Map Northern Continent from The Atlas of Pern

The Northern Continent is the more densely populated of Pern's 3 continents. Its extreme points were Tillek Hold in the west, Benden Hold in the east, and South Boll to the south. In the north, frigid, unexplored wastes extended to the polar regions of the planet.

After the eruption of Mount Garben at Landing the population of Pern, largely concentrated on the Southern Continent, fled northwards and founded Fort Hold.


The Northern Continent is very mountainous, with high ranges running along the coastlines. Nerat and Boll peninsulas, as well as Ista Island are covered in dense jungles and tropical forests, while Keroon's plains are wide grasslands.

The Northern Continent has a less pleasant climate than the Southern Continent, but is considered to be safer from natural disasters, due to its relative tectonic stability. Many of the mountain ranges have natural cave systems, which were modified by Pern's original settlers to create the Holds and Weyrs used to house the population. Metal ore and other minerals exist in deposits across the continent, most of which were worked by the Ninth Pass.

Plant & Animal life

The Northern Continent features very diverse Flora and Fauna. Most of Pern's native tree life consists of softwoods due to incursions of Thread preventing the evolution of hardwoods. Extensive availability of hardwoods are a more recent innovation due to the efforts of holders over the Second Long Interval. Fruit and other useful plants, such as numbweed, are widely available, but are notably smaller than similar plants found in the Southern Continent.

Much of the Northern Continents animal life existed as descendants of genetically improved animals brought by the settlers, such as runnerbeasts, and herdbeasts. Native animals included Wherries, which were a common food source. Sandworms existed near Igen. The Sandworms ability to eat Thread led some to theorize that they were related to the Grubs found on the Southern Continent.

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