The crafts of Pern have undergone reorganization in the years since AIVAS and been consolidated into three major colleges, which are divided into halls, and then crafts. Each College has a Headmaster, who is advised by the Hallmasters of each hall, and they each have their craftmasters that report to them. Each craft is permitted to have three Signs that are preferred; these students get first priority when being admitted for apprenticeships or when being promoted. Each craft also has two Signs that are banned from the craft. If a craftmaster wishes to admit a student from a banned Sign, they have to get approval from their Hallmaster, then the Headmaster of the college must get special dispensation from the local Starhold. This almost never happens.
Though each college has a sort of main campus, and a few major secondary ones, most crafts have a least a few representatives in all the major and minor holdings. All apprentices however, are taught at either the main facility, or one of the secondary campuses, to keep the integrity of each craft.
The College of Science and Art.
The College of Science and Art sits across from Fort Hold, where Harper and Healer Hall sat in times past. Many of the old buildings remain, and the subjects taught are much the same. The secondary hall is located at Cove Hold.
The Arts Hall:
Housed in the old Harper Hall complex, this is where fine and performing arts are taught.
Dancers’ Hall: A rather new craft that is all the rage with the wealthy and emerging middle class of Pern. They teach variations of what we might call ballet and modern dance to use in performance, as well as offering specialties in acrobatics and acting. Some students even become dance instructors to the wealthy, teaching them the latest moves to impress guests at their fancy parties.
Preferred signs: crane, dolphin, harp
Banned signs: bear, furnace
Painters’ Hall: Despite the name, the painters’ hall doesn’t just teach painting. Drawing and sculpting of all kinds are also practiced here. This craft had very few practitioners before AIVAS, as it was considered a sort of frivolous hobby a holder’s son might have. Nowadays, though some still might consider it a somewhat wasteful profession, there is plenty of employment, and even respect, available to the truly talented.
Preferred signs: chisel, chameleon, harp
Banned signs: bear, rabbit
Musicians’ Hall: Musicians have fallen from grace a bit since the days when harpers were the teachers, arbiters, musicians and spies of Pern. Now the hall is entirely focused on the teaching, composition, and performance of music. It’s hard to make money as a musician without a wealthy patron, though you can always get by teaching the children of the well-to-do. A few people in the craft turn to the making of instruments rather than the playing of them.
Preferred signs: harp, dolphin, fox
Banned signs: crow, bear
The Education Hall:
A post AIVAS addition to the complex, this hall was built to accommodate the changing learning requirements of Pern. There is a secondary hall at Landing next to the AIVAS complex.
Teachers’ Hall: The teachers are responsible for educating the children of Pern, starting at age four, and continuing to age twelve, and sometimes beyond. They focus on reading, writing, and arithmetic, but also teach Pern geography, politics and culture, survival skills, and basic skills of many crafts.
Preferred signs: crane, crow, harp
Banned signs: fox, furnace
Scribes’ Hall: Scribes are the historians of Pern. They keep the records, not only writing them down, but keeping them preserved for future generations, and making copies to distribute. After their apprenticeship, they are assigned to a Hold or Hall to keep the records there. Some also use their skills as the steward of a Hold or Hall.
Preferred signs: crow, chameleon, crane
Banned signs: furnace, dolphin
Printmakers’ Hall: The printmakers make paper, do typesetting, print books, fliers, and pamphlets, and also practice bookbinding and repair. This craft has been much in demand since AIVAS, so the craft is quite busy, and the crafters are fairly popular. They have some cross-training with scribes, teachers and woodcarvers.
Preferred Signs: Crow, Chisel, Crane
Banned Signs: Furnace, Rabbit
The Hall of Medicine:
This hall teaches and nourishes the study of the health of both men and beasts. After AIVAS, they have specialized more and the craft of veterinarian split from beastcrafting to benefit from the healing arts perfected by humans. Sadly though, the dragon healing craft has mostly been lost.
Surgeon’s Hall- Surgeons specialize in the workings of the human organs, and the repair and removal of these parts, as well as the repair of complex fractures. They need to be focused, intelligent, and steady of hand.
Preferred Signs: Crane, Crow, Chisel
Banned Signs: Bear, Fox
Veterinarian’s Hall- These are the healers of animals, both livestock and companions. They do surgery, vaccinations, and healing of illnesses and injuries. Compassion and intelligence are both important for this craft.
Preferred signs: Foal, Rabbit, Dolphin
Banned Signs: Bear, Furnace
Nurse’s Hall- Nurses are the closest to the Healers of old. They do the most traveling, and perform most routine care, such as vaccinations, treatment of illness, and first aid. They also assist doctors and midwives with their more difficult cases.
Preferred Signs: Rabbit, Harp, Foal
Banned Signs: Furnace, Arrow
Midwifery Hall- This crafts deals primarily with pregnancy and childbirth, though they do handle other gynecological concerns occasionally, especially when related to infertility. Most midwives are women, and they must have both a cool head and a caring heart.
Preferred Signs: Rabbit, Harp, Dolphin
Banned Signs: Furnace, Chisel
Herbalists’ Hall- This hall deal with the growing of medicinal herbs and the preparing of those herbs in tinctures, balms, poultices, salves etc. They have some cross-training and apprentice exchange with the Hall of Agriculture,
Preferred Signs: Chisel, Crane, Foal
Banned Signs: Arrow, Dolphin
College of Skilled Trades.
The Hall of Agriculture:
Charged with the growth of food as well as the care of Pern’s livestock, this craft is one of the most important as well as the one that most Pernese have contact with nearly every day. It’s not considered very glamorous, or requiring of particular intelligence, but the crafters are given respect because of how vital they are to Pern’s survival.
Agronomists’ Hall- Agronomists are tasked with the health and welfare of Pern’s crops. Of course, Holders do most of the actual farming, but the agronomists breed plants to find better types of crops. They also test the soil and recommend fertilizers, pest control and water regimens to those looking for better output. One of their biggest specialties involves the grafting of fruit trees to produce the proper variants.
Preferred signs: Rabbit, Foal, Bear
Banned Signs: Crow, Dolphin
Animal Husbandry and Herding Hall- These folk care for the beasts of Pern, not healing as veterinarians do, but feeding and caring for them day to day, as well as managing their breeding and training for specialized tasks. Any hold bigger than a cot will have at least a journeyman on hand, and nearly all major holds have a master as well as all his students.
Preferred signs: Foal, Rabbit, Arrow
Banned Signs: Furnace, Crane
Foresters’ Hall: This is a craft that is fairly new, formalized about a hundred turns after AIVAS shut down. These intrepid individuals go into the forests of Pern to harvest lumber. Having learned from the mistakes of earth, they do this in a very selective, sustainable fashion. They also are hunters, hunting the deer, foxes, rabbits, wolves, and even bears and large cats that were seeded across the planet when AIVAS directed the Pernese to the frozen egg stores.
Preferred signs: Bear, Arrow, Fox
Banned Signs: Rabbit, Crane
Hall of Engineers:
Engineers are the builders, designers, and metalworkers of Pern. They prefer those who are intelligent, creative, and determined, and, being more scientifically minded, the engineers are slightly more open-minded about accepting people based on their abilities rather than their Sign. The main hall is in Telgar, but Crom, Drake’s Lake, and Landing have large secondary halls, and every major hold has at least a small forge.
Metalsmiths’ Hall- Metalsmiths are those that work the forges. But making armor and weapons are just the tip of the iceberg for them. Mostly they craft jewelry, cookware, and components for various machinery as the forging of weapons in this time of peace in considered somewhat taboo, except as ornaments for the very wealthy.
Preferred Signs: Furnace, Bear, Chisel
Banned Signs: Rabbit, Crane
Gearsmiths’ Hall- Gearsmiths aren’t forgers of metal, but makers of machines. They design and build everything from watches to the great steam-powered ships, and are always trying to invent new useful gadgets.
Preferred Signs: Furnace, Chisel, Crow
Banned Signs: Rabbit, Bear
Miners’ Hall- Miners dig the precious ores and minerals from the ground, like coal, iron, copper, silver and gold, that are used by the craftsmen and citizens alike. Though they often use prisoners for the hardest, most dangerous labor, there still must be those to find the ores, build the mines, and supervise to ensure safe extraction. The Miners Hall also does the refining and smelting of some alloys.
Preferred Signs: Bear, Furnace, Foal
Banned Signs: Rabbit, Crane
Architects’ Hall- The crafters here design buildings, bridges, dams, and roads, as well as supervise the building of their projects. They also will gladly demolish old buildings, as they have a small sub craft in conjunction with the Miners that specializes in explosives.
Preferred Signs: Chisel, Crow, Crane
Banned Signs: Rabbit, Dolphin
Computerists’ Hall- The Computerists are the only Hall with only one location, the AIVAS complex near landing. That is where all the computer terminals are located. The crafters main duty is to keep the machines in good repair and to teach regular Pernese how to use them, but they will also help other crafts with doing research. It is a small craft, with some ties to the Scribes’ Hall.
Preferred Signs: Crow, Crane, Chameleon
Banned Signs: Bear, Arrow
The Hall of Nautical Skills:
This Hall is just what it sounds like. Everything to do with the Sea is taught here. The main Hall is in Tillek Hold, but there are smaller halls at Ista Hold, Southern Boll Hold, Cove Hold, and Southern Hold. And pretty much every Hold with coastline has a few ships in the harbor.
Fishers’ Hall: The men and women of this hall are brave and hardworking. The life of a fisher is a dangerous one, with the storms and shipwrecks, threats of disease, injury, and drowning, and its usually only seasonal work, involving a lot of moving around. They don’t usually have close family ties.
Preferred Signs: Dolphin, Crane, Bear
Banned Signs: Fox, Furnace
Sailors’ Hall: Sailors man the ships that transport both people and goods as well as the larger fishing vessels. They need to be adventurous as well as sure-footed, and have a good sense of direction. Seasickness and fear of heights are understandably undesirable.
Preferred Signs: Dolphin, Arrow, Fox
Banned Signs: Rabbit, Furnace
Shipbuilders’ Hall: The name if this hall is pretty self-explanatory. These people build ships, a craft that requires strength and precise planning in equal measure. Building a ship takes a long time, and they’re always in demand, so you’ll never want for work.
Preferred Signs: Chisel, Chameleon, Foal
Banned Signs: Furnace, Crane
Guild of Merchants and Goods:
This guild is an alliance of crafts, each craft having somewhat more autonomy than crafts in other halls. These crafts deal with trade, communication, and crafts that produce saleable goods, as well as a few miscellaneous trades. Many of these were informal crafts with no hall or formal training system until after AIVAS. There is no main Hall, though there has been some talk of erecting one at Southern Hold, but every major and minor hold place host to a few members of at least one or two of these crafts.
Guild of Commerce:
This hall governs merchants, gemsmiths and runners, a diverse group to be sure, but all vitally important to the trade of Pern.
Merchants’ Guild- In the past, most trade used to come directly through Crafthalls or from the nomadic Traders, but now the Merchants’ Guild has its fingers in every pie. Traders were nearly made extinct by the Turns of conflict, and those that survived founded this Guild. Although crafts still do direct commissions, they sell a good portion of their marketable goods to the merchants for a set fee. In turn, this guild operates stalls in the town markets, and at gathers, as well as traveling wagons and trade caravans.
Preferred Signs- Arrow, Crow, Foal
Banned Signs- Fox, Crane
Gemsmiths’ Hall- Though it seems like gemsmiths might belong in the engineering, or the luxury halls, they allied with the merchants in order to retain their independence and use the trade network to connect them with wealthy connoisseurs. They control every part of the process from scouting for likely sources, to mining, cutting, setting, and selling the finished piece.
Preferred Signs: Chisel, Crane, Crow
Banned Signs: Bear, Furnace
Runners’ Hall-The Runners were officially organized as a craft soon after the final Pass, partly in order to help the compete against the sudden availability of dragons and firelizards as couriers. Though they might be slow, they are still considered the most reliable and discreet method of communication after the loss of dragonriders, especially considering their low cost. They’ve become a bit more formal of late, slowly morphing into a sort of primitive post office.
Preferred Signs: Arrow, Foal, Rabbit
Banned Signs: Crane, Bear
Hall of Luxuries.
This group of crafts deals in the production of goods considered inessential for daily life, elevating them into the realm of artwork. They have a large Hall in Ruatha, but also many secondary halls, including the main headquarters for the Glasscrafters in Igen.
Weavers’ Hall: The weavers spin the fibers of cotton, flax, silk, hemp and other materials into threads and cloth. They also make tapestries, quilts and other linens, some simple, and some elaborate. Weavers are traditionally women, but their most important attributes are creativity, patience, and precision.
Preferred Signs: Crane, Chameleon, Harp
Banned Signs: Furnace, Arrow
Leatherworkers’ Hall: This craft in considered a rather unpleasant one, due to the constant smell of the curing vats. But it is very necessary for the creation of clothing, saddles and tack for herdbeasts and runners, various sacks and containers, and other uses. They also make winter gear and bed furs. Their craft used to be more in demand when they made all the riding gear and suits for dragonriders.
Preferred Signs: Foal, Bear, Chameleon
Banned Signs: Crane, Harp
Glasscrafters’ Hall: Those in this craft need to be careful, creative and very heat resistant. They make everything from utilitarian bottles and windows to beautiful stained glass and decorative vases. They also have a small sub-craft specializing in ceramics.
Preferred Signs: Chisel, Furnace, Chameleon
Banned Signs: Bear, Rabbit
Woodcarvers’ Hall: Woodcarvers don’t just sit around whittling trinkets. They cut logs into planks and fashion furniture, cabinetry, farm tools and machine parts, as well as toys and art. Some apprentices move into the musicians’ hall to make instruments, and some go to the printers’ hall as paper- makers.
Preferred Signs: Chameleon, Chisel, Crane
Banned Signs: Furnace, Dolphin
Vintners’ Hall- The craft of Viniculture is one of the oldest on Pern. Secrets are closely guarded, and still this craft tends to run in a few families. Benden Hold still produces the best white wine anywhere, but some of the Southern Holds are becoming well- regarded.
Preferred Signs: Harp, Fox, Rabbit
Banned Signs: Furnace, Crow
Hall of the Hearth:
The Hearth crafts are a group of professions, that for the most part, were once taught informally. But with the growing population after AIVAS, it was decided that they needed to become more organized. These crafts are dominated by women even now, and don’t have much prestige, but they are vital to everyday life.
Tailors’ Hall: The tailors take the fabrics made by the weavers and embroider, embellish, and sew it into beautiful clothing. Apprentices mostly do mending and alterations, while the masters create beautiful gowns and tunics worn by the most fashionable and wealthy of Pernese society. Many people, especially women, only complete an apprenticeship before returning home to marry, as most small holds do their own mending and sewing.
Preferred Signs: Crane, Chameleon, Rabbit
Banned Signs: Fox, Arrow
Childcare Hall: Many folk find this craft to be too common to even deserve the name, but in the major Holds and Crafthalls, nearly all children are raised in a communal crèche by members of this craft. Though the craft is in its infancy, those that get past jr. Journeyman spend a lot of time researching the best methods of child development, resulting in much better care methods of late.
Preferred Signs: Rabbit, Harp, Dolphin
Banned Signs: Furnace, Fox
Culinary Hall: Once an informal craft passed down from cooks to their protégés in each hold, cooking has now gone global, resulting in exciting blends of regional favors as well as the revitalization of old traditions. Masters of the craft are placed at the wealthiest Holds to preside over the the most talented journeymen.
Preferred Signs: Furnace, Bear, Rabbit
Banned Signs: Crow, Fox
Homecrafts Hall: This hall serves as a repository for all the small crafts that have no other home and usually no more than one master per craft. Crafts like perfumery, candle-making, pottery, soapmaking, firelizard, canine and feline breeding, and beadwork find a home here, along with many others. This is also the only Crafthall with no preferred sign or banned sign. Each master chooses their own apprentices and they make the petition to the Starhold together.
Guards’ Barracks- The Barracks is the training ground for both guards and wherhandlers, professions that often overlap. Here they are given weapons training, military discipline, reconnaissance and defense tactics, and also given a chance to Bond a wher. Some few also come from other crafts, like mining and even midwifery come to try for whers as well, and each new wherling receives training from the Wherwoman. There are several Barracks on Pern, and there are rumors that the Starholds also have their own whers.
Preferred Signs: Bear, Furnace, Arrow
Banned Signs: Fox, Crane
There is one Crafthall that you won’t find on any official records. Only spoken of in whispers and rumors, the Nighthall deals with the kind of professions that most Pernese don’t want out in the light of day, assassins, spies, thieves, and pillowcrafters. All these are taught in the secretive confines of the Nighthall, often at the same time.
Like the Starcraft, they get a lot of their recruits as young unwanted children, anywhere from birth to age ten, but they prefer orphans when they can get them. In fact, they have been known to recruit the children of their assassination victims rather than kill them.
Wherever they come from, training starts as young as five with the recruits learning the skills of acrobatics and pickpocketing as well as physical conditioning and the same lessons that the education guild would be teaching. The children are raised in a very competitive atmosphere, given affection and praise only when they are the best. Everything about the training is meant to encourage self-reliance, resourcefulness and a perhaps less than healthy distrust in human beings.
As the skill of the recruit grows they begin training as a spy, learning how to remain unobserved, how to ferret information out of people without a rousing suspicion, and how to analyze small clues to develop a deeper understanding of a situation. Finally, training in assassination begins in the late teens. This is done one on one with an experienced mentor, starting with the trainee watching the recruit at their work.
All members are taught the arts of seduction as part of their assassin training, but less than half of the recruits will become pillowcrafters. The cheap sort that you find in the average dive bar are those that were too clumsy, dumb, squeamish etc to do the work of the Nighthall. But there are also those courtesans that serve the Lords and occasionally ladies of Pern, and these are of a completely different class, those so beautiful or talented that it would be a shame to waste them on anything else. Both are a valuable source of income and information for the Hall.
It is possible that the Nighthall may know that dragons still survive, but if they do, they have not divulged the secret.