Life in the Weyrhold


Founded nearly 700 Turns ago, in 2604AL, Rocky Crater Weyrhold claims all of Crater Island in the Eastern Ring Islands as its holding. Formed ages ago from a combination of upthrust rock and the eruptions of two now-dormant volcanos, the island is remarkable for the sheer cliffs that rise up from its black-sand beaches on all sides. The one exception is Dragon's Cove, a sheltered harbor on the eastern side of the island where the Crater River drains into the ocean.

The image below, looking north-northwest, shows Crater Island's southern and eastern coastlines. Dragon's Cove is located below and to your right of the lowest hill in the center of the photo. And yes, that is an indigo-colored blue dragon swimming in the ocean.

Photograph of Crater Island.

Starting at Crater Lake, the flooded caldera of one of the volcanos, the Crater River winds its way through a narrow canyon and down a staircase falls before entering the valley where the Weyrhold proper was constructed. Continuing south, the river enters the broad east-west Central Valley. The fertile volcanic soil here made it the preferred site of the Weyrhold's farmers and herders---it also placed all of the animals a comfortable distance from the majority of the dragons.

At the eastern end of the valley the river merges with the South Fork River, which originates on the slopes of the other volcano and runs the length of the valley. After merging, the rivers enter the Narrows, a narrow canyon that snakes to the north, west, then north again before opening up into Dragon's Cove. Over the centuries, both rivers have been made navigable as far inland as the Central Valley's main settlement and the Weyrhold proper. Minor tributaries near all three settlements have been dammed for reservoir and hydroelectric purposes.

The Weyrhold

The Weyrhold proper and the basic design of the dragonriders' weyrs are the work of Rocky Crater's first Lord Weyrholder, bluerider E'ward. Sited in front of a large natural cavern, the original Weyrhold was a U-shaped structure enclosing a 90 by 180 foot Gather Square. Following the arrival of the Weyrhold's first queen, two L-shaped wings---which were in the original design---were added to house offices, a Records Room, and for candidate and weyrling related activities. In the late 2700s a larger Gather Square, enclosed by two L-shaped buildings, was added in front of the original buildings. In the middle of this new square is a large fountain, the centerpiece of which is a 14-foot-diameter sculpture of the Weyrhold's badge: a dragon perched atop a rocky mountain.

Graphic of the Weyrhold proper, ground level view.

Graphic of the Weyrhold proper, plan view.

The Dining Hall

If your persona lives at, or visits, the Weyrhold-proper then sooner or later they are going to head over to the dining hall for a bite to eat. The diagrams below show the normal, everyday layout of the hall's tables. While wingriders tend to sit at their "usual" table, the only reserved seating is the table next to the serving area, which is used by candidates and weyrlings, and the Head Table and Weyrleader's Dining Room on the second level. Even in the dead of night there is always hot klah and something to eat available for anyone who happens to wander in.

Graphic of the Weyrhold's Dining Hall - Ground Floor

Graphic of the Weyrhold's Dining Hall - Second Level

Graphic of the Weyrhold's Dining Hall - Cross-section

Dragonweyrs

Dragonweyrs can be found in each of the population centers of the Weyrhold: Dragon's Cove, Central Valley, and the Weyrhold proper. All follow the same basic design with the rider's quarters opening off of the dragon's sunning area and a dragonweyr built into the cliff behind the quarters. In the first two locations, the weyrs are built singularly.

At the Weyrhold proper the weyrs are built into the hillside across the Crater River from the Weyrhold. There are four levels of weyrs: ground, ranker / family, and two tiers wingrider's weyrs. Each class of weyr was constructed in pairs that share a common dragonweyr. In the case of the wingrider's weyrs, they also share a common room and bathing chamber.

Each rider's quarters is made up of a pair of 15 by 30 foot rooms, divided by a load-bearing wall, and heated by a hive-shaped hearths. The main room was intended to be a crafter's workshop and has four large windows to let light in. It also has two exits that lead to the dragonweyr and the ledge. Further division of these rooms is left to the rider's discretion. The ranker / family and ground-level weyrs have private bathing chambers. Wide ramps connect the dragonledges of the ground-level weyrs to floor of the valley, from there a grounded dragon can walk to any location within the complex as all roads and bridges are wide enough to accommodate a queen.

A network of narrow passageways and stairwells cut into the rock behind the dragonweyrs connect all of the weyrs with each other, and with the floor of the valley. Intended mainly to help in the construction and maintenance of plumbing and electrical conduits, they are regularly used by riders, weyrfolk, and drudges to access the weyrs without the aid of a dragon. All weyrs have electrical service for lighting, but glow-baskets are also used as the amount of electricity that can be produced is limited. The bathing pools are sunken into the floor, an extension with several steps allows riders to easily climb in and out of it.

Ground-level Weyrs - Level 1

Graphic of ground-level weyrs.



Ranker / Family Weyrs - Level 2

Graphic of ranking riders weyrs.



Wingrider's Weyrs - Levels 3 & 4

Graphic of wingrider weyrs.

 

Weyrling's Weyrs - Level 4

(four weyrlings per unit - NOT co-ed)

Graphic of weyrling's weyrs.