CRAFT CORNER: SMITHS

Smithcraft Color: Red
 
Smithcraft Badge: A bright red anvil on a white field
 
Main Smithcrafthall: North of Telgar
(Note: Please remember that the use of the Smithcrafthall at Telgar in posts requires Council approval.)


[ General Craft Information | Technological Standards | On Becoming a Smith | Offshoots and Subspecialties ]
[ Metal Smiths | Stone Smiths | Glass Smiths | Star Smiths | Wood Smiths | Prices ]

General Craft Information

The Smithcraft is one of the most respected and most varied crafts on Pern with a large number of offshoots and subspecialties. It works closely together with the Minecraft, which supplies the raw materials like iron ore and blackstone (also called Cromcoal since most of it is coming out of Crom's coal mines). Out of these raw materials, the Smithcraft manufactures the tools that the other crafts need to do their work.

Smithcrafters use a combination of working with mind and hands to design and craft things that make life on Pern easier. They want to know how things work and they constantly strive to make them work more efficiently. It is their curiosity and never-ending search for efficiency that makes the Smithcraft one of the most inventive of the crafts on Pern, constantly improving old and developing new techniques to make the best use of the precious raw materials.


Technological Standards

During the Ninth Pass before the discovery of AIVAS.

Since the earliest days on Pern, Smithcrafters have made use of water-driven wheels to run heavy machinery. Numerous inventions and rediscoveries have shaped the Smithcraft during the Ninth Pass. The Smithcraft have re-created distance-viewers (telescopes) and small-seers (microscopes), invented the distance-writer by combining litmus paper oscillographs with telegraphy, copied the Oldtimers' flamethrowers, and done chemical research resulting in the use of acid batteries as power source for the distance-writer and agenothree (nitric acid = HNO3) to fight Thread burrows.


On Becoming a Smith

The apprenticeship of the Smithcraft is one of the longest on Pern. 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.

Journeymen have gained the skill and knowledge to manufacture all the tools they need and do most of the heavy work and everyday smithy jobs. They work up to their mastery by specializing in their choice of subspecialty.

The Masters of the craft have perfected their skills in the subspecialty of their choice and spend most of their time engineering and supervising larger and more complicated projects. They constantly think about ways to improve existing techniques and solve new problems, occasionally coming up with the new inventions that make the Smithcraft one of Pern's most progressive crafts.


Offshoots and Subspecialties of the Smithcraft

Metal Smiths

Although all metalsmiths work with metal, there are many different subspecialties in this field. Aside from tools, machinery, household items and jewelry, the metalsmiths also provide the metal sheets that are used as a Thread-proof cover on roofs, wagons and ships and build the flamethrowers used in the battle against Thread. All smiths are expected to learn how to make these things; while Smiths can specialize, in most holds there is less need for specialists.

Stone Smiths

This branch of the Smithcraft works closely together with the masons from the Minecraft in constructing the buildings on Pern. They are the architects of Pern and need an excellent understanding of physics and materials to do the stress analyses of the stone and foundations and provide plans that guarantee that the finished building will stand solidly and not crumble in on itself. Some stonesmiths specialize on creating decorative stonework.

Glass Smiths

The Glasscraft is an offshoot of the Smithcraft, producing not only glass and lead crystal but also ceramics and porcelain. Apprentices interested in this branch of the craft start out by grinding limestone, sifting sand and working the bellows at the forges used by the Journeymen doing the glassblowing. Most Masters have their special recipes for mixing the raw materials for glass melting which they guard jealously like the vintners guard their wine recipes. The glass products made by the Glasscraft range from flasks and bottles to windowpanes to more sophisticated items like lenses for distance-viewers (telescopes) and small-seers (microscopes), which are made by Masters specializing in optics.

Star Smiths

The Starcraft is a recent offshoot from the Glasscraft. With the help of the re-invented distance-viewers, Starcrafters create charts of the skies around Pern and have made astonishing discoveries, such as the fact that the so-called Dawn Sisters visible over Southern Pern are man-made objects. The Starcraft is also involved in intense study of the Red Star, trying to dissect its role in the recurrence of Threadfall on Pern and improving the charts predicting the time and location of Threadfall. The main products of the Starcraft are accurate Threadfall charts as well as detailed maps of the skies over Pern and equipment used in charting the skies, which have practical use for the Seacraft as navigation aids. Some Starcrafters also try to predict atmospheric conditions and provide weather charts.

Wood Smiths

This off-shoot of the Smithcraft is treated as a separate craft with its own Crafthall in the Dragonriders Club.

Prices

The following is a list of prices for a few Smithcraft items at the Ierne Island Weyrsmithy, based on the approximate value of a Pernese mark. This is a guideline only, haggling is expected.

Kitchen Supplies and Household Items:

Locks and Keys:

Toiletry Items & Jewelry:

Runnershoes:

Glassware:

Compiled by Annkatrin Rose and Graeme Miller based on The Dragonlover's Guide to Pern by Jody Lynn Nye.
Last update: 21-Aug-05

Dragonriders of Pern: A Fantasy-Fiction Writing Club - www.dragonridersclub.com

The Dragonriders of PernŽ is registered U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, by Anne McCaffrey, used here with permission. Use or reproduction without a license is strictly prohibited.