Citrus Bay Hold
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When the ninth Pass ended Citrus Bay was just a stopover place for ships where the ships filled their fresh water barrels from the Crystal Spring. 500 turns ago a small fisher Hold was established at the location. Then farmers started to move in and Citrus Bay began to grow. The Hold really bloomed when the clay deposits were discovered. The original Fisher Hold became too small to house the growing population and new Hold was built on the northern side of the hills, north of Crystal Spring and small stream. The Hold grew steadily over the next few hundred turns until it was almost the size of major Hold. Then the Plagues hit. The Plague arrived with the ships that still used Citrus Bay to restock their supplies. The disease hit the Hold hard and decimated the Holdís population. The Hold curled up inside while trying to recover from the loss. Due to bad management skills of the Holder of that time and two terribles hurricane seasons that wrecked the Hold, Citrus Bay struggled just to stay alive. Until 20 turns ago, when trader named Raghad arrived with his family and basically bought the Hold from itís Bloodline (which was badly indebted). He concentrated his efforts to the Holdís strengths: the fertile farms and orchards, shipping and clay production. He rebuilt the Holdís main building, built secondary pier next to the pottery, which made the transporting the end products easier. He established vineyard and the original Fisher Hold building was converted to winery. He pulled Citrus Bay back to itís feet and made it prosper. He was closely allied with Morin and Citrus Bay benefitted from Sunstone Seaholdís boom. Some of the new settlers were directed to move into Citrus Bay.
Threadís return affected the Hold only a little, most buildings were built from local limestone and had roofs made of clay tiles. The Holder main concern was how his precious orchards and vineyards would survive the potential burrows. To ensure his land would be protected, he opened his Hold to Weyrís Searches and visibly supported River Bluff Weyr. Opening of the Seacraft Hall nearby did affect Citrus Bayís ship traffic, taking away some of itís restocking ships -business. On the other hand, the new hall needed food and building materials, of which Citrus Bay had plenty to offer. The current Holder is aging and there is some concern about what will happen when he dies, who will take over the Hold? The problems isnít that he doesnít have children, the problem is that he has three sets of them.
20 miles south of Sunstone Seahold, Citrus Bay Hold shares borders with the Sunstone, River Bend Hold, Sawtooth Seahold and the new Seacraft Hall.
The main building is huge, low, one-story house, built from whitewashed limestone. The roof is made from orange clay tiles. The building is U-shaped, with the southern wing housing the Holder and his family (known as Holderís wing), while the kitchens are in the northern wing. A veranda goes around the whole building. The main entrance opens directly onto the Gather square. There are smaller entrances for the Holderís wing, kitchens and to the garden at the back of the house. The windows are arched, often have tinted glass and brightly coloured shutters. The insides of the house are dominated by open spaces, pillars and arches. Most buildings follow the same style: white washed walls, orange or red tile roof, arches and pillars, although here and there you can see older, wooden buildings or even thatched roofs. Those are being slowly replaced. All buildings except the lighthouse/drum tower on the Watchtower Isle are low and one story high. All residential buildings have deep underground cellars that also act as hurricane shelters. On the side of the Gather square opposite the main building is a tavern. Most of the craft shops are built closer to the beach while residential houses are more inland, south of the main building.
Citrus Bay is low on technology. The climate doesnít require heating, although air conditioning would be nice during the summer heats. Holdís ovens and pottery are fuelled by wood or charcoal. Thereís rich water table under the ground and plenty of cold springs in the area, which are made use of to keep food cooled in deep cellars. Water is provided by pump wells and the Hold has rudimentary plumbing, giving their kitchens running, cold water. Of course, some poor drudge has to manually use the pump to keep the water running.
As minor hold, Citrus Bay hold follows the female policy set by Sunstone Seahold. Although Citrus Bay is slightly more liberal towards visiting female crafters. There arenít any resident female crafters in Citrus Bay nor would one get a contract either.
Population and Plague Effects
The Plague nearly killed Citrus Bay Hold. Large number of survivors fled to other Holds afterwards. The Holdís population had barely started to recover when it was hit by two Turns of bad hurricane seasons in a row. Only during the last two decades has the population begun to really grow. Current total population in Citrus Bay Hold is approximately 600 people. Itís still only tenth of Citrus Bayís peak population, just before the Plagues.
The Hold itself houses around 300 people, while the rest live in further inland or off the coast in Cotholds..
Citrus Bay's main trade comes from agriculture (fruits, vegetables and rivergrain), clay ( both raw clay and various products made of clay), fishing and shipping. Wine making is new branching for the Hold. They have enough livestock to provide for their own population, but there are plans to increase meat and dairy production. Shipping has lost it's importance since Seacraft Hall came to neighbourhood, which still causes grumblings among hold's people. There are few small mines and a quarry on the mountains. The current Holder has tried to branch out so the Hold's economy wonít be as vulnerable as before. So if crops fail there will be other sources of income for the hold
The fastest way to travel from or to Citrus Bay Hold is by ship. It used to be a regular way station on the sea route from Sunstone Seahold to River Bluff Weyr and Jade Harbour Hold. Since the opening of Seacraft Hall, ships mostly pass by Citrus Bay now, favouring the Hallís better port. But the Hall is only 9-10 miles away and the coastal road is well kept. It takes less than two candlemarks to ride to the Hall ( a bit longer time with slow, fully loaded wagon). Roads also connect Citrus Bay to other holds in the Sunstone Territory. Wagons transport Citrus Bayís goods to the inland Holds. The Holder has a personal ship in his use, called Lady Breeze.