The Wheel of Time Atlas: Arad Doman

Arad Doman is a proud nation stretching from the Aryth Ocean to the Mountains of Mist, north of Almoth Plain. Occupying a wide stretch of pleasant countryside and blessed with mineral wealth from the mountains and good fishing from the ocean, the kingdom is populous and strong. It is also notably free from immediate threats: its nearest neighbour to the north, Saldaea, is both distant (most than 400 miles separate their borders) and on friendly trading terms, whilst the wide Almoth Plain separates Arad Doman from its rival to the south, Tarabon. The only nation Arad Doman shares a direct border with is Andor to the east, but the border is located high in the mountains and travel between the two nations is difficult and often cut off by weather.

The people of Arad Doman are well-known for their martial prowess, their mercantile skills and their dress sense, which some of the other nations consider scandalous. However, the nation is also somewhat remote, its distance from the more populous south-eastern part of the continent meaning that it has limited contact and influence with other nations.

Arad Doman

A map of Arad Doman and the surrounding regions. Please click for a larger version.

History

After the Breaking of the World, the territory currently occupied by Arad Doman was claimed by Jaramide, one of the Ten Nations of the Covenant. Jaramide established a huge port city, Allorallen, at the mouth of the River Dhagon and linked it by rode to the capital city of Deranbar (modern Maradon, in Saldaea), approximately 1,600 miles away. Allorallen grew rich, benefiting from the fact that there was no good harbour on the coast of the continent further north and closer to the capital.

Circa 1,000 AB, the northern Jaramidian fortress-city of Barsine, located in the Mountains of Dhoom, was attacked and destroyed by a vast Trolloc host, heralding the onset of the Trolloc Wars. Deranbar withstood multiple sieges as the Trolloc hordes outflanked it to strike further south. Allorallen was destroyed after a ferocious battle. Jaramide just about managed to survive the Trolloc Wars, but collapsed in their immediate aftermath.

One of the nations that arose from the ruins of the conflict was Abayan, which claimed all the lands north and west of the River Dhagon as far as the sea. Abayan does not appear to have been a major player in this period, as the false Dragon Guaire Amalasan, whose homeland and first conquest of Darmovan was located just to the south, did not even bother conquering or attacking the kingdom during the War of the Second Dragon. Another nation, Oman Dashar, was founded to the south, located within the triangle formed by the River Dhagon, River Akuum and Mountains of Mist. As with the rest of the Westlands, all three kingdoms were conquered by Artur Hawkwing during the Consolidation (FY 943-963).

It is believed that the modern city of Bandar Eban had been founded (on the site of Allorallen) by at least the end of Hawkwing’s reign, as one of the locations that the immense fleet was constructed for the invasion of Seanchan. Some records suggest that the site may have been occupied in the interim, but these are confused and doubtful.

Modern Arad Doman arose out of the chaos of the War of the Hundred Years. By the conclusion of the conflict the nation had established borders with Saldaea to the north-east, Almoth to the south and Andor through the mountains. Declining population levels have seen the north-eastern border pull back considerably and Almoth collapse some 400 years ago. An attempt to by Arad Doman to annex Almoth Plain was thwarted by Tarabon, and the two nations have remained at loggerheads over the plain ever since.

Arad Doman’s recent history has been unremarkable. During the Aiel War, the kingdom was unable to muster its army in time to march to the aid of Tar Valon. Instead, the famed captain Rodel Ituralde led a small volunteer force which could move quickly and took part in the Battle of the Shining Walls.

 

Geography

Arad Doman is located on the Aryth Ocean on the north-western coast of the Westlands. It extends inland to the Mountains of Mist, which form its eastern border, and Lake Somal and the Paerish Swar forest, which form its south-eastern border. Its southern border is located on the northern Almoth Plain. This border is somewhat fluid, extending north and south as the strength of the kingdom waxes and wanes. The kingdom measures approximately 750 miles from west to east and approximately 400 miles from north to south at its widest extent.

The capital city, Bandar Eban, is located on a peninsula extending into the Aryth Ocean in the west of the kingdom. The capital lies south of the mouth of the Dhagon; the river’s estuary forms a wide marsh extending to the north and west of the city. Bandar Eban is a very large city, one of the few in the west rivalling the great cities of the south and east, and a centre for trade and commerce.

The western and northern coasts are mountainous, dotted with valleys and dales. The interior is flatter and fertile, dotted with towns, holdfasts, villages, farms and small cities, such as Darluna (located close to the southern border). These lands are watered by the Dhagon and its major tributary, the Akuum. Both rivers are fed by numerous smaller streams rising in the mountains.

The Mountains of Mist form the eastern border of Arad Doman and are the location of impressive mines. Silver and gold are mined in the mountains. Clay pits can also be found in Arad Doman, giving rise to a thriving local pottery industry. The foothills of the mountains are a popular spot for nobles to have their mansions and hunting lodges.

Lake Somal is the largest inland lake on the continent, but it is remote and little-known, cut off from the south and west by the immense Paerish Swar, the Darkwood. Arad Doman controls the northern shore of the lake, but this control is somewhat tenuous due to the distance from the capital (about 740 miles).

The second city of Arad Doman is Katar, located almost 100 miles north-west of the lake and a clear 650 miles from Bandar Eban. Katar has a troubled relationship with the capital, which it may predate. Katar was originally Iman, the glorious capital of Safer, one of the Ten Nations. With Jaramide to the north taking the brunt of the Shadowspawn offensive in the west, Safer survived the Trolloc Wars but collapsed in its aftermath, with the nation of Darmovan arising in its wake. Based on its location, Katar would have likely been a major city of Darmovan as well. With the lake providing good fishing and the town controlling numerous mines in the nearby Mountains of Mist, Katar is self-sufficient and has more than once tried to break away from Arad Doman to become an independent city, free to trade with Andor over the nearby passes. However, Arad Doman always reasserts its control in the end.

There are small, narrow passes through the Mountains of Mist, leading from east of Katar to Andor, west of Baerlon. These passes are not conducive to large caravans, so are relatively-little known and are easily cut off during winter. Even rougher passes and tracks are said to lead from the south-eastern shores of Lake Somal to the vicinity of the Two Rivers district in Andor, but again these passes are little-known and very rarely used.

The known cities and settlements of Arad Doman are: Bandar Eban, Coron Ford, Darluna, Kandelmar, Katar, Maseen and Solanje.

 

Government

Arad Doman is ruled by the Council of Merchants, the body which controls trade, mercantile interests and the economy of Arad Doman. The Council, and indeed Arad Doman’s entire economic sector, is dominated by women, who traditionally enter commerce as a vocation.

The Council elects a non-hereditary ruler from the High Seats of the noble houses, who is granted the title “King.” The King wields supreme authority, but he can be deposed by a 75% majority vote in the Council. Interestingly, this ruler is always male. As of 998 NE, the ruler of Arad Doman is King Alsalam Saeed Almadar.

 

Military and Population

Traditionally, Arad Doman has not been one of the Westlands’ primary military powerhouses. However, the constant skirmishing with Tarabon to the south and the need to occasionally reassert control over Katar have required Arad Doman to maintain a professional military force. This has been bolstered by the emergence of Rodel Ituralde as general of the nation’s armies. Ituralde has a formidable reputation for military skill, innovation, battlefield command and supplying misinformation to the enemy. He is known as one of the “Five Great Captains” of the modern era (along with Pedron Niall of the Children of the Light, Agelmar Jagad of Shienar, Gareth Bryne of Andor and Davram Bashere of Saldaea).

Arad Doman has no naval forces to speak of, perhaps due to the coastlines which, apart from Bandar Eban, are not good for naval landings or invasions.

Arad Doman can call upon around 100,000 men in times of urgent need, suggesting that the nation’s total population may approach 10 million.

 

Culture

Domani cuisine is dominated by spiced meat dishes and vegetables in a variety of creative sauces. The Domani employ two sticks, known as sursa, to eat their food, deftly working them in a manner outlanders often find baffling.

Arad Doman is noted for its division of roles by gender, although this is not absolute. The overwhelming majority of merchants, traders and shopkeepers are women, famed for their financial acumen and ruthless bargaining streak. Men mostly serve instead as soldiers, farmers and sailors. Domani men are said to have a temper, which some hold is a result of being forced to eat with the sursa. Domani men favour long, thin moustaches whilst Domani women favour clothes that cling to the frame and leave little to the imagination whilst still leaving them fully covered.

Domani can usually be identified by their copper skin, although some Domani are fairer-skinned. Hairstyles and colours change regularly, however, as both men and women in Arad Doman are obsessed with fashion and decoration and make liberal use of hair dyes. Barbers are respected in the kingdom, especially those who create striking new styles.

The Domani have a reputation for self-indulgence and hedonism: they enjoy falconry, hot baths, gambling, sports and mock (and real) combat. However, they also work extremely hard and are known for their tenaciousness and political skills. Oddly for a nation that is enriched by its ocean trade, the Domani are not comfortable sailors and prefer to leave that side of things to the Sea Folk.

 

Note on the Map

This map draws on the colour endpaper map from the novels used from Lord of Chaos onwards, which is generally accepted as the most accurate map created for the books during Robert Jordan’s lifetime. The main change is the shifting of the border to include Katar.

Another moderate change was also made to the shape of the coast around Bandar Eban. The map in The Gathering Storm suggests that the the city takes up the entire peninsular as shown in the large maps, but the scale makes this improbable (as it would require the city to be dozens of miles across, at least). Resolving this required the addition of an additional “notch” on the edge of the peninsula for the city itself.

The Thirteenth Depository’s map of Arad Doman was useful for this article, although it is now slightly outdated (since it was published prior to The Gathering Storm).

 

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