where the majority of advances in agriculture arise. Additionally, the Farmcraft has significant control over the flow of spices and klahbark, securing them a curious position of amnesty among the jostling of the Resource War.

Glasscraft

Glasscrafters, frequently informally known as glass-smiths, have experienced a recent boom in the past several turns, supplying intricate work for many other disciplines. Glasscrafters make everything from the vials and jars of the Healers to the fiddly stills of the Vintners to the enormous lenses of the Starcrafters' largest telescopes. Perhaps the most impressive accomplishment of the glasscraft is corrective lenses for spectacles, which are still a relatively new technology and produced under consultation with both Healers and jewelry-focused Smiths.

Harpercraft

No craft on Pern is as diverse as the Harpercraft. The work of the Harpers incorporates music, record-keeping, diplomacy, and even spying, if the rumors are true. Harpers generally choose a track relatively early on, whether it's as an entertainer, a scribe, or something else. Harpers who specialize in music become entertainers, those who specialize in record-keeping become archivists tasked with organizing the records of their station, and those specializing in diplomacy or information-gathering are expected to be the last line of arbitration, serving as an impartial mediator for disputes that a Hold wishes to solve without enlisting the "peacekeeping" forces of Pern's dragonriders.

While Harpers in large Holds with many other Harpers enjoy the ability to specialize, those in smaller holds must be generalists. A Hold-Harper for a Minor Hold or Cothold will need to be able to provide musical entertainment on demand, arbitrate disputes, play witness to marriages and other important events, and maintain whatever annual records there may be.

The Archivists at Harper Hall maintain a working partnership with the Printercraft, sending handwritten documents to Lemos to be printed into books and offering certain diplomatic privileges and immunities in return.

Healercraft

Healercraft is unique in that walking the tables to Journeyman is not considered an adequate end of study. In fact, upon becoming Journeymen, most Healers stay at Healer Hall for another five to ten turns to hone their skills. Apprentice Healers are not permitted to diagnose patients, and their experience in the Hall's Infirmary is limited to mostly observation, rather than practice. During Apprenticeship, most time is devoted to studying anatomy, medicinal plants and their properties, and learning the various processes inherent in the most common medical procedures. Upon Walking the Tables, Journeymen are allowed to begin diagnostics and treatment, first under strict supervision and then by themselves with regular contact from a supervisor. Journeymen will generally be proclaimed competent after several years of supervised independent practice at Healer Hall, and only then will they be allowed to establish practices at outside Holds.

The rediscovery of AIVAS led to some immense medical leaps for Healer Hall, but only in chunks. Rediscovery of simple processes to create sterile environments and surgery techniques has led to an increase in the ability of Healers to perform life-saving surgeries and blood transfusions, but such processes on Pern are still viewed with suspicion because of the inherent risk. A majority of Healercraft still revolves around herbal remedies and apothecary work, though the records from AIVAS have shed light on why certain plants have the effects that they do.

Minecraft

The Minecraft supplies Pern with the raw materials it needs for nearly all its other crafts. Metal, gems, firestone, coal, and crude oil or petroleum products are all dug up by miners, to be processed, refined, and stored at the Minecraft Hall. There was a time before the Resource War when Minecraft was considered the most profitable Craft on Pern, and Minecrafters were deeply respected - in part because of the difficulty of the profession. Casualties are an inevitability for miners, and it has the highest casualty rate of any true Craft. Wherhandling is encouraged among miners, with miner-handlers considered invaluable. A miner or company of miners with a wher will never want for jobs, and Crom's mining-whers are considered their own line, highly in-demand across Pern. The sale of wher eggs has become a secondary source of income for miner-handlers who have fallen on hard times.

Now, with resources dwindling, the last few profitable locations in the mountains surrounding Telgar and Crom have become hotly-contested territory, and Miners are caught in the middle of it. Caught in the midst of the Resource War, the Minecraft is in an incredibly precarious position. With Crom Hold under the control of Telgar forces, the Minecraft has been forcibly restricted from much of its open trade. Resources from the Hall, which may once have gone out all over Pern, has been diverted to Telgar and the Smithcraft, sparking a boom in the business of smuggling and making the Minecraft a dangerous and often-unprofitable profession. Many miners are pushing back, and riots are a periodic reality of life at Minecraft Hall.

Plastic-craft

A true AIVAS-craft cobbled together from records and still in its infancy, the plastic-craft is little-understood beyond its ability to occasionally produce uncommonly-durable simple goods. Plastic-craft has a contentious relationship in Pern's current environment, as their craft is seen as frivolous and experimental but requires the same raw materials that the Smiths and Technicians need to run their generators. A lack of sufficient petroleum products to create the materials for raw plastic means that plastic goods are generally considered a luxury item, and though PVC exists, it is uncommon to see it outside of Southern, where the Hall is located, or the homes of the very rich.

Printercraft

With Thread abolished, forests have flourished on Pern, leading to the adoption of paper goods as a preferable alternative to hides for written materials. The invention of the movable-type printing press led to an explosion of cheap book production, and also the establishment of the Printercraft, which is loosely affiliated with both the Woodcraft and the Harpercraft.

Seacraft

Formerly known as the fishercraft, the seacraft came about when Fishercraft Hall finally absorbed the fleet of shipwrights and navigators that sprung up in the ports surrounding Tillek. Seacrafters generally choose early on in Apprenticeship whether they want to learn to build ships or learn to sail them, and the two paths diverge almost immediately. As long as the Northern and Southern Continents trade, there will be shipwrights supplying a way to move goods. Most Seacraft-trained sailors still take to the oceans as fishermen, but plenty are also explorers and navigators - and more than a few are smugglers, making the most of what they have in these difficult times.

Smithcraft

"Smithcraft" is a surprisingly broad category for a discipline that covers dozens of specialized areas. In general, smithing can be broken down into two broad categories: stonesmithing and metalsmithing. Stonesmiths, also known as masons, are excavators, sculptors, and carvers. It is stonesmiths who oversee the building and excavation of Holds, and who operate the quarries that supply the stone needed for Pernese civilization to remain Threadproof (less necessary in recent times, but old habits die hard). Metalsmiths provide various metal goods, ranging from the tiniest gears for technicians' timepieces to the enormous metal bands required for the Starcrafters' telescopes. Apprentices are expected to choose a focus in either stonesmithing or metalsmithing, but beyond that it can take many turns to become firmly settled in a specialty.

Working with the few Technicians willing to smuggle records to them, a small contingent of metalsmiths have managed to cobble together rudimentary muskets operated on gunpowder derived through clever manipulation of firestone. They're primitive and metal-intensive, making them unsustainable, but Telgar Hold, the Smithcraft's current 'owner,' doesn't need many, it just needs to be the only army holding them.

Starcraft

After the Techcraft, the Starcraft has experienced the fastest growth since its inception shortly before AIVAS' discovery. While it was Harpers who discovered the first records of the Green Star, it has since been Starcrafters who charted its place in the sky, as well as its general patterns, according to what they found in the AIVAS documents. Starcrafters work both at night, tracking the movement of stellar bodies to ensure the Red Star's continued stability in a different orbit, and during the day, as meteorologists. Weather-prediction, while still in its fledglinghood, is considered the most valuable aspect of the Starcraft, and a Starcrafter with a knack for it will be in high demand anywhere on Pern.

Since AIVAS provided them with the most sophisticated means possible to track the movements of the stars (and chart the movements of other planets in their system), Starcrafters have fled the instability of their temporary base of operations in Benden Weyr and taken refuge at Landing Weyrhold with the Technicians who make their telescopes.

Tannercraft

Tannercraft is one of the crafts that AIVAS technology couldn't change at all. In lieu of access to advanced sources of tannic acid, tanners still rely on the same by-hand methods for tanning that they always have. Hides are salted, cured, and soaked in various chemicals (sometimes including urine or other foul-smelling liquids) to remove various debris from them, before being pounded and worked into pliable leather. Most commonly, tanners prepare herdbeast leather and wherhide. The former is less expensive, but the latter is significantly sturdier, and comes ready-prepared in a variety of attractive colors. Tanners can sometimes be cagey about where they get hides, but since feral and wild whers, as well as culled young whers, are relatively common on Pern, it can be assumed that there's no wherhide black market.

Tannercraft also encompasses certain aspects of leatherworking, including cutting it to custom sizes for riding straps and even some minor work on things like belts and bags. Most tanners are also leatherworkers of varying levels of skill, and some older tanners are capable of taking a hide through every step from slaughter to jacket.

Techcraft

It was the job of the technicians to mine AIVAS's information banks and attempt to salvage as much information as possible for the Harper archivists. With AIVAS dead and any remaining technology lost, technicians have become responsible for keeping what they did learn as alive as possible. Technicians maintain the archives that the printers were able to reproduce of AIVAS's data-banks and oversee things like irrigation systems and generators. Additionally, they are responsible for the construction of various sundry items which encompass fabrication parts from various crafts. Technicians assemble both timepieces and telescopes from goods sent to them by Smithcraft and Glasscraft hall, and are responsible for the development of new mechanical items.

While Technicians were originally responsible for the modification of dragons and whers, genetic modification has fallen out of favor with dragonkin populations rising, and the materials necessary to do it have been mostly retired from use, restricted primarily to Journeymen and Master technicians for small-scale research projects and housed exclusively in Landing.

AIVAS's contribution to Pern has been curiously lopsided: while it was "alive," technicians managed to learn to tinker with the dragon genome and build generators, but the Pernese still use dragons and firelizards to send messages, rely primarily on herbal remedies for medicine, and have only recently invented the printing press.

Vintnercraft

Vintners don't just produce wine, though the drink is the source of their craft's name. Depending on the inclination of the vintner, a course of study can focus primarily on wines and brandies (Benden-bred vintners often focus on this, and the Mastervintner is almost always a winemaker), beers (Weyrbred and Weyr-situated vintners often focus on this, and many Weyrs still engage in annual beer-brewing competitions), or even spirits distilled in fussy contraptions custom-ordered from Glasscraft Hall. In places where fruit does not readily grow, grain- and tuber-based liquors are popular, and a good distiller can make something alcoholic out of just about anything. Benden's wines are considered the finest, but most Pernese locales have some minor alcoholic claim to fame.

Vintners on the Green Star are still learning what is and is not fermentable, but rest assured there have been some exciting experiments along the way.

Weavercraft

Not much has changed for Weavercraft Hall since the ninth pass, with the exception of the development of some advanced dying techniques. Spinning, looms and embroidery still dominate the technology of the Weavercraft. The creation of fabric and clothing is a multi-step process and many weavers stationed at the Crafthall will specialize in only one or a few steps, whether it's spinning and weaving or dyeing or sewing. Hold-weavers often lack the opportunity to become such specialists, and may be expected to create entire garments from scratch, or nearly from scratch (they may buy fibers or pre-dyed fabric directly from the Hall). Additionally, a very few weavers specialize in rope and other non-cloth goods.

Linen, wool, cotton, and mohair are Pern's primary fabrics. Sisal is its primary rope fiber. There is no silk on Pern.

Woodcraft

With Thread gone, the lush earth around Lemos Hold has given way to a verdant forest, and the Woodcraft's business has boomed. Originally a minor Hall-craft dealing with minor logging and carpentry, the Woodcraft has grown its own sprawling Crafthall complex, where crafters are taught everything from the recognition of tree diseases to proper logging technique, to woodworking, to papermaking - though the latter is a relatively new process and generally reserved for journeymen and particularly gifted apprentices. As Pern's only paper source, Woodcraft Hall also plays host to Printer Hall, and enjoys a favorable working relationship with Harper Hall because of it.

Crafthalls

While every craft is practiced to greater or lesser degrees in nearly every Hold on Pern, most of them also share a central locus known as a Crafthall. A Crafthall is generally a physical location that contains the greatest concentration of crafters within that discipline. While every Crafthall is different depending on discipline, all of them share certain key characteristics. Likely Craft prospects, usually after being evaluated by a local Hold's Crafter, are sent to the Crafthall to study more formally, and Crafthalls oversee the distribution of rank knots. Practitioners of Hall-crafts cannot walk the Tables outside of a Crafthall.

On Pern

  • Beastcraft Hall is located at Keroon
  • Cookingcraft is a holdcraft and thus lacks a crafthall
  • Dolphincraft Hall is located at Kahrain
  • Farmcraft Hall is located at Nerat
  • Glasscraft Hall is located at Ista
  • Harper Hall is located at Fort
  • Healer Hall is located at Fort
  • Minecraft Hall is located at Crom
  • Plastic-craft Hall is located at Southern
  • Printer Hall is located at Lemos
  • Seacraft Hall is located at Tillek
  • Smithcraft Hall is located at Telgar
  • Starcraft Hall is located at Landing
  • Tannercraft Hall is located at Igen
  • Technicians' Hall is located at Landing
  • Vintnercraft Hall is located at Benden
  • Weavercraft Hall is located at Southern Boll
  • Woodcraft Hall is located at Lemos

On the Green Star

There is only one formal Crafthall on the Green Star: the Beastcraft Hall is located across the lake from Discovery Weyr. The Beastcraft is currently the only discipline with enough practitioners on the planet to warrant a full Hall to themselves, and Beastcraft Hall has quickly established itself under the watchful eye of Master Beastcrafter Wenn. All other crafts on the Green Star are currently limited to a smaller number of skilled Crafters and relegated to workshops and quarters on the riverbanks near the Weyr.

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