After the chaos of the Breaking of the World, ten nations arose on the new landmass that had formed between the Aryth Ocean and the Spine of the World. These ten great kingdoms, vast and sprawling, allied together in the Compact of the Ten Nations and sought to regain the beauty, tranquillity and richness of the Age of Legends. They may have succeeded, had they not been overrun in the horrors of the Trolloc Wars. After three and a half centuries of gruelling warfare, humanity survived but the Ten Nations didn’t, splintering apart and collapsing into twenty-nine lesser states, the Free Kingdoms, which would endure for another thousand years until the rise of Artur Hawkwing, the High King.

Westlands The Ten Nations

A map of the Ten Nations. Please click for a larger version.

History

The Breaking of the World lasted for between 239 and 344 years. The Breaking continued as long as male channellers of the One Power endured. Thanks to the Dark One’s taint on saidin at the end of the War of the Shadow, every male channeller of the One Power went insane and used their powers to devastate the world, triggering volcanic eruptions and earthquakes, tearing the earth apart, plunging entire landmasses into the oceans, causing tidal waves and pulling new lands up out of the depths of the sea.

The female Aes Sedai, and some ordinary people, dedicated themselves to the job of killing male channellers wherever they found them. For the Aes Sedai, they could also still them, leaving them alive but stripped of the ability to channel (although this was scant kindness in such a harsh world as they remained twisted and insane). For every male channeller killed or gentled, the intensity of the Breaking lessened. For the last few years and maybe decades of the Breaking, it was more of a background event with the occasional major earthquake rather than the continuous, world-destroying chaos it was at its height (hence the disagreement about when precisely it ended).

Toma dur Ahmid was a scholar and historian living in what would become the nation of Safer (it is believed that Toman Head was named for him, indicating he was a scholar of some repute, although much of his work has been lost today). Toma devised a new calendar system by backtracking through dates and consulting with other sources, including possibly Brown Ajah sisters of the reconstituted Aes Sedai. From these he was able to discern when the last male Aes Sedai was killed or gentled (almost two centuries earlier) and numbered all subsequent years as After the Breaking. This calendar, the Toman Calendar, had gained widespread acceptance by circa 200 AB.

During the Breaking, all of the high civilisation of the Age of Legends was lost. Most cities were destroyed, drowned or devastated, and the few that survived were abandoned, as their tall buildings were no longer safe. New cities and towns were founded, some of wood, others of stone as people had to rediscover how to build things from scratch. The earliest city founded in the newly-formed Westlands was almost certainly Tear. Aes Sedai took the massive stone hill located where Tear now lies and used the Power to shape it into a fortress known as the Stone of Tear. The city took shape around it, either late in the Breaking or early immediately afterwards. Parts of the Panarch’s Palace in Tanchico date back even further, to the Age of Legends, with friezes and other items depicting now mostly incomprehensible images of life in that Age. These objects are believed to have been saved during the Breaking and installed in the Palace when Tanchico – originally called Mainelle – was built very soon after the Breaking.

Other cities were founded and built, and from these cities new nations arose and spread. When their borders met, skirmishes and even war resulted. The arising of the nation of Safer, on the west coast, and Manetheren to its east, beyond the Mountains of Mist, seems to have been particularly contentious, despite the presence of the mountains as a natural boundary between them. The precise nature of the two nations’ enmity is speculative, but it may have been down to control of Lake Somal, the largest freshwater lake on the continent, and the Manetherenese comfort and skill in navigating mountain ranges, which they found relatively easy to live in and cross (the highway linking the city of Manetheren and Jara’copan, extending through what most would consider impassable terrain today, is a sign of this). King Aedomon of Safer invaded Manetheren, where he was met by King Buiryn at the Battle of Midean’s Ford. Although Manetheren was defeated and Buiryn slain, the battle bled the Saferi army so badly it had to withdraw. It is assumed this war took place during the first two centuries After the Breaking.

In 47 AB the approximately sixteen largest factions claiming to be descended from the Aes Sedai of the Age of Legends met and agreed to form a new, unified organisation. After initial problems with this (including a disagreement that led to a brief civil conflict), construction began of the Aes Sedai city, Tar Valon, in 98 AB. Both human construction workers and Ogier stonemasons were involved, and the One Power was used to strengthen the buildings as they were created. It took over a century for Tar Valon to be completed, with the final buildings completed in 202 AB. During this period the slowly-growing nations had the same idea and commissioned Ogier stedding to help build their own cities as well.

In 209 AB Mabriam en Shareed, Queen of Aramaelle and also Aes Sedai, called a grand meeting of the rulers at Tar Valon. They she proposed an alliance of the ten kingdoms, an end to border wars and disputes and an attempt to strengthen humanity against the still-extant (although quiet) threat of the Shadow. The negotiations were long, complex and difficult, but ultimately prevailed thanks to Aes Sedai mediation. With Aes Sedai ruling several of the kingdoms, or married to their kings or acting as their advisors, it was possible to overcome areas of dispute and finalise borders and responsibilities. By the end of negotiations, the Compact of the Ten Nations (sometimes called the Second Covenant of Tar Valon, the first presumably being the meeting of 47 AB) was established and signed by the following rulers:

  • Queen Mabriam en Shareed of Aramaelle.
  • King Ramedan the Goldentongued of Aelgar.
  • King Coerid Nosar of Almoren.
  • Queen Doreille Torghin of Aridhol.
  • King Ladoman of Coremanda.
  • King Temanin of Eharon.
  • First Lord Cristol of Essenia.
  • High Queen Egoridin of Jaramide.
  • Queen Sorelle ay Marena of Manetheren.
  • King Eawynd of Safer.

The Compact of the Ten Nations endured for over eight centuries. During this time humanity regained some of what had been lost in the Breaking. Other grand cities were built (Londaren Cor, the new capital of Eharon, was built after Tar Valon and was reportedly even more beautiful), new art forms developed and technology improved. Hopes were high that all that had been lost could be regained.

This was not to be. Circa 1000 AB, reports came of a massive Shadowspawn assault on the northern Jaramidian city of Barsine, located in the western Mountains of Dhoom. A horde of Trollocs, larger than anything seen since the War of the Shadow, struck south into Jaramide, burning and destroying everything in its path. A similar horde struck into Aramaelle, via Tarwin’s Gap. The nations rallied to the defence, but the tidal wave of Shadowspawn could not be held back. Three centuries of warfare followed, the Trolloc Wars, of which more will be related elsewhere.

At the end of the wars the Trolloc threat was defeated. The tide turned at the Fourth Siege of Tar Valon in 1290 AB and the Battle of Maighande in 1301 AB, both victories orchestrated by the Soldier Amyrlin, Rashima Kerenmosa of the Aes Sedai (she lost her life in the latter, the largest battle fought since the War of the Shadow). Fifty years later, the last Trolloc horde south of the Blight was destroyed, ending the conflict. Aramelle, Almoren, Aridhol, Manetheren and Coremanda had fallen during the war, and the remaining nations had begun to break apart from the political, social and military stress of such prolonged warfare. Twenty-nine new nations arose in their wake, of which more will be told later.

 

Aelgar

Aelgar was located in the south-west of the Westlands. It stretched from the mouth of the River Andahar almost to the mouth of the River Eldar, and from the Mountains of Mist to the Shadow Coast. Aelgar contained all of the modern territory of Amadicia and parts of north-western Altara and most of Tarabon.

Its capital city was Ancohima, of which all trace has been lost, and its other Ogier-built cities were Condaris, Mainelle (modern Tanchico) and Shar Honelle.

Relatively little is known of Aelgar, aside from its borders and some of its cities. The location of its capital is unknown. It is known that it was a wealthy country, presumably based on trade (as Tarabon is today), and its early king Ramedan being called “Goldentongued” suggests that the nation may favoured honeyed diplomacy as its way of resolving issues, possibly in light of the more fractious relationship between Safer and Manetheren to the north.

Aelgar survived the Trolloc Wars but collapsed afterwards, being divided between the kingdoms of Balasun and Kharendor.

 

Almoren

Almoren was located in the east of the Westlands. Its borders are the River Erinin in the west, the Spine of the World in the east and the River Iralell to the south. Its northern border with Aramaelle was set during the Compact. Almoren contained all of modern Cairhien and significantly more territory to the north, beyond Kinslayer’s Dagger, and south, beyond the Maraside Mountains.

Its capital city was Al’cair’rahienallen, which became modern Cairhien. Its other Ogier-built city was Jennshain.

Little is known of Almoren, except it was a rich and powerful kingdom. It controlled the western end of Jangai Pass, so all merchants and peddlers heading for Shara across the Aiel Waste had to travel through Almoren, and it was also close to Tar Valon. Its capital, Al’cair’rahienallen (“Hill of the Golden Dawn” in the Old Tongue), was famed for its wealth.

During the Trolloc Wars, Almoren was overrun and completely destroyed, although enough of the capital survived to be subsequently rebuilt as Cairhien. Almoren’s territory was divided between the successor kingdoms of Shandalle, Tova (which inherited Cairhien as its capital), Ileande, Hamarea and Khodomar.

 

Aramaelle

Aramaelle was located in the north-east of the Westlands. It was one of the “Borderlands” of its day, although that term was not used at the time. Its borders were the Spine of the World to the east, the Mountains of the Dhoom to the north, the Plain of Lances to the west and the headwaters of the River Haevin to the south. Aramaelle contained all of the territory belonging to Malkier, Shienar and Arafel, and most of Kandor. The Black Hills were also part of the kingdom.

Its capital city was Mafal Dadaranell (modern Fal Dara). Its other Ogier-built cities were Anolle’sanna, Cuebiyarsande and Rhahime Naille.

Aramaelle was one of the first nations to coalesce after the Breaking, allying very early on with the Aes Sedai whilst Tar Valon was still under construction, and also identified the still-extant threat from the Great Blight. It was Queen Mabriam of Aramaelle who, with Aes Sedai help, negotiated the Compact of the Ten Nations.

Despite Aramaelle’s forward-thinking acts, it was the first kingdom to fall during the Trolloc Wars, with its capital city utterly obliterated and the rest of the kingdom overrun. The symbol of the rule of Aramaelle was a signet ring, which was inherited by the rulers of Rhamdashar, one of the nations that arose from Aramaelle’s ruins, and then by its own successor kingdom, Malkier. The fact that the ring of Aramaelle has survived the better part of four thousand years suggests it was created with the One Power.

As well as Rhamdashar, the kingdoms of Oburun, Elsalam and Roemalle also arose on the former territory of Aramaelle after the Trolloc Wars.

 

Aridhol

Aridhol was located in the central-western part of the Westlands. It was bordered by the River Arinelle to the south, the River Haevin to the east and the foothills of the Mountains of Mist to the west, with a negotiated border with Jaramide to the north. Aridhol was the smallest of the Ten Nations. Aside from a very narrow strip of land along the bank of the Arinelle, which is now part of western Andor, none of Aridhol’s territory intersects with that of a modern nation.

Its capital city was also called Aridhol, located on the banks of the Arinelle in the far south-western corner of the kingdom. It is the most well-preserved city from this period, but no-one dares enter it now. During the Trolloc Wars something bizarre and unnatural happened to the city and it became known as Shadar Logoth, “Shadow’s Waiting”, and both humans and Shadowspawn fear to approach it. It’s other Ogier-built cities were Abor’maseleine and Cyrendemar’naille.

During the Trolloc Wars Aridhol was threatened by invasion from the north-east after Aramaelle’s destruction. King Balwen Mayel despaired, as his nation was small, less well-populated and less militarily powerful than others. Balwen loved his country and would have done anything to save it and to preserve his beautiful city for the future. A counsellor named Mordeth took advantage of this zeal, suggesting they turn the tactics of the Shadow against it. Aridhol became a hard, cold and martial land where any sacrifice and any tactic was worthwhile to gain victory. Aridhol became a land of paranoia and darkness. Aridhol’s old ally, Manetheren, attempted to win the kingdom back to the light and failed.

Exactly what Mordeth did is unclear, although some claim he may have visited the mysterious Tower of Ghenjei that lay within the nation’s borders, and gained a potential weapon to use against the Shadow. The nature of this weapon was unclear, as it consumed the entire city of Aridhol in a blanketing, evil fog known as Mashadar. It is believed every single living thing in Aridhol was killed. This evil was different and indifferent to the evil of the Shadow; a Trolloc army invaded Aridhol and destroyed the other cities of the kingdom, but when it camped in the capital it promptly vanished, every single Shadowspawn apparently slain and their bodies consumed.

King Balwen gained his wish: the city of Aridhol survived…after a fashion. Nature did not overrun the ruins, the stone buildings remained mostly standing and the city’s glory was preserved, but only as a cold, lifeless monument known afterwards as Shadar Logoth, “Where the Shadow Waits” or “Shadow’s Waiting” in the Old Tongue. Those who spend time in Shadar Logoth do not return, and those who have tried to ransack the city have come to horrific ends. It is said that Mashadar and maybe Mordeth himself still haunt the city, somehow.

Aridhol was shunned, but the people outside of the capital eventually rallied and founded a new nation called Masenashar, which arose after the Trolloc Wars.

 

Coremanda

Coremanda was located in the centre of the Westlands. Its borders were the rivers Haevin and Luan to the north, along with the Black Hills; the River Erinin to the east; the rivers Manetherendrelle, Arinelle and Haeven to the west; and the Hills of Kintara and River Cary to the south. Coremanda contains the modern eastern half of Andor and most of Murandy. The great plain known as Caralain Grass was also located in the kingdom.

Its capital city was Shaemal, of which all trace has been lost. Its other Ogier-built cities were Hai Caemlyn (Old Caemlyn, which survives as the city centre of modern Caemlyn) and Nailine Samfara.

Coremanda was a rich and powerful nation, its capital of Shaemal famed for its great crystal dome. Coremanda, located at the heart of the continent, was a great centre of trade with goods from all over the Westlands passing through its borders.

The destruction of Aramaelle to the north, Aridhol and Manetheren to the west and Almoren to the east eventually led to Coremanda being outflanked and invaded from several directions. It could not stand against such numbers. Shaemal’s great crystal dome was shattered and the city destroyed in such detail that almost no trace of it exists today. Even its location is debatable (although some have pointed to western Caralaine Grass, near the exact centre of the continent where Artur Hawkwing later planned to built a city, as a likely location). Other parts of Coremanda were more fortunate, with the second city of Hai Caemlyn resisting several attacks. After the Trolloc Wars ended, Hai Caemlyn was rebuilt and greatly expanded as New Caemlyn (later just Caemlyn), which became the capital city of Caembarin.

Other nations that arose out of the ruins of Coremanda were Aldeshar, Nerevan and Dal Calain.

 

Eharon

Eharon was located in the south-central region of the Westlands. Its borders were the River Manetherendrelle and River Shal to the east; the River Cary and River Storn to the north; the River Eldar to the west; and the Sea of Storms to the south. Eharon’s territory is today claimed by Altara, western Illian and south-western Murandy.

Eharon’s capital city was Londaren Cor, built after Tar Valon by (apparently) the same Ogier stonemasons who built that city. Londaren Cor was built around three hills known as the Dancers, with the seat of the ruler being known as the Palace of the Moon. Its other Ogier-built cities were Barashta (modern Ebou Dar) and Dorelle Caromon (modern Illian).

Eharon was famed for its civility, its dances and lavish ceremonies. As a major centre of trade, controlling two of the largest and richest ports on the south coast, it was rich, powerful and peaceful. The Trolloc Wars ended that. After the fall of Manetheren and Coremanda, Eharon was invaded by Shadowspawn armies. Londaren Cor and Barashta were sacked and destroyed. When the Trollocs reached Barashta, they effectively divided the continent in two. However, in the process they overextended themselves and were driven back with very heavy losses. Eharon, remarkably, survived the destruction of both its capital and largest port, with the surviving nobility and military presumably using Dorelle Caromon as their new capital. As the war wound down, the ruins of Barashta were reclaimed and a new city built over the ruins, Ebou Dar.

When the Free Kingdoms arose, parts of Eharon’s borders were snatched away by the rising kingdoms of Nerevan and Esandara. The rest of Eharon was renamed as Shiota, becoming one of the most powerful kingdoms of the period between the Trolloc Wars and the rise of Artur Hawkwing.

 

Essenia

Essenia was located in the south-east of the Westlands. Its borders were the River Manetherendrelle and River Shal to the west, the Hills of Kintara and River Iralell to the north, the Spine of the World and Drowned Lands to the east and the Sea of Storms to the south. Essenia contains the entire modern territories of Tear and Mayene, as well as most of Haddon Mirk and the Plains of Maredo.

Essenia’s capital city was Aren Mador (modern Far Madding). Its other Ogier-built cities were Dalsande and Tear.

Essenia is intriguing as the only one of the Ten Nations not ruled by a monarchy. Instead, it was ruled by a council of nobles, the chairman and representative of whom was known as the First Lord. The modern nation of Tear, one of Essenia’s successors, seems to have modelled itself after this system. Essenia’s largest city was Tear, near the south coast, but intriguingly the rulers decided to make Aren Mador (modern Far Madding) their capital. This may have been down to defence, as Aren Mador was located on an island in the middle of a large lake with easily-defended bridges linking it to the surrounding countryside. In addition, Aren Mador was the home of a powerful ter’angreal known as the Guardian, which made channelling within the city impossible. This put the rulers on an even keel with their Aes Sedai advisors and visitors.

Essenia may have been the nation that survived the Trolloc Wars in the best shape: both Aren Mador and Tear survived the war untaken. If so, it did not help: Essenia split apart after the war into the nations of Fergansea, Moreina, Talmour and Esandara.

 

Jaramide

Jaramide was located in the north-west of the Westlands. Its borders were the Aryth Ocean to the west, the Mountains of Dhoom to the north, the River Dhagon and River Akuum to the south and the Plain of Lances to the east. All of modern Saldaea, parts of far western Kandor and a large part of Arad Doman were located within Jaramide’s borders.

Jaramide’s capital city was Deranbar (modern Maradon). Its other Ogier-built cities were Barsine, Allorallen (modern Bandar Eban), Canaire’somelle and Nashebar.

Jaramide was one of the largest, most powerful and richest of the Ten Nations. It consisted of numerous cities, many of whom may have had a notable degree of autonomy: the ruler of Jaramide was known as the “High King” or “High Queen”, a title not used again until Artur Hawkwing, who ruled over an empire where local governors had a notable degree of autonomous power.

Jaramide, like Aramaelle to the east, was one of the ancestors of the Borderlands. It maintained watchtowers along the Blight, with the city of Barsine located in the Mountains of Dhoom themselves. Barsine, famed for its golden spires, guarded the narrow western passes through the mountains but was also a great trading city in its own right, exporting lace across the continent. Circa 1000 AB Barsine was attacked and destroyed by a vast Trolloc horde. This horde was halted in battle further south, but at the same time an even bigger horde invaded Aramaelle via Tarwin’s Gap and destroyed the capital at Mafal Dadaranell (with some suggesting the Jaramide invasion may have been a feint), thus beginning the Trolloc Wars.

Jaramide was on the front line of the Trolloc Wars, fighting fiercely against the Shadow. This became more desperate after Aramaelle to the east and Aridhol to the south-east both fell, allowing the Shadow to launch constant attacks from several directions. Fortunately, the Shadowspawn were more intent on destroying Manetheren and Eharon in an attempt to split the Ten Nations in two, which allowed Jaramide to survive.

After the end of the Trolloc Wars circa 1350 AB, Jaramide collapsed and splintered into the smaller nations of Abayan, Oman Dashar, Indrahar and Basharande.

 

Manetheren

Manetheren (“Mountain Home” in the Old Tongue) was located in the central-western region of the Westlands. Its borders were the River Arinelle to the north, the Arinelle and Manetherendrelle to the east, the River Eldar and Damona Mountains to the south and the Mountains of Mist and Lake Somal to the west. The western part of Andor, all of Ghealdan and the northern half of Altara all lay within the borders of Manetheren.

Manetheren’s capital city was also called Manetheren and was located in the lower Mountains of Mist, between the headwaters of the Manetherendrelle to the south and the Tarendrelle to the north. Its other Ogier-built cities were Corartheren, Jara’copan (in the foothills of the Mountains of Mist) and Shanaine (modern Jehannah).

Manetheren is one of the most famous of the Ten Nations, stories and songs from its time surviving even to the present. It was built on mineral wealth, with immense mines springing up in the Mountains of Mist producing gold and silver. Fast-flowing rivers made the land fertile and provided rapid transit across the kingdom. For defence, the capital city of Manetheren was built high up in the hills, in the eastern flanks of the mountains themselves, and was a storied wonder. Even the Ogier seemed speechless at what they had created and the city became a spectacle of the continent. Only Tar Valon and Londaren Cor could rival its beauty.

Also famed was the martial zeal of Manetheren. The kingdom’s mineral wealth was jealously coveted by others. Safer and Manetheren fought numerous wars before the Compact of the Ten Nations ended such struggles. Still, enmity between the two kingdoms endured even to the Trolloc Wars. Manetheren’s foremost military force was the Band of the Red Hand, an elite formation which was famed for its skill, its versatility and its speed. Unusually, membership of the Band was opened to people from other kingdoms so the Manetherenese could learn from the military traditions of other nations. The organisation of the Illianer Companions and the Children of the Light owes something to the Band’s practical but flexible approach to warfare.

Manetheren’s rulers were rich and powerful. The kingdom enjoyed a strong alliance with Tar Valon and several Aes Sedai became queens of the kingdom.

During the Trolloc Wars it would have been easy for Manetheren to seal its borders, fortify the river crossings and hold back, secure that it could always pull back to the near-impregnable capital to ride out the conflict. However, hiding was not Manetheren’s way. The Manetherenese military, with the Band of the Red Hand in the vanguard, took the field and marched to the aid of its allies, fighting on the front lines, retiring to regroup and resupply but always returning to the thick of the fighting. The forces of Manetheren became known as the “thorn in the Dark One’s foot and the bramble in his hand”, the most implacable enemy of the Shadowspawn during the Trolloc Wars. Manetheren became acclaimed as the “sword that could not be broken” for its undefeatable will.

Manetheren’s northern flank was held by its close ally Aridhol. After the fall of Aramaelle, Aridhol came under pressure from the Shadow. Manetheren provided aid where it could, but it appeared that King Balwen Mayel was falling into despair. Under the guidance of the enigmatic counsellor, Mordeth, Balwen put into place harsh laws and merciless discipline, turning Aridhol into a cold and brutal land to better resist the brutal tactics of the Shadow. Concerned at what was happening, King Thorin al Toren al Ban sent his son Prince Caar to swing Aridhol back to the light. Instead, the Manetherenese delegation was killed and Caar imprisoned and tortured. Caar escaped back to the Mountain Home. Furious, King Thorin sent Manetheren’s army against Aridhol, believing the nation had fallen to a fate worse than the Shadow. They found the capital city a cold, abandoned mausoleum. Sensing great evil and danger, King Thorin returned home after leaving orders that the city was not to be approached by anyone. Thus was born the legend of Shadar Logoth.

Several decades later, Prince Caar’s son Aemon became King of Manetheren. His wife was Eldrene ay Ellan ay Carlan, an Aes Sedai of exceptional strength and skill. They led their nation as a formidable team, Aemon as a general and soldier of renown and Eldrene as a statesman and ruler of the home front. The strategic position at this time (c. 1200 AB) was increasingly desperate: Aramaelle, Aridhol and possibly Almoren had fallen; Jaramide and Coremanda were under concerted attack; and Tar Valon had already faced several sieges. Despite this, news of a large Shadowspawn army moving south with its flank exposed to Manetheren was something Aemon could not ignore. He took the bulk of Manetheren’s army and destroyed the Shadowspawn force at the Battle of the Field of Bekkar, the Field of Blood.

But this battle was a feint. Word came from the north of a vast Shadowspawn horde, one of the largest seen in the war, moving south towards Manetheren itself. King Aemon force-marched his army back home. He was unable to gain the Arinelle before the leading elements of the Shadow forces had already crossed the river and secured a bridgehead, so he fell back on the next defensive line: the River Tarendrelle. Two large bridges crossed the Tarendrelle and Aemon resolved to form a new defence here.

Word had been sent for aid, to Safer, Aelgar, Eharon and beyond, and even to Tar Valon where Eldrene’s girlhood acquaintance Tetsuan now ruled as Amyrlin Seat. Several of these kingdoms were close enough to send troops by land, and possibly even small forces and Aes Sedai reinforcements by the Ways (the Aes Sedai-created “tunnels” through reality linking several Ogier Waygates together). But Tetsuan harboured a grudge against Eldrene for their childhood together in the White Tower. Eldrene had been accounted more beautiful and stronger in the Power. If she had remained in the Tower, she would probably have been elected Amyrlin instead of Tetsuan. Burning with jealousy, Tetsuan refused to send aid and encouraged several of Manetheren’s allies to also withhold their strength, warning the attack was a ruse designed to weaken their own borders.

Thus, Manetheren’s army faced the Shadow alone. The Battle of the Tarendrelle was a gruelling nine-day engagement where the Manetherenese threw back wave after wave of Shadowspawn as they tried to cross the river, until it ran red with their blood. Initially Manetheren held the east bank, which allowed them to directly fight the Shadow at full strength for nine days. They then fell back to the west bank, firing the bridges behind them, and used missile fire to slaughter Shadowspawn before they could cross. However, the nine-day action on the east bank, although logical given the expected reinforcements, proved to be a mistake. Too many troops had been lost to effectively hold the west bank despite the defensive benefits of the river.

The action gave time for the city of Manetheren to be evacuated. Civilians were sent south and west in great floods, to seek safety in the southern cities of Jara’copan and Shanaine and, when it became clear they would not hold, then Aelgar, Eharon, Safer and other parts of the Ten Nations.

On the eleventh day of combat, the Shadow gained the southern bank of the Tarendrelle. With reinforcements pouring across, King Aemon gave the order to retreat. A running battle lasted for several days, until his surviving forces reached a crossroads to the east of the city of Manetheren. There he made his final stand, holding the Shadow at bay through another full day of battle before he was finally overwhelmed and slain in what became known as the Battle of Aemon’s Field.

At the moment of his death, his wife Eldrene channelled far more of the One Power than was safe or advisable. The torrent of Power obliterated the Shadowspawn army that stood victorious on Aemon’s Field, killing the Dreadlords and Myrddraal accompanying it. The torrent of Power went on and on, consuming not just the Shadowspawn but also the entire city of Manetheren. Eldrene herself was destroyed by the force she had unleashed, but leaving behind no trace of Shadowspawn south of the Tarendrelle. It would be many, many years before the Shadow dared to venture south again, to begin the invasion of Eharon.

For her part in delaying the relief of Manetheren and for sacrificing hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of lives to her own vanity, Tetsuan was deposed from the Amyrlin Seat. She was stilled and put to work as a scullery maid. She died three years later.

After the end of the Trolloc Wars, Manetheren’s territory was divided between the newly-established kingdoms of Farashelle and Dhowlan.

 

Safer

Safer was located in the central-western region of the Westlands. Its borders were the rivers Akuum and Dhagon to the north, the Mountains of Mist to the east, the Aryth Ocean to the west and a negotiated border with Aelgar to the south. Safer consisted of the southern half of Arad Doman, all of Almoth Plain and Toman Head and the northern half of Tarabon.

Safer’s capital city was Iman (modern Katar). Its other Ogier-built cities were Miereallen modern Falme) and Shainrahien. Modern Falme has no evidence of Ogier construction, as Miereallen was utterly destroyed during the Trolloc Wars it left behind no trace. Falme is merely built in the same vicinity.

Safer rose early in the period after the Breaking. It’s scholar Toma dur Ahmid was the one who created the Toman Calendar. Safer was militarily powerful and ambitious, clashing with Manetheren over control of mines in the Mountains of Mist and of the freshwater Lake Somal. Such enmity ended with the signing of the Compact, but the two nations remained on icy terms for some years afterwards.

During the Trolloc Wars, Safer’s army marched to the relief of several of the other kingdoms, most notably Jaramide who was nearly overrun early in the war. Although Jaramide and Safer both, more or less, survived the wars, they did not do so intact and several of Safer’s cities were destroyed in the conflict. Safer’s forces were too far away to help Manetheren when the latter was invaded and destroyed, and conflicting information from Amyrlin Tetsuan delayed the sending of reinforcements until it was far too late.

After the conclusion of the wars, Safer’s territory broke apart into the kingdoms of Oman Dashar, Elan Dapor and Darmovan.

 

Notes on the Map

The map is based on the map of the Ten Nations provided in The World of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time. This map is very small and lacking in detail, so a few judgement calls had to be made on where to place the borders.

Cities are only placed where we know their exact location or can infer them from information in the text.

 

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