Smithcraft is one of the traditional crafts on Pern. Major crafthall is located in Telgar Hold.


A detailed description of the Craft on the basis of the The Dragonlover's Guide to Pern

Fandarel represents the Smithcraft as only a man of his bulk and competence can. The endless search for efficiency makes the Smithcraft one of the most progressive of the crafts. Techniques are in constant flux with new technology to create the best and the fastest with the most sparing use of precious raw materials. Neatness counts.

The Smithcraft and the Minecraft work closely together. One supplies raw materials while the other supplies the tools with which the first can do its job.

The Crafthall was set up here, north of what came to be Telgar Hold, because of its proximity to the necessary ore and raw materials and to the Telgar River, which flows swiftly and deep down from the Northern Barrier Range all the way to the Big Bay. The earliest smiths set water-driven wheels in the Telgar to run their machinery. The great wheeled barges follow Telgars riverbank from the iron mines north of the Hold and continue their runs taking refined materials and finished goods down to the Sea Hold.

Processes that were lost to the colonists over the Turns are tackled with enthusiasm by journeymen and masters of this craft. The smith's motto is «If it has been done, it can be done again.» As equipment that the colonists brought with them wore out, facile minds in the Smithcraft had to find other ways of doing the same things.

Under Fandarel's direction, the Smithcraft has re-created distance viewers, invented the distance writer by combining litmus paper oscillographs with telegraphy, copied the Oldtimers' flamethrowers, and done chemical research that resulted in the use of agenothree (HNO3, nitric acid) as a combination Threadbane and airborne fertilizer. The smith's more ordinary occupations include overseeing his many Craftmasters, who are engaged in a variety of specialties.

The Smithcraft embraces a number of occupations. The masons who construct a building may come from the Minecraft, but the stress analyses of the stone and foundation are done by the Smithcraft. Some Masters concentrate on making tools and doing practical metalwork. The Craft makes cooking vessels of all sizes, some with a nonstick coating to ease cleanup. Other Master metalsmiths do fancy metal crafting, such as casting jewelry.

Journeymen work up to mastery in their choice of specialties, doing the uncomplicated and heavy work so the various masters are free to practice their skills. Apprentices may begin by sorting ore and working the bellows for metalsmiths, or extruding wire through wire plates for Master Fandarels distance-writer project.

Among the newest projects on which Fandarel is setting loose his brainstormers are some of the artifacts coming out of the caves around the Ancient Timers' Plateau. Disassembled machinery of all kinds has been found coated in grease or transparent hidelike material. Some of the machines use magnetics, which the Smithcraft understands. Some use nickel oxide batteries, which are similar in function if not appearance to the acid batteries and Leydenjars which the Smithcraft is currently using for metal plating and running the distance writer.

The Glasscraft and the Woodcraft are offshoots of the Smithcrafthall, each in its own building in the complex. Journeyman smiths interested in the Glasscraft will be immersed in work in everything from ceramics to lead crystal to porcelain. This branch practices glassblowing that ranges in complexity from flasks to bottles to windowpanes to lenses for the distance viewer and microscope. Wansor, the starsmith, came from this discipline, where he specialized in optics.

Woodcrafters begin with whittling and go on to working with chisel and saw, creating furniture, toys, jewelry, and a new invention, paper, from the slowly increasing supply of that precious commodity of wood. Smiths who have a knack for chemistry formulate stains, dyes, varnishes, and cleaning compounds in their own building, which is at far remove from the others. (Among the other compounds they create are explosives.) In these disciplines, the apprentices spend a great deal of their time washing pots and retorts, sifting sand, and sweeping.

A Smithcraft apprenticeship is one of the longest, but at its end the graduate journeyman is a practicing member of one of the most respected Crafts on Pern.

Positions and responsibilities

  • Engineer, mechanic — these professions, used after the landing, were later abolished and merged into the Minecraft.
  • Smith — the general name of specialists.
  • Glass-smith — the name of crafters working with glass (before detaching into the Glasscraft).
  • Wood-smith — the name of crafters working with wood (before detaching into the Woodcraft).
  • Starsmith — the name of crafters working with telescopes (before detaching into the Starcraft).


The main area of operations has changed over the Turns. For its an out and about craft hall, during the time between Landing and the First Fall.

It started based in Fort Hold after the Second Crossing, by the short story The Ford of Red Hanrahan, its current founder Tarvi Andiyar, had moved to the current site, Telgar Hold.

First Pass / First Interval

First Interval / Second Pass

  • Craftsmaster: Kalvi (Head Engineers).

Second Interval / Third Pass

  • Craftsmaster:

Sixth Pass

  • Craftsmaster:

Eighth Interval / Ninth Pass

When Fax came to power the then Masterminer Nicat moved Minecraft from Crom Hold to Smithcraft in Telgar. After Fax death, the Minecraft moved to back to Crom.

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