Igen Hold is one of the Major Holds in the Northern Continent. It bordered on the northwest Telgar Hold, on the northeast Lemos Hold, on the east Keroon Hold and on the west (in Big Bay) Ista Hold. Igen Weyr fights Threadfall over Igen Hold, Ista Weyr flies Thread over the southern portion of the Hold.


A detailed description of the Hold, established, the surrounding countryside, the economy and the other (on the basis of the The Dragonlover's Guide to Pern)

Igen Hold lies above the marshy flats on the eastern edge of the great desert that stretches all the way southwest to Keroon Bay. Igenites are hardy folk. Their chief items of trade are river grains (rice), ovines, runnerbeasts, and the opals and turquoises that the local Minecrafthall digs out of caves and gorges that were once seabed. Though they cannot compete with Lemos for the lushness of Lord Holder Asgenar's hardwood and fruitwood forests, Lord Laudey has taken advantage of the Weyrs' new attitude on wood and is allowing Igen's forests to burgeon.

Igen lies south of the imaginary line of demarcation between the temperate and tropical climate belts.

There are few holders in the bleak expanse of the desert, so most of the population is to be found along the coastlines. Those who have vast herds live with them to the northwest of the Hold in the grassy plains east of Igen Weyr, and the Hold's farmlands lie to the South along the river. The Hold itself overlooks a shelf of rock high above the Igen River, a broad, shallow, muddy stream that flows south dividing Igen from Keroon. Family holds are chiseled and chipped into the windswept cliff faces south of the Hold entrance. There are no cotholds at the foot of the Hold because the river tends to flood frequently, submerging the sandy, clay-based banks, and also because the natural caverns are large and plentiful. Igen has no fire-heights, but there is no green within dragon-lengths of the Hold or family dwellings. During the dry season, the thick red mud of the river is revealed, driving what is left of the shallow, fast-running stream into braided channels.

Because of the hot, dry climate, the holders adopt styles of dress unique to Igen. Burnoose robes are common, as are broad-brimmed hats, high-crowned to provide plenty of room to cool the scalp underneath during the long days. Under the wide hats protecting their faces from the sun, Igen women wear veils and snoods over their hair to keep out the dust. They favor bright colors and resemble fantastic insects in the shimmering landscape of the desert.

Other concessions to comfort include the use of the hammock. Rush bags and furs are too warm in any season, and are reserved for the sick — and for those from Holds hotter than Igen. Deep sandstone caverns under the Hold are filled with ice and snow brought in at night by dragons and stored in straw to keep food from spoiling. Food that will not keep any other way is dried and later reconstituted. Sorbets, ices, fools, and ice creams are special treats, and workers keep pitchers of cold drinks handy inside straw-padded boxes to prevent heat exhaustion.

Igen is a big trade center. Traders whose warehouses are in Big Bay, and the runnerbeast breeders of Katz Field, find Igen a convenient jumping-off point for sending shipments on to Keroon, Nerat, Benden, and the rest of eastern Pern.

Gathers at Igen Hold would appear to be sleepy and dull during the day. Everyone moves slowly in the heat, and the dances are slow and graceful. At night, Igen awakens as the air begins to cool. The Gartner square is open to the sky only in the dancing square. The rest of ot is covered with sheltering cloth or hide canopies with tentlike sides that divide walkway from Gather stalls, and the stalls from each other. Folk take naps in the hottest part of the day, preparing for the lively evening. At dusk, the dances speed up, and conversation becomes lively.

Drinks are served in long tubes that «sweat», keeping the liquid inside them cool the way that botas do. Igen raises plenty of tropical fruit: melons, berries, rind-fruit, redfruit, and genetically ltered descendants of pineapple and kiwi berries, two very juicy fruits popular with the holders.

Lord Laudey of Igen allows the Holdless folk to shelter without charge in the great cavern complexes near the Igen River, providing they break no laws or bother any holder. The wanderers suffer the greatest hardship during Threadfall. Those who were not rendered Holdless as a matter of justice for wrongdoing, but simply prefer the road under their feet to roof over their heads, are not welcome in Holds already crowded by those who have a right to be there. In many places, for the privilege of safety during a Fall, the Holdles may be cheated of their marks of forced to work many hours for mere shelter.

The Holdless are not necessarily a criminal element. Among the complement of passengers aboard the three colon ships were nearly a thousand men, women, and children from several tribes of Gypsies and other wanderers who once lived in many nations on Earth. The brands of thief and vandal were not applied to them when they awoke on Pern. Instead, it was the wanderers who were disconcerted. They were used to dong odd jobs and stealing to make their way, but on Pern, they found that they could ask for what they wanted; what the colony had was free to all. In present-day Pern, the difficulty most Pernese have with the wanderers has less to do with the old Gypsy reputation than with their acute discomfort that anyone would be willing to live without the security of a stone roof against the menace from the sky.

Most Holdless, however, are not comfortable without access to shelter. Thus many frock to Igen, particularly when Threadfall is imminent. The vast system of caves echo with whispers from all over Pern. Information of every kind finds its way eventually to the ears of the Holdless of Igen. It is available to any comer — for a price, which is more likely to be a favor than a mark.

Minor Holds and Crafthalls

Igen Hold is also home to the Tannercrafthall, as well as the Igen Caverns which are inhabited by a large number of Holdless folk.


First Pass / First Interval

  • Dynast:
  • Other holders:

First Interval / Second Pass

  • Dynast:
  • Other holders:

Second Interval / Third Pass

  • Dynast:
  • Other holders:

Sixth Pass

Eighth Interval / Ninth Pass

During the Ninth Pass, sandworms infesting Igen's plains were discovered to offer some protection from Thread.

Additional Information

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