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"Alera was a land of vast stretches of sparsely settled or uninhabited wilderness between the enormous cities of the High Lords. Furycrafted roads between the great cities, and a great many waterways, provided lifelines of trade and created a natural support structure for smaller cities, towns, and villages that spread out into the countryside around them. Steadholts, farming hamlets, were scattered into the areas between the towns and cities, each supporting between thirty and three hundred or so people."(First Lord's Fury prologue)

A steadholder is the overseer of a steadholt (farming cooperative) in Alera. The first name of the manager replaces the "stead". For example, Bernard’s steadholt was called Bernardholt.

Women & Citizenship[]

Prior to book 1, steadholder was a position conferred only upon men. The first female steadholder in the nation is Isana of Isanaholt. This change greatly interested the Dianic League, a women’s organization whose membership includes High Ladies Placidus Aria and Aquitainus Invidia, to name a few. Isana became a steadholder and a citizen in one stroke.

Steadholts vary in size from 30 to 300 Freemen / workers (FLF, prologue). With so many people to manage, a steadholder is granted limited citizenship, thereby placed above the freemen (and of course, the slaves), in order to provide oversight, judge local matters, and keep the peace. Steadholders automatically become citizens of Alera, but only with limited rights and applications.

The Work[]

Dodger

Rivan Mountain White sheep

Steadholders and their workers are the country-folk of Alera, the salt of the earth, making up the largest portion of the population. They know the land, tending farms and livestock, keeping chickens, herding sheep and gargants —- quite gargantuan beasts. Most workers and holders are freemen, meaning they are not entitled to the rights and privileges of Aleran citizens.

Furycrafting[]

As a general rule steadholders wield less control over furycrafting than citizens. Despite this, many steadholders are very strong crafters, especially those living in more dangerous areas of Alera. Bernard and Isana are excellent examples of steadholders wielding tremendous furycrafting power, even greater than most citizens.

It appears there is a correlation between living on a steadholt and manifesting a fury. There is discussion among furycrafting scholars on the reason behind this correlation. Some speculate that steadholders imagine their furies as animals, beasts, and humanoids, and over time their furies take the shape given to them. Others conclude that those living in steadholts are forced to use their furies often to survive, growing closer to their furies as they grow in power. This closeness gives the crafter a better sense of their fury, and the fury is able to manifest itself through it's relationship with the craft.

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