Narrative Atlas 1: The Eye of the World – From the Two Rivers to Shadar Logoth
These maps cover the first part of our heroes’ journey in The Eye of the World (Book 1 of The Wheel of Time). For a detailed summary of The Eye of the World, please follow this link.
The story begins on Winternight in the 998 NE, the final night of winter and the evening preceding Bel Tine, the celebration that marks the arrival of spring. This date falls on 8 Aine in the local calendar, approximating 23 March in our calendar. This is Day 0 of the Wheel of Time story and our subsequent counts will be (with varying degrees of approximation) from this date. Note that the dates are taken from Steven Cooper’s excellent Wheel of Time Chronology.
The story opens on the Quarry Road just west of Emond’s Field, the largest village in the rural, bucolic backwater known as the Two Rivers.
The Two Rivers
The Two Rivers is a self-governing, semi-autonomous district of the Kingdom of Andor. It is located in the far south-western corner of Andor and is located almost 1,200 miles from the capital at Caemlyn. The Two Rivers has not seen an Andoran tax collector in generations and has no noble lord who rules over the area. The nearest large town, Baerlon, is a clear 100 miles from the northern border of the Two Rivers.
The reason for this is that Andor’s population is spread quite thin west of Whitebridge on the Arinelle. It is likely that Caemlyn would have let all of western Andor go its own way generations ago if it wasn’t for the mineral wealth in the Mountains of Mist. Raw materials, resources and precious metals are quarried in the mountains, in and around mining villages like Comfrey, and then shipped down to Baerlon for further transit on to Caemlyn. Andor has focused its power in keeping open the Caemlyn Road all the way to Baerlon and making sure banditry is not a problem in the western districts. The Two Rivers, as a quiet and orderly backwater, has been allowed to go its own way.
The Two Rivers measures about 130 miles from north to south and is almost 200 miles along its longest axis from west to east. The district is named for the two rivers which border it: the River Tarendrelle, locally known just as the Taren, to the north and the Manetherendrelle (known locally as the White River) to the south. A third river, the Winespring Water, is located at the heart of the district, flowing eastwards from Emond’s Field into the swamps of the Mire.
The Two Rivers is reasonably large overall, but the amount of populated and inhabitable space is considerably smaller. The Sand Hills, the foothills of the Mountains of Mist, are located to the west and are sparse and arid, with few good sources of water. To the east, the Winespring Water, Taren and White River come together in a confusing morass of marshes known as the Mire, with the Waterwood to the north-east. The land here is swampy and not very fertile. As a result, the populated regions are limited to the main north-south highway (known as the Old Road south of Emond’s Field and the North Road to the north), the Westwood and the open countryside between the Westwood, the Mire, the Waterwood and the rivers.
There are only four settlements of note in the Two Rivers. From north to the south these are Taren Ferry, on the northern border; Watch Hill; Emond’s Field; and Deven Ride. Emond’s Field is the largest village in the district but is still quite small. All four settlements seem to have populations in the hundreds at best.
Working out the population of the Two Rivers overall is challenging due to a lack of firm data. However, based on the numbers that the Two Rivers later deploys in battle, it appears that the total population of the district runs from 10,000 at the extreme lower end to 50,000 at the upper end. If the latter seems implausible, it’s worth remembering the scale of the map: the Two Rivers is called “small” and “a backwater” but it’s actually about a quarter the size of England. It should also be recalled that the population of the Two Rivers increases dramatically between The Eye of the World and the sixth book in the series, Lord of Chaos (but we shall cover that later).
Mapping the Two Rivers should be straightforward, as Robert Jordan drew a map of the district for inclusion in The Eye of the World. This map was later redrawn by Ellisa Mitchell for the YA two-volume edition of The Eye of the World and then again, this time in full colour, for The Prophecies of the Dragon (the expansion to The Wheel of Time Roleplaying Game). However, Jordan was (at least initially) very reluctant to include maps at all in the books and this map gives every indication of being drawn about five minutes on the back of an envelope to appease the publishers. There are significant differences in orientation between this map and the general map of the Westlands, particularly the more detailed colour map Ellisa Mitchell created for the hardcover endpapers. My map combines the original Jordan map with the general map of the Westlands, resulting in a slight rotation of the Two Rivers from a N-S to a slightly more SW-NE direction, and making the rivers match the general map rather than their somewhat more artificial course on the local map.
The map of Emond’s Field is based on the excellent and definitive map from the Thirteenth Depository blog. Surprisingly, Robert Jordan never drew his own map of the village, despite its importance in the Wheel of Time narrative. Instead, the map draws on Jordan’s descriptions of the village from The Eye of the World, The Shadow Rising and several other books.
Emond’s Field is centred on the Green, a large open space in the centre of the village. Major buildings are clustered around the Green, the largest of which is the Winespring Inn with its distinctive red roof, the village’s largest inn and the home of the mayor, Brandelwyn al’Vere, and his family.
Emond’s Field consists of the businesses and houses you’d expect in a village, but it’s also an amalgamation of farms clustered along the banks of the Winespring Water. The village has grown up around a crossroads of sorts, with the main north/south road through the Two Rivers passes through the village (it’s known as the North Road north of the village and the Old Road to the south) and the Quarry Road leads from the Green westwards towards the Sand Hills, through the Westwood. There is no major road leading east, but there are well-travelled tracks leading to homesteads and farms, such as the Aybara farm which is located north of the Winespring Water, well to the east of the village.
Emond’s Field is built on the site of Aemon’s Field, the site of the last great battle between the army of Manetheren and the invading Shadowspawn hordes during the Trolloc Wars. It was here that King Aemon made the ultimate sacrifice, laying down his life and that of thousands of his men to buy the civilians of the city of Manetheren enough time to escape southwards. Upon his death, Queen Eldrene channelled more of the One Power than it was safe to handle, killing herself and incinerating Manetheren but also obliterating the Shadowspawn army almost to the last creature. The village of Aemon’s Field later sprung up on the site of the battle, the name becoming corrupted over the passage of over 2,100 years.
The Thirteenth Depository makes strong arguments for their placements of major buildings, including the Winespring Inn at the eastern end of the Green and the cluster of houses along the northern edge of the Green, including the Cauthon farm. The al’Thor farm is located several hours travel by horse and cart to the west of Emond’s Field, so probably 10-15 miles away. The Aybara farm may be located a similar or greater distance to the east, along the Winespring Water.
I did place the Luhhan Smithy, which is not shown on the original map. My reasoning for its location east of the Winespring Inn is that the smithy would be located close to the river and further back from the village so as not to disturb the residents (in real medieval towns the smithy might be more centrally located, but with very little through-traffic through Emond’s Field this is less of a concern here).
During the Trolloc raid on Emond’s Field on Winternight, the Luhhan smithy and Cauthon farm take the brunt of the attack and several adjacent buildings are badly damaged, but the village otherwise survives the attack in good order.
From the Two Rivers to Baerlon
After the Trolloc raid on Emond’s Field, the Aes Sedai Moiraine and her Warder Lan convince Rand al’Thor, Perrin Aybara and Mat Cauthon that the Dark One is searching for them and they should leave to protect their homes and families, drawing the enemy after them. The gleeman Thom Merrilin attaches himself to their party, as does the Mayor’s daughter Egwene al’Vere. Seven travellers thus set out from Emond’s Field in the evening of 9 Aine 998 (Day 1 of the series).
The party travels at impressive speed on horseback, making it all the way from Emond’s Field to Taren Ferry in a single night (less than 10 hours or so). This appears to be a distance of between 50 and 60 miles. This would be impressive for a well-provisioned party travelling for a full day, let alone in a single night. However, this is explained by Moiraine using the One Power to enhance the stamina of the horses.
This helps explain an otherwise puzzling discrepancy in the text: the fact it then takes the party an additional six days to travel from Taren Ferry to Baerlon, a distance of just 100 miles. This is just 16 miles a day, a somewhat poor pace for people on foot, let alone horses. However, the slow pace can be explained by the horses needing time to recover from their One Power-enhanced flight and by the party travelling off-road where possible, avoiding farms and houses. The travelling time may also have been reduced by Lan’s weapons practice sessions with the boys and Moiraine’s One Power training sessions with Egwene.
Baerlon is the largest settlement in all of Andor west of Whitebridge. Rand and his friends are over-awed by the settlement on first viewing, describing it as a huge city (to Thom Merrilin’s amusement). In truth, Baerlon is a reasonably large town at best. It has 20-foot-tall wooden walls and guard towers, and two gates. The Caemlyn Road passes right through the town, leading to Whitebridge (some 620 miles to the south-east) and the mining villages in the Mountains of Mist to the west. Given that there only appear to be two gates, the road presumably splits just west of the town, with one road running north and west to the mountains and another south to the Two Rivers.
Baerlon is apparently bigger than Emond’s Field, Watch Hill and Deven Ride combined (and possibly Taren Ferry as well), although this is not necessarily saying much. The town is large and prosperous enough for all of the buildings to have chimneys and slate roofs, although clearly not rich enough to stretch to stone walls. There are farmsteads all around the town, presumably supplying it with food. The town has at least nine inns and taverns, including the Stag and Lion, where the party takes residence.
The party spend only one night and one day in Baerlon, although it is eventful: they are intercepted at the inn by Nynaeve al’Meara, the Emond’s Field village Wisdom. Rand meets Min Farshaw for the first time, and she has her first “viewing” of his destiny. Rand also meets Padan Fain, a peddler who frequently visits Emond’s Field, only to find that he is acting very strangely indeed. After Rand almost inadvertently picks a fight with three Children of the Light, he is confronted by a Myrddraal. The presence of the Myrddraal spooks Moiraine and she decides that the party should leave Baerlon as soon as possible.
After a brief altercation with the Children of the Light at the east gate (variously named as both the Caemlyn Gate and the Whitebridge Gate), which Moiraine ends with a powerful illusion, the party heads east along the Caemlyn Road.
No previous map of Baerlon exists, so I had to create this one from scratch. The only reference available was the illustration of Baerlon from the graphic novel version of The Eye of the World, which is lacking fine detail, but nevertheless suggests a somewhat circular town athwart the Caemlyn Road.
From Baerlon to Shadar Logoth
It appears at this point that Moiraine’s plan is to simply follow the Caemlyn Road all the way to at least Whitebridge and possibly Caemlyn, before heading north to Tar Valon. However, this plan rapidly becomes untenable: substantial Trolloc forces have been brought into the area and start threatening to surround the party. Making it the 620 miles to Whitebridge (let alone the 1,250-1,300 miles by road to Caemlyn from Baerlon) clearly becomes impossible.
With reluctance, Moiraine shifts course and the party heads north, crossing the rough countryside of the Hills of Absher, before making it to the ancient, foreboding city of Shadar Logoth on the banks of the Arinelle.
This part of the journey has always been problematic to map. As the crow flies, it is about 110 miles from Baerlon to Shadar Logoth, but the party is not travelling in a straight line. Instead, they travel south-east along the Caemlyn Road for three days before they are intercepted by Shadowspawn and forced to flee north towards Shadar Logoth.
With the best will in the world, it is not possible to reduce the distance from where our heroes leave the Caemlyn Road to Shadar Logoth to less than 80 miles, but they seem to cover this distance in a single day; it is still light when they reach Shadar Logoth. Assuming they made an early start on Day 11 and the detected the Trollocs quite early on, this still only gives them between 9 and 10 hours or so to make it that distance. They are helped by being on horseback, but the terrain is rough (even through Lan reports that the southern hills are far rougher than the northern).
One assumption that can perhaps be made is that, although it is not stated in the text, Moiraine uses the One Power to enhance the horses once again so they can make about 8-9 mph, even on the hilly terrain. This makes the ability to cross the distance more plausible (although it’s still a bit of a stretch).
The party reaches the outskirts of Shadar Logoth in the late afternoon of the 11th day after leaving Emond’s Field, 19 Aine 998 NE, roughly approximate to 3 April in our calendar. We shall pick up their adventures there next time.
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