A nearby offshoot of Alabaster Weyrhold, a caravan drop point and very busy hold. Not large by any standards, but when it comes to life during a gather, it's hard to know that there are actually only about 240 people living there. Though it is small, it is fairly well off, and protected as it is by both the local Alabaster dragons as well as the more distant Protectorate wings, it continues to pay its tithes on time and usually with spare goods to offer. Intellectual property in the Hold is vast, many books – real books, not scrolls or wherhide sheaves – are collected here. Since it is situated more inland and in a dry climate, books usually last a lot longer here. Paper is one of the products which its crafters make, from the vast groves hidden from Threadfall all these years. Since Caledrus is a caravan point, many travelers pass through. They offer trinkets, wines, and many goods from far off Southern places. Though most of these things are bound for Alabaster, some wind up in the hands of the local holders. Search dragons often pass by, and are often rewarded with a steak sandwich or skin of wine for their troubles.
The hold itself is situated rather like an old European town, along staggered hillsides and with narrow, upright homes. The gulley which makes Caledrus' name appropriate is more like a fissure out of the side of a long-dormant volcano, and hot springs still well up through it. There are streets of cobblestones, winding through the homes and small craft sellers buildings. One large Hold hall rests within the wall of the gulley, and connects through some mostly disused tunnels to the more southern homes and halls. The main hold is rather like a cave, and is rarely used except by the Lord Holders for their parties, and the crafts masters for their gathers. Above the gulley can be stretched a series of flat metal sheets, or the new metal cloth that Dawnlight and Alabaster have developed. However, that cannot save the forests nearby, so Dragons are a welcome part of their lifestyle. The human life has rarely been endangered by thread, unless one is actually caught above the gulley edge during fall.
The gulley is very deep at the southern most edge, but also the most narrow there, where the old Hall is. Spreading north in a slightly curving canyon is the rest of Caledrus, until it reaches a mostly flat road-point. The gulley is nearly two miles long, with sharp switchbacks leading to the upper mesa and hills to the south. As mentioned before, there are hot springs which provide most of the water in the area, all the bathing, and all the wash is done as far north (downstream) as possible. The richer of the Holders and Crafters live nearest the spout points of some major streams, so the farther north toward the road gather square the poorer the inhabitants and dirtier the water is.
*** Transition Period! ***
Note well that after the move from Pern to Alskyr, the gulley itself actually flips so that the widest point is facing south, rather than north. This has caused a few people some sleepless nights, but all in all the adjustment to maps and travel has had more to do with the fact that they're on an island on another planet, rather than the direction the water is flowing.
*** YEARS GO BY ***
Caledrus Hold was a calm, mostly boring place for the longest time. It had its share of intrigue of course, and danger from Thread and other odd events. It paid its tithes to Alabaster Weyrhold, which lay directly to the north-west in the marble mining lands nearest a sea inlet. Caledrus on Pern rested among beautiful greenery, Thread rarely drifted that far south and when it did it seemed that the grubs growing in the fine soils would keep its damage to a minimum. When the rains would come, the Lowborn huts and cotholds would be covered in silt and mud, but it always looked more like fun than dangerous. Naturally every few years someone's young child would be swept away in the light flooding, buried in the mud, but mostly it was safe. The Hold itself (shown as the large yellow pentagon) rested high in the hilly area below the forest, while roads dropped sharply and switched back and forth among the cotholds and lower Holders, toward the large road to Alabaster.
Dragons would come and rest upon the wide grass flats, entertainers would stop by and usually remained down in the Lowborn area. Hunting was good in the hills, though there were tunnel snakes the likes of which had rarely been seen in the Northern continent.
Everything was relatively idylic.
Until they moved off Pern.
Actually - they were still somewhat dull and live-a-day after that event, but then someone opened their mouth (it was K'yl, Lord Rider Engell's kid, by the way) and told them that the place had been relocated. How? Why? Well, the why was easy. Pern no longer needed Alabaster's help. In fact, the entire Kshau Protectorate, to which the Weyrhold belonged, was mindful that their services weren't wanted. The how was a little less simple to explain. The powerful riders, telepaths and psionics of the Protectorate (some from Pern, many from offworld) put their efforts together to locate a new world, and then utilized the expertise of the dragons and their riders - their power combined into a huge network of teleportation. Whole islands, mountain lairs, townships, cotholds, and yes, even Caledrus Hold, were physically moved from one planet to another.
Alskyr was their new home. It bothered a few of the residents that their orientation within Caledrus' fissure and canyon walls was now facing south instead of north, but soon enough they did get used to it. What with there being a beautiful sea not more than two days travel south, their weyrhold no longer asking for tithes, and their people being generally able to live their lives the way they wished.
Things still continued normally for most. In fact there were still a few people who just didn't believe K'yl when he told them what had happened. He could be found occasionally muttering to himself - or his dragon - that some people could just as well have been left behind and no one would have complained.
Schooling continued almost entirely normally for the first few years, then slowly things from Alskyr began seeping in. By twenty years, everyone knew where they were, where they'd been. It was a distant memory, this Pern place. To everyday people, it barely mattered. To many younger kids, it mattered not at all. Only...
There did not seem to be a remarkably large number of Alskyran dragons that chose Old World people to bond them. What had happened continually over the years, was that anyone who was Searched and had Pernese blood, was taken back to a Pernese weyr for impression. There were some truly beautiful dragons still coming from that world, of course, so no one minded at all.
This is the story of some of those Pernese-blooded younger folks. Never having seen their 'home world' and certainly not considering it to be their home, they have had to study hard in the ways of that world so they don't go screwing things up.
For each and every one of them was Searched and brought back there, to find a dragon or their way in the worlds...
Group Story and Search Story