Emerald Falls Hold
Lord Holder: Corowal
Lady Holder: Felyna
Minor Holder: Rizpaulen
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Emerald Falls Hold
Emerald Falls Hold - First Floor
Emerald Falls Hold - Ground Floor
Emerald Falls Territory
Lords of Emerald Falls
The only news is backdated stuff: Sarban and Zandan plan for the search for the missing riverboat, recruiting all available forces to comb the river.
Written by Paula as L1 on March 2nd 2017
Emerald Falls Hold was founded three turns after the end of the last Pass, as without the threat of Threadfall the population of the Southern Continent expanded into the lands of the interior. The waterfall that gives the Hold its name was discovered by a group of explorers following the river upstream to find its source. One of these men was familiar with the work of the new Technician's Craft and had the idea of using the enormous power of the falling water into electricity for a new Hold. He staked his claim to the land and became the first Holder of Emerald Falls.
As small holds were established in the surrounding area, Emerald Falls grew rapidly. Since the waterfall was impassable by any kind of river traffic, it became an important trading post where goods were transferred from boats to traders' carts to go further south. The hold itself traded lumber and game from the surrounding forests at first. Later, once those were cleared, food crops were planted. Fifty Turns after the Hold's founding, a travelling weaver reported that the land was ideal for growing flax. The forward-looking second Holder invited craftsmen to Emerald Falls to establish a Weaver Hall close to the main Hold. Soon after, Emerald Falls was granted major status and he became the first Lord.
With the wealth of the Hold growing, building work began on the new Hold proper. It was to be a large five-sided stone building with a tower at each corner, set against the cliffside, which its new Lord hoped would soon rival the old Holds of the North for size and grandeur. Twenty Turns after the founding of the new Weaver Hall, the Harpercraft was persuaded to site a second southern Hall at Emerald Falls. This hall specialises particularly in instrument making, making use of the high quality hardwoods that the Hold produces. Both Halls can take advantage of the Hold's electrical power to power looms and tools, and supply lighting and heated water.
The Plague hit Emerald Falls hold in Turn 1160, killing almost half of itís population and leaving abandonment of some minor holds. Lord Dariel, Lord Holder during that era, lost two of his sons for the Plague. He was succeeded by Ziadriel, who in time passed the Lordship to his only legitimate son, Enrizial. Enrizial married with Lady Anaia and they had three children, although their son didnít survive infancy. Enrizialís rulership turned out to be unsteady one and full of crisis. The most notable feature was his ability to anger the Holdís old allies and alienate trade partners . When Harper Hall was destroyed in an arson, it choose to relocate to Dolphin Cove Weyr. When Amethyst Cliff was destroyed in earthquake, among the victims was Enrizialís sister Lindria and his mother Enriline, who had both married to Amethyst Cliff Blood. That was straw that broke Enrizialís mind and it became apparent he couldnít function as a Lord Holder any longer.
The Lordship was passed to Corowal, then Steward of Coral Bay hold who had recently arrived to Emerald Falls hold to become his cousinís Steward. Corowal was Lord Darielís grandson, born to his youngest son Corovan. Corovan had died in Plague and Corowalís mother had taken the toddler and moved back to Coral Bay with him.
Corowal was married with Lady Ofelia of Coral Bayís Blood. Ofelia died during the birth of their fifth child. Later Corowal remarried with Lady Felyna. It didnít take Corowal long to man the key positions of the Hold with his own people. Working hard to repair the damages done by Enrizial, Corowal has managed to convince Harper Hall to return to Emerald Falls, into a newly built location. He lifted the ban of women crafting and has repaired the relationship with Weyr. He sent his son and Heir to be fostered in Amber Hills hold to create new political alliance. Heís successfully pulled the Hold back to itís feets and made it flourish. His personal life is whole different matter and has given much cause for rumors.
Emerald Falls lies just within the flight territory of Dolphin Cove Weyr, about 1,700 miles (2,735 kilometres) from the Weyr itself on the River. The closest major Hold is Sapphire Meadows, 800 miles to the west along well-established trade routes. The quickest way to get to other Holds, apart from going on dragonback, is to take a riverboat to the harbour at the mouth of the river and then to take ship for the nearest port to the destination.
The Hold proper is a four-storey building built of light grey stone against the cliff face, similar in design to a Terran castle and surrounded by a paved courtyard. Five round towers - the North, South, East, Lord's and Lady's Towers - are positioned at each corner, each containing a spiral staircase.
The main entrance to the Hold is through a pair of huge metal doors, closed only at night and during Fall, but there is also access through a small door at the side of the Hold. The kitchens are separate from the Hold in a large one-story hall with open pits outside, and food is carried into the Dining Hall via this kitchen door. Once through the main doors, the visitor finds himself in a long hallway two storeys high, surrounded by a balcony. The walls are hung with rich tapestries, old and new, and the portraits of former Lords and their families - by tradition, as each new Lord takes over his likeness is painted to be hung alongside that of his ancestors. Corridors leading off from this hall and a wide, elegant staircase at its far end lead to the rest of the Hold.
Most of the day's work is done on the ground floor, which contains the archives, the steward's office and workrooms, the laundry, drudges' hall and many of the storerooms as well as many small sitting rooms and reception halls for guests. On the second floor are the extensive and handsome apartments of the Lord Holder, with suites for ranking guests and fosterlings and smaller rooms for holders and craftsmen, a nursery and a large solar for the ladies of the Hold. These rooms are furnished with expensive hardwoods, which were more plentiful in the first Turns of the Hold's existence. On the higher floors, less well appointed but still comfortable, are found storerooms and the quarters of lower-ranking holders and drudges.
Emerald Falls is supplied with vast amounts of electrical power from the falls. The majority of rooms have electric lighting - although glowbaskets are also found as a backup due to a recent generator failure which cut off the electricity for sevendays. Heated water is available throughout the Hold, from the common bathing room used by drudges to the bath in the Lord Holder's quarters, and the main rooms of the Hold are cooled at the height of summer. Electric power is also used to run mills to grind flour and is used to a limited extent in the kitchens for cooking and refrigeration, although the Hold's largest cold store is refrigerated by a combination of electrical power and large blocks of ice quarried from the Southern mountains. Distance writers are available to the Lord, his Steward and the Masters of the two Halls, although traditionalists may prefer to hand-write letters and send them by a runner or a messenger firelizard.
Emerald Falls has been one of the strictest policies on women's rights in the Southern Continent. Not only were female crafters banned, but women are restricted to their "traditional" jobs - cookery, cleaning, laundry and childcare. Girls were expected to marry at sixteen or sometimes younger and bear many children to make up for the population losses due to the Plague. They were completely under their fatherís or husbandís rule. Thereís been improvement to the Womenís rights under recent Turns and domestic violence has become a crime. While the ban for females to craft had been lifted, the actual number of female crafters is extremely low if non existent outside Harper Hall. The general populationís opinion is slow to change and people tend to hold on to the ďold wayĒ, resisting the change.
Population and Plague Effects
Emerald Falls Hold was fortunate in that its Lordship has remained in the same Bloodline, passing between relatives without major disruption for the twelve hundred Turns of its existence. At its peak more than a thousand people lived in the Hold proper and the surrounding cots and buildings. However, its position as a major trading post meant that it was hit hard by plague in the last hundred Turns. Although the population has since begun to recover, there are now about five hundred people living in Emerald Falls, with many rooms and cots still vacant. The Hold's territory includes many more minor holds, small farm holds and cots housing fishers, hunters, herdsmen and lumberjacks.
The main part of the Hold's population is involved in farming or herding to produce food. Much of this is consumed by the holders - the rest is sent in tithe to the Weyr or sold on to other Holds. A significant portion of holders grow flax, cotton or keep ovines for their wool, and these are sold on to the Weaver Hall or made into everyday clothing by the holders themselves. The Hold does not produce as much lumber as it once did and faces strong competition from other sources, but there is a ready demand for what wood is produced from the Harper Hall for instrument-making. The Hold includes several small mines in the Eastern Barrier Range, though these are not well developed. Trade from the river and the caravan routes running through Emerald Falls increases the Hold's wealth. Breeding runners beasts have opened up a new source of income. New trade alliances with Coral Bay Hold and Amber Hills hold have helped the economy to boon during past Turns.
Travelers to and from the Hold can go either along the main trade roads which lead to the west, northeast and north along the river, or buy passage on the riverboats that leave the Hold at least daily. Visits to the Hold by dragonriders are rare due to the disapproval of their lifestyle by the previous Lord and his family, however they have become more common during the current Lord Holderís rule.