Robert Jordan is very clear that the world before the Breaking was much different geographically, and thus physical descriptions must first differentiate between the planet’s appearance in the Age of Legends, or “The World Since the Breaking” (after insane male Aes Sedai and the Dark One’s minions shattered the world, drastically altering it geographically). At the time of the books (the Third Age: 3,000+ years since the Breaking), the planet consists of the following: two major oceans (with associated seas and small islands), a northern and southern ice cap, the "Main Continent" (also called the Eastern Continent), the Seanchan continent, and a continent to the southeast (Land of Madmen). (See World, 146.)
Randland is a name adopted by fans to refer to the imaginary world of The Wheel of Time fantasy book series by Robert Jordan during the time period he calls the New Era, and is derived from the name of the central character Rand al'Thor. Like many other writers, Robert Jordan never officially names his world, so (in lieu of another name) Randland has come into accepted common usage---so that fans have something to call it.
More specifically, "Randland" often refers to The Westlands in the New Era, the main area of Randland's main or eastern continent---between the Aryth Ocean to the west (which no character from the Westlands has been depicted crossing) and the mountains referred to as 'The Spine of the World' to the east (and south of The Blight).
The Borderlands are the northern nations that border the Blight. For 3000 years the nations of the Borderlands have guarded the Westlands against Shadowspawn from the Great Blight. The culture of the Borderlands is the most martial of all of the Westlands, and many of the best soldiers hail from the Borderlands. Because of the Borderlands' close proximity to the Great Blight and Shayol Ghul, Aes Sedai are highly respected and revered.
Randland, or the Westlands, is bordered on the south by that portion of the Aryth Ocean known as the Sea of Storms.
Although no scale appeared on the maps in the books themselves, a scale did appear on the world map on page 146 of the guidebook accompanying the series (World). The scale on this map suggests that the distance from the edge of the continent on the west to The Spine of the World in the east is approximately 3,000 miles. This concurs broadly with the designers who worked on The Wheel of Time roleplaying game, who suggested a scale of 1" = 400 miles on the colour endpaper maps in the hardback editions of the books. By their calculations Randland therefore measures roughly 3,500 miles from the west coast to the Spine of the World.
A reliable way of measuring the maps emerged in the prequel novel New Spring, which gave the straight-line distance from Tar Valon to the sea south of Tear as 400 leagues (1,600 miles).
Altara is a country located between Illian and Amadicia. The river Eldar forms its western border. The nation is not united and often some nobles have more power than the King or Queen. Its capital, a port, is Ebou Dar, located in the south. The banner of Altara is two golden leopards on a field checked four-by-four in red and blue.
Ebou Dar celebrates more festivals and feastdays than any other city on the map. Even so, it is a wild and dangerous place, especially in the Rahad, where the poorer classes live. Outside the city, the country consists of inhabitants who associate themselves with a particular town or lord rather than the Queen or Altara.
Women in Altara are dominant, especially in Ebou Dar. In fact, in many situations an Altaran woman has the right to kill a man unquestioned. Knives and swords are an important part of Altaran life. Both men and women fight duels over trivial disputes, often with fatal results. Altaran women carry marriage knives, which serve both as a formal way to broadcast marital status (its color and decorations describe marital and motherly status), and a way to deal with their men.
In the year 957 NE, the Children of the Light invaded Altara. They were opposed by Altara, Murandy and Illian. Eventually the Whitecloaks were pushed back, and the war became known as the "Whitecloak War."
Following the split in the White Tower, those Aes Sedai who refused to accept Elaida as Amyrlin Seat fled to Altara. There they set up a temporary Tower in exile in the abandoned village of Salidar. Salidar has since been vacated by these Aes Sedai as they travelled north to besiege Tar Valon.
Recently the Seanchan conquered Ebou Dar and the southern part of Altara. They allowed the queen at the time, Tylin Mitsobar, to remain on the Throne of the Winds as a client queen. Shortly afterwards, though, Tylin was killed by a Gholam and her son Beslan has since ascended to the Throne. Before his ascension, Beslan was engaged in anti-Seanchan activities in Ebou Dar; it is unclear how his attitude to the Seanchan occupation has changed, if at all, but the Seanchan military appear to have a firm grip in any case.
Amadicia is a landlocked nation in the southwest of the main continent, stretching from the southern end of the Mountains of Mist to the northern edge of the Shadow Coast (an uninhabited region). It is best known as the home of the Children of the Light, a highly militaristic religious order that claims to serve the Light and oppose the Dark One "wherever he is found." Amadicia was in theory a monarchy, most recently reigned over by King Ailron, but the Children were the real ruling power in Amadicia until the coming of the Seanchan.
Due to the Children's belief that Aes Sedai are servants of the Dark One, both Aes Sedai and channeling are outlawed in Amadicia, and the merest suspicion of such "witchcraft" can result in harsh punishment and even execution. Similarly, the denouncement, trial, and execution of suspected "darkfriends" are common, though the accused are often little more than social outcasts, the unlucky participants in disagreements, or merely in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The Children's expansionist aspirations have led to a number of wars in Amadicia, most recently the "Whitecloak War" with Illian and Altara, which the Children call "the Troubles." These same belligerent tendencies, together with the Children's view of Aes Sedai, had a role in the choice of the abandoned village of Salidar as the base of the rebel Aes Sedai, since the close proximity of the Children made Salidar an unlikely place to look for them.
The dress and mannerisms of Amadicia, as well as its harsh punishments and disdain for due process of law, are evocative of the Knights Templar, a monastic brotherhood of knights founded in the twelfth century. The name "Amadicia" bears this out; in Latin it means "[The land of] the saying of the right" and is similar to the name "Amadeus", which means "He who loves God".
Arad Doman is a coastal nation in the north-west of the main continent, lying between the Aryth Ocean on the west and the Mountains of Mist in the east. To the south lies Almoth Plain. To the north is an unclaimed region between Arad Doman and Saldaea.
The capital city of Arad Doman is Bandar Eban, a port city at the mouth of the river Dhagon and a major center of trade. Katar (in the disputed Almoth region) is an important mining city in the Mountains of Mist whose nobles are powerful enough that they have to be occasionally reminded that they are subject to Arad Doman.
The official ruler of Arad Doman is King Alsalam. However, Alsalam's whereabouts are currently unknown. The Council of Merchants also possesses great power.
Domani women are the source of the nation's fame; only the Sea Folk women are thought to be more graceful. Domani women wear diaphanous, form-fitting clothing considered scandalous in most countries, and have raised the practice of seduction to an art. It is said that Domani mothers begin teaching their daughters this business at an early age.
If Arad Doman owes its fame to its women, it similarly owes its national wealth to them. Most Domani merchants are women, and few men can best them in a bargaining session. Most men, however, consider losing to be worth the experience. The Domani trade a great deal with the Sea Folk, and are among the few merchants in the land who can hold their own bargaining with the Sea Folk. Horses are an important commodity, especially the famed 'razor' prized by nobles; however, few Domani will sell them to outlanders.
Historically, since the fall of the nation of Almoth (centuries ago), Arad Doman has struggled with Tarabon for control of the Almoth Plain. Recently, however, since the Dragon Reborn proclaimed himself at Falme and the Seanchan were temporarily defeated, Arad Doman fell into chaos. Not being a target for the Seanchan when they returned in greater numbers and occupied Tarabon, Arad Doman's relative isolation from other nations and its precarious condition have prevented the nation from taking an active role in world affairs.
Arad Doman is the birthplace of the famous general, Lord Rodel Ituralde. Recently, Ituralde orchestrated a number of raids against the Seanchan in Tarabon. The Dragon Reborn has also moved large numbers of troops, including some Aiel, into Arad Doman, placing the country under de facto occupation.
The Forsaken Graendal was last known to be hiding in Arad Doman.
Arad Doman in many ways resembles Arabia.
One of the Borderland nations, Arafel is located between Kandor on the west and Shienar on the east. The capital of Arafel is the city of Shol Arbela. The current ruler is King Paitar Nachiman; his sister Kiruna is an Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah, and is allied with the Salidar sisters.
As with all the Borderlands, Arafel is a martial nation. Arafellin men tend to wear two curved swords on their backs, one hilt protruding above each shoulder. Both genders wear their hair in long braids, with bells on the end. Sometimes they will also wear bells on their coat sleeves or dangling from the tops of their boots, as decoration.
Ghealdan is a relatively minor country, known for its production of alum. The capital is the city of Jehannah. The current ruler is Queen Alliandre, but she rules in name only as the country is a battleground between several armies.
The homeland of the False Dragon Logain Ablar, Ghealdan suffered a great deal from Logain's depredations. Logain was eventually captured by Aes Sedai and taken to Tar Valon to be gentled. Before Ghealdan could recover, however, Masema Dagar, the self-proclaimed Prophet of the Dragon, recruited an army of Dragonsworn who terrorised the southern parts of Ghealdan and destabilised the government. The present Queen, Alliandre, is the fourth monarch in six months; her two immediate predecessors ended their reigns after being defeated by Masema's followers, one by suspected suicide, the other by abdication. Alliandre thought it appropriate to come to an accommodation with Masema. Ghealdan was further thrown into confusion by the arrival of the Shaido Aiel, Perrin Aybara as representative of the Dragon Reborn, and most recently Seanchan forces.
The nation of Kandor is one of the four nations of the Borderlands, lying between Saldaea and Arafel. The capital Chachin lies near the northern border, just south of the Plain of Lances. The current ruler of Kandor is Queen Ethenielle. Kandori are famous merchants, and are said to have strange ideas about debts and repayment. Kandori men are noted for wearing pearl earrings and forked beards.
Murandy is a landlocked nation in the south of the main continent, bordered on the north by Andor, the north-west by Ghealdan, the south-west by Altara, and the south by Illian. To the east, across the River Cary, are the Hills of Kintara, which are part of no nation. The capital city is Lugard, and the present ruler is King Roedran Almaric do Arreloa a'Naloy.
The people of Murandy, much like the people of Altara, do not really consider themselves the residents of a nation, owing allegiance instead to a town or to a local lord. As a result, King Roedran has very little effective power, especially outside Lugard. The constant squabbling between noble families and their followers also provides ample opportunities for interference by powerful neighbouring nations, especially Andor. Murandians are, however, capable of overcoming their differences if they face invasion by their neighbours. Murandians are widely regarded as uncouth and undisciplined.
The capital city of Lugard is located in central Murandy, and at a major crossroads. Trade always flourishes there, regardless of whatever political upheaval may be engulfing the city or nation; it is this trade which keeps the city alive. Lugard is one of the few cities in the world which have more inns and stables than houses and shops. The city was once surrounded by a tall stone wall, which has fallen into disrepair. The many thieves who call Lugard home consider any foreigner a fair mark, and the unpaved roads and alleys are dangerous to travel alone.
Murandy plays only a minor role in world politics. The lack of an effective ruler makes it difficult for Murandy to defend itself, much less to make its presence felt in the rest of the land. It is thought by many to have been modeled in part on Ireland, or possibly Wales; the interference of Andor (thought to be based on England)--almost domination in some instances--in Murandian affairs bears this out.
The accents in the books are reminiscent particularly of Irish rather than Welsh.
The nation of Tarabon was formed after the demise of Artur Hawkwing's empire, and the founders set a pattern that continues to modern times: joint rule by a male King and a female Panarch, with clear division of responsibility and authority. Tarabon fell into civil war after the events at Falme, and was eventually occupied by the Seanchan. The last Panarch, Amathera, was deposed and enslaved by the Seanchan, and the fate of the King is unknown. Tarabon is presently under Seanchan military government. The Seanchan in Tarabon have been heavily attacked during the events in Knife of Dreams, as Rodel Ituralde leads over 20,000 men in a series of raids and skirmishes across the country.
Its capital, Tanchico, is located on the coast of the Aryth Ocean, about five miles up the River Andahar. The city is built on and around three prominent peninsulas.
Taraboners believe that they have some of the most ancient lineage of all nations, and refer to themselves as the "Tree of Man". They wear veils that cover all but their eyes.
The name 'Tarabon' may come from the French terrebonne (meaning "good land"), a suburb of Montreal.
Intriguingly, the nation of Andor does not include much land on the west bank of River Erinin. Cairhien holds most of both banks to the north (except the very north where Andor controls a small portion of both banks). The southern half of Andor's eastern border is some miles inland, thus in this area the Erinin actually falls outside national boundaries. Here is located the large city Aringill on the west bank, the small and unwalled town of Maerone on the east bank, and several villages nearby.
There is much speculation as to why Andor chooses not to annex Aringill. The question is all the more striking since the Andoran presence is pronounced, extending to the garrisoning of a considerable number of the Queen's Guard---apparently at the invitation of Aringill.
Aringill is a fairly new city, having been either unoccupied or no larger than a small town as recently as 800 NE.
Since the Breaking of the world, the anchorage on the Toman Peninsula has been a coveted port location. It has not been confirmed, but supposedly there has always been a city where Falme now stands since soon after the Breaking.
The first country Falme belonged to was Safer, ruled by King Eawynd. We know that in 209 AB, Safer joined the Compact of the Ten Nations. At that time, the city where Falme now stands was called Miereallen. Safer survived the Trolloc Wars, but in a greatly weakened condition. Eventually the country collapsed, though the city struggled on .
Apparently the next country to control the city was Darmovan. It is likely that the residents of Falme participated significantly in the famous "People’s Uprising" that squashed a rebellion against High King Artur Hawkwing (exact date unknown, but some time between FY 963 and 986).
After the War of the Hundred Years, the nation of Almoth came into being. It controlled most of the Almoth Plain, as well as Toman Head and thus Falme. All that is known at this point is that the country simply faded away sometime before 600 NE.
In the books, the first Seanchan army ("Forerunners") landed in Falme on Toman Head, but was driven back into the sea, by an army of Whitecloaks, and especially by an army of dead heroes called back by the horn of Valere.
Far Madding lies on an island in the center of a lake. There are three gates and three bridges connecting the city to the mainland. The Caemlyn Gate leads to the Ajalon Bridge and the village of Glancor. The Illian Gate leads to the Ikane Bridge and the village of Daigan. The Tear Gate leads to the Goim Bridge and the village of South Bridge.
There are three Strangers' Markets in Far Madding where foreigners are allowed to trade. They are the Amhara Market, the Avharin Market and the Nethvin Market. They are named after the three most revered women in Far Madding history. At the center of the city is the Counsels' Plaza and the Hall of the Counsels.
In the time after the Breaking, the city was known as Aren Mador and was the capital of Essenia. After the Trolloc Wars, the city was known as Fel Moreina. After the War of the Hundred Years, Far Madding was the capital of Maredo until the nation fell apart. Far Madding is now an independent city-state and a major center of commerce.
In the Hall of the Counsels there is a ter'angreal known as the guardian. This ter'angreal simulates the effects of an Ogier Stedding, rendering it impossible for channellers to sense or touch the True Source. The area of influence is far greater for men than for women. The ter'angreal will also pinpoint the location of anyone channelling in the vicinity.
Far Madding is perhaps unusual among the Cities in Randland, in that the society is Matriarchal in nature. All the merchants are women, and men are the ones cared for with allowances or money willed to them.
Katar is a sizable mining town situated in the Mountains of Mist to the southeast of Arad Doman. While technically indepenedent, there is evidence in the books that it is under the "protection" of Arad Doman.
Mayene is a small but wealthy city-state, historically dominated by its powerful neighbor Tear. The ruler of Mayene is called the First; currently this is Berelain sur Paendrag Tanreall, who, like all of her family, claims to be a direct descendant of the famous king Artur Paendrag Tanreall (Artur Hawkwing), the most powerful ruler since the Breaking of the World. Similarly, Mayene's sign is a golden hawk, Artur Hawkwing's sign. This affectation probably has claim in truth---given that Mayene is small and weak among modern city-states and nations---and the Wheel of Time's habit of "Raising up that which was cast down, and casting down that which was raised up." That relative insignificance (small and out-of-the-way) may be what has allowed the remnant of Hawkwing's line to continue uninterrupted thus far.
The First's primary duty is to keep Mayene independent from Tear, which claims Mayene as a province. Mayene's independence despite these designs relies on the Mayener's knowledge of the location of the secret oilfish shoals, which oil is highly valued and competes with similar products from Tear, Illian, and Tarabon.
Another tool the Mayener rulers once used to assist them in maintaining Mayene's autonomy was a ter'angreal doorway which took them to the land of the Aelfinn. Anyone may enter this doorway once in their life; on the other side, they are allowed to ask any three questions, and will receive three true answers. These answers were a great aid to the Firsts in maintaining Mayene's independence, but one young First, who had already stepped through the doorway in his lifetime, eventually bargained it away to Tear. Despite this loss, the Mayeners are intent on remaining apart from the High Lords of Tear; this wish led Berelain to ally Mayene with the Dragon Reborn, the first ruler to do so freely.
The name is reminiscent of Mycenae. Mayene in a way, according to wotmania.com, resembles the cities of the Hanseatic League which were independent city states relying on trade and commerce for their power.
An island city in the River Erinin, within sight of the Dragonmount, and center of Aes Sedai power. "The Wheel of Time turns around Tar Valon, and Tar Valon turns around the Tower." Kings and Queens bow before the power that Tar Valon holds.
Tar Valon is modeled after the fantastical city of Avalon.
The City is accessible from the mainland via six bridges, three crossing the west branch of the Erinin, and three to the east. Roads from Tar Valon go to all the principal towns in the Borderlands, as well as south to Caemlyn and Cairhien. Additionally, there are two ports - Northharbor and Southharbor - for river traffic on the Erinin. Tar Valon thus functions as a hub of trade and commerce for the North, as well as being a centre of major political importance; besides the ever-present Aes Sedai themselves, petitioners (mostly women, but occasionally men) come in significant numbers to the White Tower to seek Aes Sedai aid and counsel.
Tar Valon is the home of the White Tower, where the Aes Sedai reside and train. The Tower, and much of the city, was built by the Ogier. Tar Valon is a city-state of sorts, over which the Amyrlin Seat rules. The "Shining Walls" of Tar Valon are thought to be impregnable, quite apart from the difficulty in taking a city filled with Aes Sedai, and the common belief is that no army has ever breached them. But this is an Aes Sedai deception. In the Trolloc Wars the armies of the Shadow actually managed to breach the Tower and burn part of it, though it is also said that the eventual rebuff of the Trolloc armies amounted to one of their greatest defeats in the Wars. Additionally, the armies of at least two false Dragons have reached the Tower in an effort to rescue them. In general, though, Tar Valon is a very difficult city to lay a successful siege to; a besieging army would need to hold both banks of the Erinin, while at the same time blockading the island.
The White Tower, the central feature of Tar Valon, is the home to the Aes Sedai, with different sections within the Tower for the different ranks and factions, including guards, Novices, Accepted and even the servants. The White Tower was built by Ogier and the Aes Sedai, and soars to heights unparalleled anywhere in the world.
The current Amyrlin Seat, Elaida do Avriny a' Roihan, is in the process of adding a massive palace to the Tower, parts of which will beat it in height. How she intends to carry this out, it is difficult to say, as the Tower's monumental height was only attainable through the extensive use of the One Power during its construction.
The City and Tower are presently under siege by the Salidar Aes Sedai, led until recently by Egwene al'Vere, and their army commanded by Gareth Byrne. In lieu of a naval blockade, Egwene and others have converted the harbour chains to cuendillar; it is likely that the harbour locks will be removed to permit vessel entry, creating a gap in the city's defences.
Dragonmount is a massive volcanic mountain formed during the Breaking of the World after Lews Therin Telamon was confronted by Elan Morin Tedronai (Ishamael). Lews Therin drew enough of the One Power that, "The air turned to fire, the fire to light liquified", a lightning bolt struck from a clear sky to the point where Lews Therin was standing, bored into the earth and created a volcano, and split the river Erinin in two, creating an island that is now the home of Tar Valon. The mountain became known as Dragonmount, where the Dragon would be Reborn according to prophecy, and its summit, which often smokes like a volcano, is high enough to cast a shadow over Tar Valon at certain times of day.
Stedding are the homelands of the Ogier. Various stedding are spread all across the world and are places of natural beauty and power. They are shielded from the One Power in some way that prevents any person from channeling or wielding the One Power within a stedding, and a person who can channel cannot even sense the True Source while in a stedding. Wielding the One Power, while outside the stedding, will produce no results within the stedding. Shadowspawn such as Trollocs and Myrddraal will not willingly enter a stedding without being driven or under the greatest need.
It is a city located in the Aiel Waste that was built by the Jenn Aiel. Smaller in size than either Tear or Caemlyn, it is still considered a great city. It is filled with many buildings that are all said to be majestic palaces, although many of these remain unfinished. Found in the center of the city is a plaza filled with items wrought with the One Power and Avendesora, the Tree of Life, which is growing at the very center.
Before the city was reopened to all by Rand al'Thor, the city was magically protected and few who went in returned. The Aiel sent men to Rhuidean to see if they were deemed worthy enough to become clan chiefs, and Wise Ones sent their apprentices to see if they were strong enough to become Wise Ones themselves. Men were allowed to enter only once, while women went twice. Aiel who entered were tested by using a ter'angreal which would show the history of the Aiel through the eyes of their ancestors from earlier eras, as far back as the Age of Legends. This revealed the truth of the Aiel's past, that they were originally a group of pacifists charged with serving the Aes Sedai, a task at which most Aiel failed, only the Jenn completing their mission. Female Aiel, on their first trip to Rhuidean, also enter a ter'angreal which shows possible futures, many of which as memories blend together or are forgotten very quickly, leaving the most dire possibilities remembered.
Until recently, the city was abandoned and protected by a thick fog presumably generated by the One Power. It was also warded in some way to make it inaccessible in Tel'aran'rhiod. During his battle with Asmodean there, Rand al'Thor inadvertently dispelled the protective wardings and revealed a nearby underground lake. After also causing the fountains of the city to flow again, he left it to be repopulated.
Stands are much smaller than Holds, and are usually built near a source of water. They generally consist of few buildings - Imre Stand has only one - and are often used for grazing purposes.
"his blood (the Dragon's) on the rocks of Shayol Ghul, washing away the Shadow, sacrifice for man's salvation."
The Pit of Doom is deep within the mountain Shayol Ghul in Robert Jordan's fictional Wheel of Time series. It is located in the Blight in the valley of Thakan'dar, the site of the Dark One's prison. A tunnel leads down to the fiery Pit of Doom where the barrier between the real world and the Dark One's prison is thinnest.
The land bordered by mountains to the west (the Aiel Waste is on the far side of them), and to the north by the Great Blight.
The Sharans, much like the Aiel, are secretive of their ways among outsiders. But the people of Shara take this a step further than their neighbors to the west. Outsiders are only allowed to enter several specially designated trading towns. These towns are surrounded by high walls, with no view of the outside world. Outsiders who attempt to ascend the wall, or leave the trading towns, are killed immediately. Seafarers who land on the Sharan shore, by choice or not, are similarly executed.
Jain Farstrider indicated in his writings that lying to outsiders actually seemed to be a part of Sharan culture. Folk trading with the Sharans have learned to check their purchases, as Sharans obviously believe they need not tell outsiders the truth about the goods they are purchasing. Trading with the Sharans is a dangerous business, though one that is extremely profitable. For the most part, the Sea Folk and Aiel conduct all trade with the Sharans. The Aiel permitted the Cairhienin to trade with the Sharans in return for an ancient debt, until King Laman cut down the Avendoraldera, a shoot of the Tree of Life, to make his throne, leading to his execution by the Aiel and the declaring of Cairhienin anathema.
Like everywhere else, there are those in Shara who can channel the One Power. These people are known as the Ayyad. They live in towns separate from the rest of the Sharan people; other Sharans intruding in these towns are killed. Male Ayyad are not killed immediately. Instead, they serve as breeding stock for female Ayyad. These males are kept in ignorance of the outside world, and are killed as soon as they reach the age of 21 or show signs of channeling.
The Sharans are ruled by a monarch, called Sh’boan if female and Sh’botay if male. The Sharan monarch dies every seven years, which the Sharan people simply accept as the "will of the Pattern." At this point, the monarch's widow(er) remarries and becomes monarch; the new spouse will be widowed in an additional seven years and reign in turn. Unknown to most, the monarchs are actually killed by the Ayyad, who are the true power in Shara.
Seanchan is the name of a continent that lies west across the Aryth Ocean from the Westlands, and it is also the name of the Empire that dominates the continent. Upon its occupation by Artur Hawkwing's armies, it was a chaos of warring factions. Much of its history was spent in the Consolidation of Imperial power. In recent years, the Seanchan (who call the Aryth Ocean the Eastern Sea) have made the voyage successfully more than once in their large, wide-bottomed ships.
Little is known about this separate, island continent, except that, apparently, all channelers there are insane, and civilization did not survive the Breaking. It is directly south and well below the equator from the main continent, near the Southern Icecap .
Twenty-four nations rose during and just after the War of the Hundred Years. However, by 600 NE nine of these nations had already faded away. The overrunning of Malkier in 955 NE marked the latest death of a nation. These ten extinct New Era nations are the following:
This former nation is now known as Almoth Plain. Unlike many of the extinct nations, Almoth Plain still contained a significant population as of the outset of the series. In the north-east corner is the town of Katar. The long peninsula of Toman Head is also settled, containing the port town of Falme.
Since the end of Almoth, the Plain has had a turbulent history; control of Almoth Plain has been hotly contested by the two surrounding states of Tarabon and Arad Doman. Neither, however, has managed to secure a permanent advantage.
Falme also witnessed the first encounter with the Seanchan Forerunners, who were, however, forced to temporarily withdraw as they were faced with opposition led by Rand al'Thor, the Dragon Reborn. This led to large numbers of Dragonsworn forming armed bands and roaming the countryside, further adding to the disorder.
Following the eventual Seanchan conquest of Tarabon, Almoth Plain became a buffer between Arad Doman and the Seanchan Empire.
It can be surmised that a significant proportion of the original population have died or been displaced in the recent turmoil.
Little is known about Caralain, which once lay to the north of Andor. These days, much of Caralain is Caralain Grass, a great expanse of largely uninhabited grassland.
Hardan was a nation located in the north-east of the Westlands, between Shienar in the north and Cairhien in the south. The capital of Hardan was Harad Dakar. The nation faded away sometime during the New Age. After the end of Hardan as a nation, Cairhien tried to assert control over its territory, but retreated when it became clear that the nation could not control so much land.
Kintara (including the Hills of Kintara, south of Andor)
Malkier was once the northernmost of the Borderlands, buffering Shienar and Arafel from the Great Blight. It was one of the first nations formed after the War of the Hundred Years, to provide stability and security along the Blight. The warriors of Malkier, like all Borderlanders, were renowned for their martial prowess.
Malkier was famous for containing the Seven Towers, and also the Seven Lakes. It is unknown what these were, but they were perhaps the key fortresses of the kingdom. The symbol of Malkier was a golden crane in flight.
Malkier fell to the Shadow in 955 NE. A powerful noble, Cowin Gemallan, deliberately stripped the border fortresses of their garrisons, and great numbers of Trollocs invaded. Gemallan was captured by Jain Farstrider and brought back to the Seven Towers in chains, and the King, al'Akir Mandragoran, killed him in single combat. But the Trolloc presence in Malkier was by this time too strong, and there was not enough time to gain military assistance from Arafel and Shienar. Lan Mandragoran, the King's son, who was then an infant, was escorted to Fal Moran. Al'Akir and his Queen, el'Leanna, led the Malkieri to the final defeat at Herot's Crossing. Despite the Trolloc attack eventually being blunted by the combined armies of Shienar, Arafel and Kandor, the Borderlander nations were not strong enough to reconquer Malkier, which was by then firmly under Trolloc occupation, and it eventually was swallowed up by the Blight. The surviving Malkieri fled as refugees, and most found homes in the other Borderland nations.
In the few years since the fall of the Seven Towers in 955 NE, much has already been forgotten. Many Malkieri have turned from the old ways, forgetting their mothers and fathers, pretending to be Shienaran, Arafellin, Kandori or Saldean. Men have unbound (no longer wear) their hadori; women no longer paint the ki'sain on their brows.
Mar Haddon (now Haddon Mirk)
Maredo once was a nation in the New Age. The capital was Far Madding in the north of the kingdom. The land faded away somewhere in the New Age, and the only human populated area in the former nation now is the citystate of Far Madding.
Geography The nation of Aelgar encompassed the lands now known as Tarabon and Amadicia as well as the Shadow Coast. It was bordered by Safer, Manetheren, Eharon and the Aryth Ocean. The capital city of Aelgar was Ancohima; little else is known about Ancohima, with the exception of the fact that there was a Waygate located there. Other known cities in Aelgar include Shar Honelle, Condaris, and Mainelle. Nothing is known of the first one, though we do know that there was a Waygate located at Condaris and that Mainelle was located where Tanchico now stands. The fabled lost mines of Aelgar supposedly lie in the mountains south of modern day Amadicia.
Formation, Government and Nobility Like the other nations in its time, Aelgar was formed sometime after the Breaking of the World. King Remedan the Godentongued was the ruler who signed the Compact on behalf of Aelgar. Nothing else about the government or nobility is known.
After the Trolloc Wars Aelgar was one of the few nations that survived the Wars. However, it was so weakened by the forces of the Shadow that it soon fell due to this fragility. It was succeeded by the nations of Balasun and Kharendor, and eventually Tarabon.
Geography The nation of Almoren lay in the area that is now known as Cairhien, and bordered on what is now known as the Spine of the World. Almoren also bordered on the lands that were held by Tar Valon and the Aes Sedai of the White Tower. The capital city of Almoren was Al'cair'rahienallen, which bears some resemblance to the name of the modern-day capital of Cairhien. During the construction of this city, the Ogier built a Waygate here. The only other city that is known of from Almoren is Jennshain.
Formation, Government and Nobility The nation of Almoren was formed sometime after the Breaking of the World. The ruler who signed the Compact on behalf of Almoren was King Coerid Nosar. Other than this, of the government we know only sometime before the Trolloc Wars, Almoren was ruled by a Queen whose name we do not know.
After the Trolloc Wars The nation of Almoren fell to the Shadow sometime during the Wars. The date of its fall is not known, only the fact that Almoren did not survive. According to the maps, Ileande and Hamarea, and later Cairhien, grew out of the ruins of Almoren.
Geography The nation of Aramaelle was located in what is now Malkier, Shienar, and the unclaimed territory to its southwest. It was one of the two nations whose northern border actually extended well into the Mountains of Dhoom. To the west lay Aridhol, to the north-west Jaramide, Coremanda to the south, and the land held by Tar Valon was located to the east. The capital city of Aramaelle was Mafal Dadaranell; this city was located where Fal Dara is now situated. During the construction of Mafal Dadaranell, a Waygate was constructed by the Ogier. The only other cities of Aramaelle whose names we know were Anolle'sanna, Cuebiyarsande and Rhahime Naille.
Formation, Government and Nobility The nation of Aramaelle was formed sometime after the Breaking of the World. When the Compact was signed, Mabriam en Shereed, a ta'veren Aes Sedai of the Gray Ajah, was queen of Aramaelle. Mabriam en Shereed was very instrumental in the formation of the Compact. One legendary character, Kirukan, was the warrior queen of Aramaelle who carried the Sword of Kirukan that is now wielded by the Swordbearer of Kandor.
After the Trolloc Wars The nation of Aramaelle fell to the Shadow sometime during the Wars. The date of its fall is not known, only the fact that Aramaelle did not survive. According to the maps, Rhamdashar, and later Shienar and Malkier, grew out of the ruins of Aramaelle.
Geography The nation of Aridhol was located in what is now largely unclaimed territory, near the northern half of the Mountains of Mist. To the west was Safer, with Jaramide to the north, Aramaelle to the northeast, Coremanda to the southeast, and Manetheren to the south. The capital city of Aridhol was also called Aridhol, and was located where Shadar Logoth stands today. Other cities in Aridhol included Abor'maseleine and Cyrendemar'naille. There was a Waygate in the city of Aridhol.
Formation, Government and Nobility Like the other nations in its time, Aridhol was formed sometime after the Breaking of the World. The ruler of Aridhol who signed the Compact of Ten Nations was Queen Doreille Torghin. At one point during the Trolloc Wars, Aridhol was ruled by King Balwen Mayal, also known as Balwen Ironhand.
The Trolloc Wars and the Fall of Aridhol Like the other nations of the Compact, Aridhol stood against the Shadow. During the Trolloc Wars, Aridhol fell from within. Following is an excerpt from Chapter 19 of "The Eye of the World" regarding the fall of Aridhol.
"Once it was called Aridhol", Moiraine replied, "and was one of the Ten Nations, the lands that made the Second Covenant, the lands that stood against the Dark One from the first days after the Breaking of the World. In the days when Thorin al Toren al Ban was King of Manetheren, the King of Aridhol was Balwen Mayel, Balwen Ironhand. In a twilight of despair during the Trolloc Wars, when it seemed the Father of Lies must surely conquer, the man called Mordeth came to Balwen's court."
"The same man?" Rand exclaimed, and Mat said, "It couldn't be!" A glance from Moiraine silenced them. Stillness filled the room except for the Aes Sedai's voice.
"Before Mordeth had been long in the city he had Balwen's ear, and soon he was second only to the King. Mordeth whispered poison in Balwen's ear, and Aridhol began to change. Aridhol drew in on itself, hardened. It was said that some would rather see Trollocs come than the men of Aridhol. The victory of the Light is all. That was the battlecry Mordeth gave them, and the men of Aridhol shouted it while their deeds abandoned the Light.
"The story is too long to tell in full, and too grim, and only fragments are known, even in Tar Valon. How Thorin's son, Caar, came to win Aridhol back to the Second Covenant, and Balwen sat his throne, a withered shell with the light of madness in his eyes, laughing while Mordeth smiled at his side and ordered the deaths of Caar and the embassy as Friends of the Dark. How Prince Caar came to be called Caar One-Hand. How he escaped the dungeons of Aridhol and fled alone to the Borderlands with Mordeth's unnatural assassins at his heels. How there he met Rhea, who did not know who he was, and married her, and set the skein in the Pattern that led to his death at her hands, and hers by her own hand before his tomb, and the fall of Aleth-loriel. How the armies of Manetheren came to avenge Caar and found the gates of Aridhol torn down, no living thing inside the walls, but something worse than death. No enemy had come to Aridhol but Aridhol. Suspicion and hate had given birth to something that fed on that which created it, something locked in the bedrock on which the city stood. Mashadar waits still, hungering. Men spoke of Aridhol no more. They named it Shadar Logoth, the Place Where the Shadow Waits, or more simply, Shadow's Waiting.
"Mordeth alone was not consumed by Mashadar, but he was snared by it, and he, too, has waited within these walls through the long centuries. Others have seen him. Some he has influenced through gifts that twist the mind and taint the spirit, the taint waxing and waning until it rules ... or kills. If ever he convinces someone to accompany him to the walls, to the boundary of Mashadar's power, he will be able to consume the soul of that person. Mordeth will leave, wearing the body of the one he worse than killed, to wreak his evil on the world again."
After the Trolloc Wars The nation and city of Aridhol were desolate by this time, and the ruins of the capital became known as Shadar Logoth, "Shadow's Waiting". The territory once controlled by Aridhol came to form the nation of Masenashar and also part of Oburun, and more recently parts of Caralain and Andor.
Geography The nation of Coremanda was located in what is now known as eastern Andor. To the south it was bordered by Eharon to the southwest and Essenia to the southeast. To the west was Manetheren, with Aridhol to the northwest, Aramaelle to the north, and Tar Valon and Almoren to the northeast. The capital city of Coremanda was Shaemal, famous for its crystal dome. Other cities included Braem (now New Braem), Hai Caemlyn (now Caemlyn), and Nailine Samfara. There were Waygates at Shaemal, Braem and Hai Caemlyn.
Formation, Government and Nobility Like the other nations in its time, Coremanda was formed sometime after the Breaking of the World. The ruler of Coremanda who signed the Compact was King Ladoman.
Before the Trolloc Wars Before the Trolloc Wars began, supposedly the whole world envied Coremanda's splendor and might. Nothing else is known.
After the Trolloc Wars The Trolloc Wars took a heavy toll upon the nation of Coremanda. Braem and Shaemal were completely destroyed during the Wars. By the end of the wars, the entire nation of Coremanda was destroyed. Some ruins of Coremanda can still be seen along the Tar Valon road. According to the maps, Aldeshar, Dal Calain, Caebarin and part of Nerevan, and later a great part of Andor, grew out of the ruins of Coremanda.
Geography The nation of Eharon was located on the Sea of Storms, largely covering the same area as present-day Altara and Illian. Eharon was bordered on the west by Aelgar, the north-west by Manetheren, the north-east by Coremanda, and the east by Essenia. The capital city of Eharon was Londaren Cor, which had a waygate. Other cities of importance included Barashta, the predecessor to Ebou Dar, and Dorelle Caromon, located where Illian now stands. Both of these cities contained Waygates as well.
Formation, Government and Nobility Like the other nations in its time, Eharon was formed sometime after the Breaking of the World. The ruler of Eharon who signed the Compact of Ten Nations was King Temanin. The only other thing we know about the ruling of Eharon is that, at some time, there was a king named Maecine.
After the Trolloc Wars Eharon was one of the nations that survived the Trolloc Wars, though it was very weak. Within a short amount of time, according to the maps, the nation of Shiota, and later, Altara and Illian, grew out of the eventual ruins of Eharon.
Geography The nation of Essenia was located in what is now known as Tear and the Plains of Maredo. To the north was Coremanda, with Eharon to the west and the Spine of the World to the east. The capital city of Essenia was Aren Mador, which eventually became the city of Far Madding as it is today. Other cities of Essenia included Dalsande and Tear. There were Waygates built at Aren Mador and Tear.
Formation, Government and Nobility Like the other nations in its time, Essenia was formed sometime after the Breaking of the World. The ruler of Essenia who signed the Compact of Ten Nations was First Lord Cristol.
Before the Trolloc Wars Before the Trolloc Wars began, Essenia was known for its philosophers and seats of learning. Nothing else is known.
After the Trolloc Wars Essenia was one of the nations that survived the Trolloc Wars, though it soon succumbed to its own fragility. According to the maps, the nations of Fergansea, Moreina, Talmour and Esandara, and later Tear and the Plains of Maredo, grew out of the ruins of Essenia. Essenia was one of the Ten Nations. Although it survived the Trolloc Wars, the resulting chaos after the Trollocs were defeated caused Essenia to fall from within. Essenia was famous for its philosophers and seats of learning. The capital city was Aren Mador (Far Madding). Other important cities were Tear and Dalsande. Essenia covered what is today Tear and the Plains of Maredo.
Geography The nation of Jaramide was located in what is now known as Saldaea and Arad Domon. To the southeast lay Aramaelle and to the south Aridhol and Safer. To the north was the Blight. Jaramide was one of the two nations that had a border actually reaching into the Mountains of Dhoom. The capital city of Jaramide was Derenbar, where Maradon is now located. Other cities included Allorallen (now Bandar Eban), Barsine, Canaire'somelle and Nashebar. There was a Waygate in Derenbar.
Formation, Government and Nobility Like the other nations in its time, Jaramide was formed sometime after the Breaking of the World. The ruler of Jaramide who signed the Compact of Ten Nations was High Queen Egoridin. Around 325 AB, Comaelle was High Queen.
After the Trolloc Wars Though the fall of Barsine marked the beginning of the Trolloc Wars, Jaramide was one of the nations that survived the Wars. However, it soon fell due to its fragility. According to the maps, Abayan, Basharande and part of Indrahar, and later Saldaea and Arad Domon, grew from the ruins of Jaramide.
Geography The ancient nation of Manetheren was centred on the present-day Two Rivers, and extended south into what is now Ghealdan. Its borders ran almost all the way to Murandy. Its capital city, also called Manetheren, stood close to the village of Emond's Field. The city of Manetheren had a Waygate, built during the construction of the city, and an Ogier Grove said to be the most beautiful in the world except that at Tar Valon. Other than Manetheren, the names of only three other cities are known: Corartheren, Jara'copan and Shanaine. Nothing is known about Corartheren, but we know the approximate locations of the other two. Jara'copan was located somewhere south of the capital city, in the foothills of the Mountains of Mist, and Jehannah now stands were Shanaine was located.
Formation, Government and Nobility The nation of Manetheren was formed after the Breaking of the World. At the time when the Compact of Ten Nations was formed, Manetheren was ruled by Sorella ay Marena. Some time before the Trolloc Wars (exactly when is not known), a man named Buiryn was a ruler of Manetheren. He was defeated by Aedomon of Safer at Midean's Ford. During the Trolloc Wars, at the time of Aridhol's collapse, Thorin al Toren al Ban was king of Manetheren. It is unlikely that Thorin's son, Caar, succeeded him, as Caar died in the Borderlands after escaping from Aridhol. Likely, the throne passed straight to the last king, Thorin's grandson Aemon.
Before the Trolloc Wars Little is known about Manetheren before the Trolloc Wars except that there was some degree of tension between Manetheren and the nation of Safer. Some time before the Trolloc Wars began, King Aedomon of Safer defeated Manetheren at Midean's Ford.
Trolloc Wars During the Trolloc Wars, Manetheren was one of the strongest opponents of the Shadow and was said to be a thorn in the Dark One's Foot. Manetheren was considered to be the "sword that could not be broken." The men and women were brave, and fought with all they had to defeat the forces of the Dark One. When Aridhol fell to the Shadow, King Thorin of Manetheren sent his son, Caar, to try to bring the people of Aridhol back to the Light. Caar was imprisoned, escaping and becoming known as Caar One-Hand, but was forced to flee to the Borderlands, where he perished. In the days of Caar's son Aemon, a great Trolloc army attacked Manetheren. Aemon and his soldiers held the crossings of the Tarendrelle against overwhelming odds for ten days, but were betrayed by the Amyrlin Seat, Tetsuan, who persuaded other nations not to send reinforcements. Driven back to Emond's Field, Aemon and his remaining forces were surrounded and killed. His queen, Eldrene, used the One Power to kill the opposing generals, but killed herself and destroyed the city of Manetheren in the process, and the nation collapsed. After the Trolloc Wars By the time the Trolloc Wars came to an end, Manetheren had been completely destroyed. Eventually, the descendants of this great nation came to forget who they had been, and even about Manetheren itself. Today, all that remains of the city are broken shards of glass and melted rock. According to the maps, Farashelle and Dowlan, and later part of Andor and Ghealdan, grew out of the ruins of Manetheren.
Geography The nation of Safer was located in what is now known as Almoth Plain and Toman Head. The Aryth Ocean was located to the west, with Jaramide to the north, Aridhol, Coremanda and Manetheren to the east, and Aelgar to the south. The capital city was Iman, where Katar now stands. Other cities in Safer included Miereallen (now Falme) and Shainrahien. There was a Waygate in Iman.
Formation, Government and Nobility Like the other nations in its time, Safer was formed sometime after the Breaking of the World. The ruler of Safer who signed the Compact of Ten Nations was Eawynd. At one point in time, before the Trolloc Wars, there was a king of Safer named Aedomon.
Before the Trolloc Wars Little is known of Safer before the Trolloc Wars. However, there must have been some animosity between Safer and Manetheren; at the battle of Midean's Ford, king Aedomon of Safer wiped out Buiryn and the forces of Manetheren.
After the Trolloc Wars Safer was one of the Ten Nations to survive the Trolloc Wars. However, it was greatly weakened and soon disappeared. According to the maps, Darmovan, Oman Dashar, and Elan Dapor, and later Almoth Plain, Toman Head and part of Arad Domon, grew out of the ruins of Safer. Safer lay in the area most recently known as Almoth Plain and Toman Head. During the time of the signing of the Compact, the ruler was King Eawynd.
Twenty-nine nations had arisen from the destruction of the Trolloc Wars by FY 100; they were the following:
The world was considerably different prior to The Breaking of the world.
When the hole in the Bore was drilled, the backlash destroyed most of the Collam Daan, the Sharom included. The following is a quote from The Shadow Rising, Chapter 26, describing the destruction of the Sharom.
"What seemed a tiny chip of white spun away from the Sharom in a jet of black fire; it descended, deceptively slow, insignificant. Then a hundred gouts spurted everywhere around the huge white sphere. The Sharom broke apart like an egg and began to drift down, falling, an obsidian inferno. Darkness spread across the sky, swallowing the sun in unnatural night, as if the light of those flames was blackness. People were screaming, screaming everywhere."
Abandoned for thousands of years, it had long been occupied by a living, mindless, consuming, evil, fog-like entity called Mashadar. The city has recently been destroyed.
Ancient history During the time of the Trolloc Wars, Aridhol was one of the Ten Nations, ruled by King Balwen Mayel. A man called Mordeth, the king's advisor, corrupted the king and the city, bearing resemblance to Grigori Rasputin. The city that adopted the motto: "The victory of the Light is all", became darker, and gave birth to Mashadar, which consumed and corrupted it. A large army of Trollocs and Myrddraal camped there later in the war; not one Shadowspawn came out alive. Since then, Shadowspawn have avoided the city.
Recent events In The Eye of the World, Moiraine Damodred led the group of people fleeing from the Two Rivers to camp there. While there, Rand al'Thor, Perrin Aybara, and Mat Cauthon met Mordeth, and Mat picked up a cursed ruby dagger. Ba'alzamon drove Shadowspawn into the city. Padan Fain went into the city and melded with Mordeth.
In Lord of Chaos, Rand Traveled to Shadar Logoth accompanied by Aiel and Ogier to close the Waygate in the city. While there, one of the Maidens of the Spear, Liah, disappeared.
In A Crown of Swords, Rand hunted down the Forsaken Sammael in Shadar Logoth. Sammael was killed by Mashadar. Rand also saw Liah again; when she was caught by Mashadar, Rand killed her with balefire so that she would not suffer.
In Winter's Heart, Rand and Nynaeve al'Meara used the One Power to set the evil of Shadar Logoth against the evil of the Dark One's taint on saidin. The two evils annihilated each other, cleansing the taint on saidin in the process, and Shadar Logoth was completely destroyed, leaving a massive hemispherical crater. This leaves Padan Fain, and his dagger, as the only remnants of the evil of Shadar Logoth.
The Ways were created outside of time and space as it exists in the world of The Wheel of Time. They were "grown" so that the Ogier could bypass the lands of men as they travelled from stedding to stedding, or to the Ogier Groves associated with the great cities they built. They were created by some of the Male Aes Sedai that took shelter in the stedding during The Breaking so they could avoid the taint on saidin. The Ways allow those who know the secret of traveling them to cover great distances in very short periods of time. The Ways are believed to have been created based on the study of 'Portal stones'.
Once the Ways were bright and sunny with great beauty (in nature) along them; however they became corrupted during the War of The Hundred Years, and are no longer safe to travel. The 'Black Wind' (Machin Shin) now roams the Ways in darkness hunting unwary travelers. The Black Wind's presence is heralded by the sound of wind (in a place that has none), containing voices that whisper of numerous mutilations such as "Plait the skin, scream your songs, sing your screams".
Waygates are the entrances to the Ways. They are grown using the 'Talisman of Growing', currently in the keeping of the Ogier Elders.
Finnland is the strange land from beyond the twisted red stone doorways (which are ter'angreal) and is the home of the Aelfinn and Eelfinn. This land, through the Finn, gave birth to the game Snakes and Foxes; a game that is played by children of Randland until the individual child learns they can't win under the rules of the game. This represents the fact that it seems as if, without cheating, you cannot win against any of the Finn.
In the end of The Fires of Heaven Lanfear, while attacking Rand al'Thor, is pushed through the doorway that leads to the land "owned" by the Eelfinn by Moiraine Damodred where they both are presumed to die. It is fairly obvious by now that Cyndane is Lanfear, suggesting that at some point in Finnland she died and was resurrected by the Dark One.