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Old Oct 17 2009, 12:56 AM   #6
ElectricDragon
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Default Re: Possible List Of Hold Foundings

My take on this issue from a previous thread:

"The established order of founding has always been Fort, Benden, High Reaches, Igen, Ista and Telgar.

I could easily see the six sites being identified very early on, as well as many of the 15 sites associated with the classic major holds. But that doesn't mean they were founded rapidly. We know that places like Crom came along much later.

Fort was definitely first among the holds and before holds were established outside Fort Weyr's territory, Southern Boll and Ruatha were established. The next place we know was settled was Tillek (which falls under High Reaches eventual jurisdiction) and Benden (creating the obvious need for an eastern Weyr). At this point there aren't roads throughout Pern...except for the sea and rivers. So a logical settlement pattern would follow these natural features. Continuing to spread from Fort and these first daughter holds, the next likely places to settle would be High Reaches, Ista, Igen, and Nerat. Next, pushing up rivers would be Nabol, up the Crom river, Lemos up the Igen river, and Bitra, up the Benden river.

Keroon's an odd-ball. If it has ready access to the coast, it might have been settled in the same wave as High Reaches.

Crom and Telgar are very far upriver. We know Crom came along late, and Telgar also presents difficulties as an early settlement site because there is obviously something wrong with the "Great Dunto River." There isn't a single settlement noted anywhere on the western branch, nothing short of Telgar itself on the central branch and nothing short of Campbell's Field on the eastern branch. We know Telgar would be a desirable place for a hold (and it would appear that at least limited mining started there early), but getting there would be a bear overland. So the path to Telgar is up the Great Dunto, but something tells me there is a problem with cataracts along that stream. So it would make sense for Telgar to be one of the last major holds, and providing coverage for late-founded holds like Crom and Telgar would logically make Telgar Weyr the last to be established.

It's also possible that the settlers overreached themselves. They may have set out to occupy all these sites immediately and may have been forced to scale back and/or abandon their plans. It's also highly likely that they would have been unable in the early years to support six Weyrs of dragons, perhaps also forcing a delay in the establishment of certain Weyrs.

Given the logical settlement pattern, it would make sense for Benden to be the second Weyr and for the stated purpose, thereby providing continental coverage split east/west between Benden and Fort, especially given Benden's great size. Continued overcrowding at Fort would create an impetus to create another daughter Weyr early, and with Tillek and High Reaches amongst the earliest holds, establishing a Weyr in that region next would make sense. Some sort of settlement in the middle of the continent would be desired next to gradually build trans-continental infrastructure. Ista doesn't provide this except by sea, and as the Weyr-site there is quite comfortable without substantial development, it could wait. This makes the logical places for the next development along the cost of the continent. Major holds spring up at Igen and Keroon, but interestingly, not at the mouth of the Great Dunto River. Igen Weyr is well-positioned to cover both; thus we have number four.

By this point, Ista has probably been in continuous low-grade use and it likely becomes a moot point that it should be finished next. This leaves only the upland area of the continent to settle and cover, and Telgar comes last."

Establishing Telgar as a major settlement earlier doesn't necessarily invalidate this general scheme as the primary reason for founding Telgar is the mining. Any spread of agriculture in the area may have been difficult in the early years for lack of cover on the plains, so while Telgar may have been established as a hold, and an important one, the size of its population may have been nothing like that seen later, in 9th Pass. If the land-usage was less broad, it would have again created less pressure to have a local Weyr up and running before other sites.
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