The Wheel of Time Atlas: Amadicia & Ghealdan

AMADICIA

Nestled at the southern feet of the Mountains of Mist is the small but notable kingdom of Amadicia. A landlocked nation which thrives on trade running from the Aryth Ocean nations of Arad Doman and Tarabon eastwards to the rich kingdoms and cities of Tear and Illian, Amadicia should be a land of riches and plenty. Instead, it is a kingdom that exists under virtual occupation by the militant order known as the Children of the Light and where any infringement of their law may lead to someone being dubbed a Darkfriend and punished accordingly.

Amadicia & Ghealdan

A map of the kingdoms of Ghealdan and Amadicia. Please click for a larger version.

History

After the Breaking, the great kingdom of Aelgar arose in the south-west of the Westlands, bordered by Safer, Eharon and Manetheren. Aelgar survived the Trolloc Wars only to collapse in the aftermath. Kharendor was one of several kingdoms that arose its wake, controlling all the lands from the mouth of the Eldar to the Mountains of Mist.

Kharendor was conquered first by the false Dragon Guaire Amalasan and then by the High King, Artur Hawkwing, which dissolved the existing nations in favour of new provinces. After Hawkwing’s death and the beginning of the War of the Hundred Years, the region became embroiled in civil strife and violent conflict.

Modern Amadicia arose during the War of the Hundred Years, a powerful nobleman carving a strong territory out from around the capital at Amador and pushing the borders back to their present boundaries. It is known that by the end of the war (c. FY 1135), the kingdom’s current borders and name had been established.

The histories of Amadicia was relatively quiet for almost a thousand years, the kingdom thriving on passing trade. That changed approximately seventy years ago. The wandering ascetic order of militant soldiers known as the Children of the Light, who held that the One Power was evil and all who touched it were Darkfriends, established ties in Amadicia. By 940 NE they had established enough authority that the King of Amadicia granted them permanent residence in his nation and the right to build a new, permanent base of operations, known as the Fortress of the Light, in Amador. The Children effectively annexed Amadicia as their own fiefdom, leaving the king in place as an effective figurehead.

The Children’s rules of living and their code of conduct were harsh, and they imposed this rule on Amadicia with fanatical zeal. Ghealdan to the north, not known for its martial ability, became concerned that they would be next. Fortunately, the Children instead chose to invade Altara in 957 NE: Ghealdan’s resources were not worth the effort of invasion and, although relatively weak, the kingdom was united. Altara was a divided land, a far larger and richer one and, most importantly, one with a major port on the Sea of Storms and territorial links with Illian, Murandy and Andor.

The invasion proved a fiasco: Illian and Murandy rallied to Altara’s aid and, despite winning several major battles, the Whitecloaks realised it would not be possible to absorb a kingdom as large as Altara with relatively limited manpower. They sued for peace and withdrew beyond the borders of Amadicia. Since then, Amadicia has been viewed with much greater suspicion by the surrounding nations, which has effectively ended its military threat. Any attempt to invade one of its neighbours (Tarabon, Ghealdan and Altara) would invite retribution from the others.

In 978 NE Amadicia and the Children attempted to repair their reputation by sending troops to the so-called Grand Alliance, a coalition of nations assembling to meet the threat of the Aiel invasion. Amadicia sent 4,000 troops under Lord Aeman Senhold, whilst Lord Captain Commander Pedron Niall led 4,000 troops of the Children of the Light in person.

Since the Battle of the Shining Walls, Amadicia has continued to be a nation avoided by Aes Sedai and treated with caution by its neighbours.

 

Geography

Amadicia occupies a wide swathe of plains, low hills and lightly forested lands at the southern end of the Mountains of Mist. The kingdom stretches for about 550 miles from its far western border with Tarabon to its eastern border with Altara along the River Eldar, and for almost 400 miles from the River Sharia on the nation’s southern border to the River Eldar along the northern border.

Amadicia enjoys a temperate climate, the mountains of the Shadow Coast to the south breaking up the worst of the weather off the Sea of Storms before it strikes the kingdom. The summers are relatively cool and the winters mild, with snow almost unknown.

The capital city is Amador, located in the south-west of the kingdom about a hundred miles from the Tarabon border. Amador is a respectably-sized city, although a far cry from the great cities like Caemlyn, Illian and Tar Valon. It is, however, one of the largest cities not build by Ogier or on the site of a former Ogier-built city. Amador’s landscape is dominated by the Fortress of the Light, a massive castle that is the primary stronghold of the Children of the Light. The Serenda Palace, the residence of the King of Amadicia, used to lie on this site but it was dismantled brick-by-brick and moved two miles out of the city, where it was reassembled, leaving the king isolated from his capital and his people.

The known towns and settlements of Amadicia are Amador, Abila, Bellon, Jeramel, Mardecin and Sienda.

 

Government

Amadicia is, in theory, ruled by the King who commands a bureaucracy with the support of the noble houses. In reality, Amadicia is controlled by the Children of the Light who effectively organise all aspects of the nation for their benefit. The King, currently Ailron, is a figurehead and liaison between the nobility and the Children. The true power in Amador is Pedron Niall, the shrewd Lord Captain Commander of the Children of the Light and leader of the Council of the Anointed. Niall himself rarely has to deal with the day-to-day ruling of Amadicia, which is left to under-functionaries answering to the Council.

The Hand of the Light, known as the Questioners (although not to their faces), effectively operates as Amadicia’s secret police and internal intelligence organisation.

 

Military and Population

Amadicia’s nominally independent armed forces are organised around the Guardians of the Gate, a formerly elite standing military force. Since the Children of the Light took power in Amadicia, the Guardians have become more of a ceremonial formation assigned to defend the King.

The Children, for all their other qualities, are a superbly-trained, tightly-disciplined military force. They are divided into several legions of 2,000 troops each, each commanded by a Lord Captain. The Children operate as mounted infantry, including crossbowmen, and so are capable of moving at great speed. The Children maintain high quality weapons and armour, often allowing them to stand against numerically superior opponents.

Amadicia sent 4,000 troops to the Shining Walls and the Children sent a force of equal number. Assuming both sent less than half of their available military forces, it might be that Amadicia and the Children combined can field some 20,000 troops in total without having to strain too hard. This suggests that the population of Amadicia may be around 2 million at the lower end, probably considerably more than that.

 

Economy

Amadicia maintains some mines in the Mountains of Mist but its main source of wealth comes from its location on the main trade route from the west coast to the south coast kingdoms, along with donations from well-wishers across the continent to the coffers of the Children of the Light.

 

Culture

Amadicians are, perhaps unsurprisingly, a relatively restrained, slightly suspicious people who measure their words carefully and proceed with caution. Their mode of clothing is conservative and they tend to pepper their speech with praise and blessings for the Light and the Creator.

 

GHEALDAN

Located north of Amadicia lies the kingdom of Ghealdan. Stretching from the Mountains of Mist to Garen’s Wall and from the Forest of Shadows to the River Eldar, Ghealdan is a relatively poor but also peaceful kingdom, seen by much of the outside world as a backwater.

Ghealdan thrives on trade and the quality of its crafted goods. Although not of exceptional quality, such goods are exported far and wide across the Westlands and are noted for their reliability and affordability.

 

History

In the aftermath of the Breaking of the World, the great kingdom of Manetheren took shape along the eastern flanks of the Mountains of Mist. The great Ogier-built city of Jara’copan was built to command the southern reaches of the kingdom, where its borders met those of Aelgar (to the south-west) and Eharon (to the south-east).

Manetheren was destroyed during the Trolloc Wars and several kingdoms took shape from its ashes. One of these was Dhowlan, which claimed all the lands from the Manetherendrelle to the Eldar. Dhowlan endured a thousand years until it was conquered by the false Dragon Guaire Amalasan and then liberated in turn by Artur Hawkwing to become part of his empire. The province endured until Hawkwing’s death and the start of the War of the Hundred Years.

During the war, the territory of Dhowlan was restored and the kingdom apparently enjoyed twenty years of relative stability before it collapsed upon the death of its ruler. Many years of strife followed until FY 1109, when the combatants Lord Kirin Almeyda, Lady Valera Prosnarin, Lord Cynric Talvaen and Lady Iona Ashmar agreed to stop fighting and restore stability. They renamed the kingdom Ghealdan and formed the Crown High Council. After some debate, they elected Lord Kirin Almeyda as the first King of Ghealdan.

Despite its small size, Ghealdan resolved to send 5,000 troops to support the Grand Coalition at the Battle of the Shining Walls in 978 NE, under Lord Aleshin Talvaen.

Things remained relatively quiet in Ghealdan until 997 NE, when a minor nobleman named Logan Ablar suddenly declared himself the Dragon Reborn. King Johanin of Ghealdan stripped him of land and titles, but Logain attracted a sizeable following and was threatening the capital when a coalition of nations led by the Aes Sedai engaged and defeated his forces. Logain was taken prisoner, restoring peace to Ghealdan.

 

Geography

Ghealdan is a temperate country with somewhat poor soil. The northern half of the country is heavily forested, giving way to somewhat more open country in the south.

Ghealdan’s borders are held to be: the Mountains of Mist to the west, Garen’s Wall (a massive ridgeline) to the east and the upper course of the River Eldar to the south. Its border in the far north, with Andor, is technically the River Manetherendrelle, but this lies beyond the thick, unruly region known as the Forest of Shadows (or Great Blackwood), which in practice acts as a buffer between northern Ghealdan and the remote western region of Andor known as the Two Rivers.

Ghealdan’s capital city, Jehannah, is located on the River Boern roughly in the centre of the kingdom. The King or Queen of Ghealdan rules the nation from the Jheda Palace.

Ghealdan is bordered by Andor to the north; Tarabon to the west, over the Misty Mountains; Amadicia to the south and Altara to the east. Approximately 400 miles separate the Manetherendrelle from the Eldar in the west. The kingdom is about 550 miles wide at its widest point from east to west.

One of the most famed of Ghealdan’s geographic wonders is Garen’s Wall, a massive ridgeline extending for 500 miles along Ghealdan’s north-eastern border with Altara. Named for General Garen of Dhowlan, who expertly used the ridgeline for military defence during the wars with Farashelle, Ghealdan likewise employ the ridge today for military defence and training.

The Ogier-built city of Jara’copan is said to still exist, located in the foothills of the Mountains of Mist some six days south of the old destroyed city of Manetheren itself. Attempts to find the ruins have been mounted by explorers, adventurers and even Hunters for the Horn, but they have not been located due to the difficult terrain.

The known towns and settlements of Ghealdan include Jehannah, Bethal, Boannda, Cosamelle, Jarra, Sidon and Samara.

 

Government

Ghealdan’s nobles are represented by the Crown High Council, who in turn advise the king or queen. The throne is inherited, but if a king or queen should die with no issue, or prove incompetent, the Council can arrange for a new ruler to take the throne. The current King of Ghealdan is Johanin.

 

Military and Population

Ghealdan is not known as a major military power, but its main standing military formation, the Legion of the Wall, is respected and capable.

Ghealdan sent 5,000 troops to the Battle of the Shining Walls. Assuming it sent only a token of its strength, it is plausible that Ghealdan’s population is comparable to Amadicia’s, at around 2 million at the far lower end of likelihood.

 

Economy

Ghealdan maintains alum mines in the mountains which are moderately successful, as well as exporting various goods. Ghealdan’s craftsmen are noted for their skill, honesty and reliability.

 

Culture

Ghealdanin culture is restrained and modest, although also mostly friendly and certainly more welcoming than Amadicia to the south.

 

Notes on the Maps

Again, this was mostly a straightforward translation from the book maps. Some changes were made to have the borders more closely follow the rivers. This area of the Westlands is heavily forested, so for clarity, I only note specific, named forests on the maps. Otherwise it can be assumed most of this region has significant tree cover.

The towns and villages were placed mostly from clear indications to their location in the text. One major deviation was more closely studying the sequence in The Dragon Reborn were Moiraine leads a party to search for Rand al’Thor, passing through numerous villages on the way. Other maps tend to place the bulk of these villages in Ghealdan, but careful reading confirms that only Jarra and Sidon are in Ghealdan; Willar may be, but certainly the remaining villages (Samaha, Tallan and Fyall) are all in northern Altara instead.

Information on Jara’copan comes from The Prophecies of the Dragon (2002), the expansion to The Wheel of Time Roleplaying Game (2001). The canonical placement of the city is unconfirmed, but given it does not contradict established canon, it is included for the sake of completeness.

 

Thank you for reading The Atlas of Ice and Fire. To help me provide better content, please consider contributing to my Patreon page and other funding methods, which will also get you exclusive content weeks before it goes live on my blogs. I am currently running a History of The Wheel of Time series on Patreon which may be of interest.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s