Tillek Hold is one of the Major Holds in the Northern Continent. Occupies the Tillek peninsula on the west of Northern Continent's. It bordered on the north High Reaches Hold, on the northeast Nabol Hold and on the east Ruatha Hold. High Reaches Weyr fights Threadfall over Tillek 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)
Named for James Tillek, captain of the colony ship Bahrain, this is the most westerly major Hold in the Northern Continent. Tillek and the dolphineers founded this Hold with their stake acres after the Second Crossing. With the aid of the dolphins, the seagoing population of this stakehold charted the currents and coasts. Tillek is known for its conifer forests (which have grown up in the Long Interval), its terraced farms, the Fishercrafthall, shipbuilding, and its wine.
Tillek's population is seasonal, depending on how many ships are in harbor. As most of the men tend to be involved in shipboard activities, Lord Oterel places many women in positions of authority. The hardiness of Tillek Hold women is legendary. Having himself done a fair number of Turns on the sea, Lord Oterel understands the needs of administration both on ship and on land. His Lady Steward is his wife's sister, Bronwen. She is a good organizer and sees that the Hold runs well and on schedule. Timeliness, particularly with regard to meals, is a crucial issue when so many need to leave the Hold in the predawn hours to catch the tides. Bronwen's husband, Captain Ekito, is away much of the year on fishing trips, and her many children are fostered with other women in the Hold, as Bronwen has much to do.
Bronwen works closely with Cytor, Portmaster of Tillek Sea Hold. Cytor is a retired sea captain who knows the ropes and can handle the rough seamen who use the Sea Hold as their base. The wharf is built of great heavy blocks, right into the harbor, which is good and deep but sheltered from the elements. From the Sea Hold, a ship can pick up the southern current and move with surprising speed down the west coast of the continent toward Southern Boll and east beyond it to Ista.
There was little flat land for farming when the first holders came here, since the primary interest in Tillek was its sheltered harbor to the northwest of what is now the Hold. The holders gradually built terraces into the mountain that held the Hold, giving the broad farms a northeastern exposure. The roads leading to the Hold proper were also terraced, with ramps built for wagons along either side.
The Tillek Gather meadow occupies the steppe nearest the entrance to the Hold. This allows the traders to take best advantage of the roads when hauling or driving their goods to the pitches arranged at the meadow's perimeter.
Tillek harvests lumber from its extensive conifer forests during the warm weather, and lays it down in dry caverns to season, often for a full Turn. Much of this wood is shipped to other ports, but some of it stays in the Hold for the shipwrights' use.
During the cold season, the wood-smiths of Tillek preassemble aged wood for shipment and dress wood to be used by the shipwrights as soon as the weather breaks. The shipbuilders' cavern is high and wide, suitable for bending timbers with complete disregard for the weather outside.
A much-practiced skill in Tillek during storms and bad weather is knitting. Mothers teach their fosterlings the skill from the time they can hold the needles, and gradually introduce them to stitches and patterns of greater complexity and intricacy. On a typical evening, the men will gather to mend nets or knit, using the same skills for different applications. Beginners make socks and caps, which are frequently unraveled later to save precious yarn. Skilled knitters may use multiple pairs of needles and several strands of yarn at once.
Like all the Sea Holds, Tillek fishermen use a specific stitch pattern to denote port of origin. Tillek seaholders wear a trellis stitch in which the Hold symbol can be easily rendered. It is often dyed in the Hold colors: white and blue from the fields of meadowsweet flowers that grow in the nearby mountain valleys. But it shows up as frequently in the distinctive single-colored raised knit pattern, combined with a traveling cable and double moss stitch. The sturdy, nearly waterproof sweaters and jerseys serve to protect the man wearing them from the elements, but also to identify him if his body is washed ashore. The seamen are very matter-of-fact about the dangers of their craft. They may make jokes about other unlucky fishermen, but they respect the seas of Pern.
Traders compete to get the most skilled work of the knitters to take with them on their travel routes to the temperate Holds, especially those closest to the snowy wastes. These are done in colors other than those reserved for the Hold fishermen. Naolbindning mittens, incredibly warm, harder-wearing than knit, and more flexible in cold and wet than hide, fetch a handsome price. The ancient secrets of their making are not for sale. Some brocade knitting is done here, but it cannot compete with the delicate brocades of Fort Hold.
Anyone who has tasted the products of either Hold has heard of the rivalry between the Benden and Tillek wine caverns. Benden wines continue to be the most sought after on Pern, with Tillek's running a distant second. The current Tillek Winecraftmaster's name is Dikson, a rangy, redheaded fellow with a nose and cheeks the same color as his best red wines. Tillek's wines are considered to be a bit foxy, and tend to have a harsh aftertaste. Some attribute this to the acidity of the soil. Even after hundreds of Turns, and improvements made in the Craft, Tillek has been unable to equal Benden's reputation for smoothness. Dikson, like his predecessors, uses the finest wood casks, which have been improved by the incorporation of the new hardwoods growing in Lemos and Igen; only the finest woven cloth is used for straining. Lime, to sweeten the soil, has been carefully dug in around the roots of ancient vines as thick as a man's body, but all to no avail. Dikson has sent spies to Bender Hold's Wine-craftmaster as apprentices, but he has never received any information that helps him.
Dikson initiated a dry red wine that has evolved quite a following among seamen, who like a hearty drink they can taste through the salt water. His white wines are only fair compared to those of some of his predecessors, like Vilbrian, his own master. A Vilbrian 12 (indicating the twelfth Turn of Vilbrian's pressings) is considered to be «… almost, almost as good as a Benden white.» Though loyalists always add, «of an inferior Turn.»
Minor Holds and Crafthalls
Tillek is also home to the Fishercrafthall, and at least five minor holds whose names are not known.
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Colonist Zi Ongola founded Tillek Hold as a mining colony in the twenty-second Turn after Landing, but the Hold went nameless for at least five Turns (three Turns until the death of Jim Tillek). Tillek was one of the colony leaders and captain of one of the ships that brought the colonists to Pern. Tillek also established Pern's first fishing fleet and maintained contact with the genetically enhanced dolphins the colonists brought with them.
- Dynast: Lord Melongel and Lady Juvana, Lord Oterel, Lord Ranrel.
- Other holders: Lady Steward Bronwen, Masterharper Minnarden, Journeyman Harper Robinton, Healer Clostan, Portmaster Cytor, Captain Ekito, Captain Gostol, Winecraftmaster Dikson, Dushik, Kasia.
|Northern||Benden • Bitra • Crom • Fort • High Reaches • Igen • Ista • Keroon • Lemos • Nabol • Nerat • Ruatha • Southern Boll • Telgar • Tillek|
|Southern||Southern • Cove • Landing • Paradise River • Rubicon River|
|Minor Holds • Stakes • Weyrs • Crafts and Halls|