Nabol Hold is one of the Major Holds in the Northern Continent. It bordered on the east Crom Hold, on the south Ruatha Hold, on the west Tillek Hold and on the north High Reaches Hold. High Reaches Weyr fights Threadfall over Nabol 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)
The name Nabol has long been associated with greed. «As grasping as a Nabolese», a trader will say about a man who drives an unpleasantly sharp bargain. The man for whom the Hold was named, Nabhi Nabol, was one of the pilots who made a daring attempt to retrieve samples of Thread spores from outside the atmosphere — but for a price.
In exchange for a stakehold of the whole Big Island, which Avril Bitra had proved to him was rich in gem minerals, Nabol volunteered to pilot a gig into the cometlike Oort trail following the plutonic Red Star. He and Bart Lemos were killed when making atmospheric reentry. The samples and data were lost, and with them the colony's last hope of destroying the spores at the source. Other needs were more pressing, and the project to study Threadspores was set aside.
The road to Nabol Hold ends at a ramp that leads up to a gate; the corner gatehouse was built by Fax to repel attacks from any other force, though none existed in Pern but his own. The courtyard is large and paved with a pattern of flagstones. A Watch-wher lives in a den in the corner farthest from the Hold's entrance. The Hold is carved into a mountain face that has under it a low, hollow overhang that is used as an entryway. It was first used for sheltering beasts in times of Threadfall.
The Gather meadow in the Hold's shadow shares the same source of pure mountain water. There are few stalls to be had, as if the Crafthalls and others with goods to sell prefer to go elsewhere, and the Hold does not care whether or not they come. The wine usually comes from Tillek or Southern Boll, so drinkers cannot be too choosy in their tippling.
Nabol has a three-cornered courtyard with the main entrance at one end and a kitchen courtyard surrounded by walls carved out of the cliff face at the other. The main entrance leads into the Great Hall. At the south end of the huge chamber are stairs leading up to the Lord Holder's apartment and into the Inner Hold.
The Lord Holder's apartment consists of four large rooms, each with tall shuttered windows facing obliquely toward the east. Each pane of glass is clear, a sample of expert glasscrafting; the choice of clear glass suggests that the Lord Holder who installed them mistrusted his people too much to obscure any part of his view with colored panes. A wide, curving stone hearth between the windows in the sleeping room helps retain the heat in the cold mountain air.
Narrow ramps carved into bubbles in the volcanic rock join the lower chambers with the entry way and the refectory hall, and a steep stairway on the north side of the Great Hall allows access to the Lord Holders chambers. The kitchen is large, with two sets of ovens and five spit-runs for roasting whole herdbeasts.
Along the main hallway past the kitchen are the stairs to the lower level and the glow room. An ancillary hallway leads off to a row of locked storerooms. Out the kitchen door to the left is the ashpit, set as far as possible from the main Hold door.
The current Lord Holder is a man named Deckter, a remote relative of the last Lord and one believed to break the pattern of dishonest and grasping leaders in Nabols history.
Meron of Nabol, the unlamented Lord who preceded Deckter, managed in only a few Turns to make himself nearly as notorious as Fax. He was not of Lord Holder's Blood, but served as Fax's steward and was quick enough to step into his dead Master's place. The other Lord Holders took their time confirming him in his rank, but they let him pass when other concerns required their attention. Thread had begun to fall, and the Weyrs was again rising to prominence.
Meron was responsible in part for the deaths of two queen dragons, Prideth and Wirenth, in High Reaches Weyr. Both queen riders survived, but Kylara, Meron's mistress, was left mindless. Wirenth's rider, Brekke, was prevented from suicide through the efforts of Manora and F'nor of Benden.
Meron further demonstrated his contempt for dragonkind by trying to coerce his Impressed bronze Fire Lizard to go between to the Red Star even before the Weyrleaders had had a chance to decide if it safe to do so. Against the better interests of the northern Lords and Weyrleaders, he continued illicit trading with the Oldtimers in the South, and traded green fire lizard eggs for valuable goods, thereby tricking his vendors, whom he considered gullible enough to believe they were getting good value.
His last act of malicious interference, on his deathbed, was to refuse to name an heir to Nabol, hoping to throw the Hold into confusion after he died. However, under coercion he named Deckter, a grand-nephew, who he believed would displease his tormentors. Lord Deckter was, in fact, the choice hoped for by the other Lord Holders and the Harper Hall.
Nabol has rich grasslands, on which the Nabolese raise ovines and domestic wherries. Like Lemos and upper Telgar, Nabol is experimenting in forestry to propagate the valuable and sought-after pine, ash, and other softwoods for furniture. Willow trees grow along the river flowing through the Esvay Valley, and lavender and mustard do well on the slopes nearby. The sandy soil is also suitable for tubers and root vegetables, and salad vegetables of all kinds: celery, bras-sicae, greens, and fingerroots (carrots). Some wine grapes grow on the slopes, but Nabolese also have a taste for pressed cider, which they make from their own apples, an innovation begun by the Holder whom Fax deposed. That Lord had cultivated the orchards planted by a Nabol Lord many generations back, in an effort to create another marketable product.
Minor Holds and Crafthalls
Nabol's borders are known to have changed over time; in the Second Interval, their borders extended to the Big Bay — with the inlet of the Crom River even being known as the Bay of Nabol — but by the Ninth Pass, Nabol was landlocked; their former lands having seemingly defected to nearby Ruatha. However, they are also known to have gained Keogh Hold from Crom Hold at some point in time. It's not clear whether these border changes are in any way linked to the conquests of Fax.
Its primary industry is mining.
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Nabol Hold did not exist in these times.
Nabol Hold is first identified as a Major Hold in Dragon's Fire; during the late Second Interval. Chronologically earlier novels make no mention of the hold before that point, although it's worth noting that the hold could potentially have existed as a minor holding within another Hold's territory; likely Ruatha's, judging by the environs.
- Other holders:
- Other holders:
In the late Eighth Interval, Nabol's original family of Lord Holders was murdered by Lord Fax of High Reaches Hold, who promptly made himself the Lord Holder in their place. After his death at the hands of then-Wingleader F'lar of Benden Weyr, the position of Lord Holder passed to his steward; Meron, who soon became fairly infamous for his acts against Benden Weyr and the dragonriders, whose authority he resented. These acts included leading a failed revolt against Benden Weyr with Lord Larad of Telgar Hold, conducting an illicit affair with Senior Weyrwoman Kylara of Southern Weyr, which led to the death of both her dragon Prideth and Brekke's dragon Wirenth, and arranging illegal trading with the banished Oldtimers of the Southern Continent in return for fire-lizard eggs, which he in turn traded to his holders and those he wished to reward.
Meron's health declined over time, and he eventually died when shock at the theft of a fire-lizard egg by Journeyman Harper Piemur — which would later hatch into the queen fire-lizard Farli — aggravated an existing illness. On his deathbed, he attempted to cause havoc by not naming his successor, but Masterharper Robinton and High Reaches Weyrleader T'bor managed to trick him into choosing their favoured candidate; Deckter.
- No members of Nabol's original family of Lord Holders have ever been identified in a Pern novel. All that is known is that their entire line was killed off by Lord Fax of High Reaches Hold, who made himself lord of Nabol via right of conquest — something disputed by his neighboring Lord Holders. The present line of Lord Holders are descended from Meron; Fax's steward at Nabol, who claimed the title of Lord Holder after his master was slain at Ruatha Hold.
- In older editions of several novels, Fax was said to have initially been the Lord Holder of Nabol — using the title «Lord of the High Reaches» to enhance his claims to the holds he'd conquered — but this was eventually retconned to make him a relative of the Lord Holder of High Reaches Hold. Some of the maps in the older editions even omit Nabol entirely, or place it in the highlands of High Reaches.
|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 • Halls|