Narrative Atlas 2: The Eye of the World – From Shadar Logoth to Caemlyn

These maps cover the second 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 Worldplease follow this link.

This part of the narrative atlas covers our heroes’ journey from the ruined city of Shadar Logoth to Caemlyn. Note that the dates are taken from Steven Cooper’s excellent Wheel of Time Chronology.

02 - Shadar Logoth to Caemlyn

A map of the journeys from Shadar Logoth to Caemlyn. Please click for a larger version.

Shadar Logoth

The party from the Two Rivers – Moiraine Damodred, al’Lan Mandragoran, Rand al’Thor, Mat Cauthon, Perrin Aybara, Thom Merrilin and Nynaeve al’Meara, reach the ruined city of Shadar Logoth on the evening of the 11th day after the Trolloc raid on Emond’s Field, three days after leaving Baerlon, and take shelter there. They take refuge in a ruined building, but Rand, Mat and Perrin decide to go exploring. They encounter Mordeth, the ancient, evil advisor of the King of Aridhol who helped destroy it during the Trolloc Wars. Mordeth has been given unnatural long life by his union with Mashadar, a strange, mist-like creature which prowls the ruins, killing all who enter. They escape, but unbeknown to the others, Mat steals a dagger with a ruby in the hilt, unaware it is cursed and tainted.

The trio return to the rest of the group, but quickly discover that Trollocs have entered the ruins (despite their terror of Mashadar) and are closing in. The group flees, but Mashadar and Shadowspawn intercept them and force the group to splinter apart, eventually reuniting in three groups: Perrin and Egwene; Nynaeve, Moiraine and Lan; and Rand, Thom and Mat. Each of the three groups decides to proceed onwards to Caemlyn and try to reunite there. Moiraine has given each of the Two Rivers boys a warded coin, so she can determine their direction with the One Power but not their specific location.

I did some preliminary work on assembling a map of Shadar Logoth, but insufficient geographic details are given to make such a map viable.

The distance from Shadar Logoth to Caemlyn in a straight line is approximately 1,200 miles, or (very roughly) the distance from London to Helsinki, or New York City to Baton Rouge, which is a formidable distance to walk.

 

Perrin & Egwene

On Day 12, Perrin and Egwene reunite on the far side of the Arinelle and decide to proceed across Caralain Grass, north of the Andoran border, and then cut south-eastwards towards Caemlyn. This path takes them mostly through uninhabited wilderness where they are less likely to be accosted by other travellers or Shadowspawn.

Three days later (Day 15), they meet Elyas Machera, a wolfbrother, a human who has a special connection with wolves. Elyas realises that Perrin has the same ability, to Perrin’s disquiet. Three days after that (Day 18), they meet a Tinker caravan and join them for the long journey across the north of Caralain Grass. Seven days later (Day 25) Perrin, Egwene and Elyas leave the Tinkers and strike out more directly south-eastwards towards Caemlyn. Five days later (Day 30), they find an abandoned stedding and the statue of Artur Hawkwing from his capital city that was planned but never built. Here they are attacked by Whitecloaks. Elyas escapes but Perrin and Egwene are taken into custody. Ten days later, on Day 40, they are rescued by Moiraine, Lan and Nynaeve and reach Caemlyn three days later.

There are problematic aspects with all three of the journeys across Andor from Shadar Logoth to Caemlyn, but arguably none more troublesome than Perrin and Egwene’s journey. Their journey is much more direct than either Team Rand or Team Moiraine, but they also lack any assistance in their journey, whilst Rand spends a chunk of the journey on boat, travelling much faster than on foot, and Moiraine’s group still have their horses. Even worse, when Perrin and Egwene meet the Tinkers their journey apparently drops to a maddening crawl, with very slow progress being made.

At the same time, Perrin and Egwene have to get from Shadar Logoth to Caemlyn in 32 days, which requires them to cover an average of 37.5 miles per day even if their journey was effectively in a straight line (which generally it wasn’t), which is challenging. If they were on horseback, even if not travelling on roads, this might be more believable, but on foot and partially in a slow-moving caravan, it becomes less plausible.

The only way to have this make sense is to have Perrin only think the Tinkers were making slow progress, but this being illusory due to the very monotonous scenery of Caralain Grass. In reality the caravan made excellent time across flat and dry countryside. After being captured by the Whitecloaks they were then marched (or forced to ride) in a more regimented fashion towards Caemlyn, making up the time they lost earlier on.

Although not a perfect solution, it’s the only one that really makes sense.

Whitebridge

A map of the town of Whitebridge. Please click for a larger version.

Mat, Thom & Rand

Mat, Thom and Rand escape from Shadar Logoth by boat, as they happen on the river vessel Spray, commanded by Bayle Domon, just outside the city. Domon refuses to wait for their friends and high-tails it out of the area ASAP. The Spray then takes twelve days to travel from Shadar Logoth to Whitebridge, which is 500 miles from Shadar Logoth in a straight line but closer to 700 given the bends in the river. This equals about 58 miles per day, which is fairly reasonable given the size of the boat and the fact it’s travelling downriver.

On this journey they encounter some interesting sights, including a valley with statue-like figures carved into the bluffs the day after Shadar Logoth (so about 50 miles from Shadar Logoth). On Day 14 they pass by the Tower of Ghenjei (foreshadowing!) in the distance.

Arriving at Whitebridge on Day 24, they are attacked by a Trolloc and Thom is apparently killed. Mat and Rand escape and start walking along the Caemlyn Road.

From Whitebridge to Caemlyn, the distance is approximately 730 miles. Rand and Mat cover this journey in 16 days (Days 24-40), which requires them to cover 45.6 miles per day. This is challenging because at average walking speed, even for two young lads in excellent health from farm work, they would only be able to plausibly cover 30-35 miles a day. The weather apparently holds good for the whole length of their journey and they also have the benefit of a straight, flat, well-paved road for the journey, which makes things faster.

The solution is that Mat and Rand probably got lifts and helping hands from carts rather more than the chapters indicate. A hardy horse drawing a relatively light cart could plausibly travel 40-50 miles in a day, so a few days in carts can draw back the time lost when they are on foot alone. It’s all a bit of a stretch, but not impossible.

The major landmarks encountered on this journey are Arien (reached on Day 31), Four Kings (Day 35), Market Sheran (Day 36) and Carysford (Day 38). A few hours before reaching Carysford they are attacked by Mili Skane. They finally reach Caemlyn on Day 40, where they find the Queen’s Blessing Inn and meet Basel Gill and Loial for the first time.

 

Whitebridge

The town of Whitebridge is located on the River Arinelle and divides the sparsely-populated western half of Andor from the more densely-populated east. It is one of Andor’s two  ports, the other one being Aringill on the Erinin. Whitebridge is a vital trade port, linking as it does Andor and its rich markets to the northern kingdom of Saldaea and the southern kingdoms of Altara, Murandy and Illian.

Aside from the Wayfarer’s Rest, an inn on the main square, Jordan doesn’t give too many details about Whitebridge, except suggesting it is at least as large as Baerlon but not as densely populated.

The map above is based on the excellent map created by the team at the Thirteenth Depository blog. I see no reason to disagree with their conclusions.

 

Moiraine, Nynaeve & Lan

Moiraine’s group trails Rand’s route but they have to travel by horseback along the riverbank. Despite the superior speed of river travel, Moiraine’s group reaches Whitebridge only one day behind Rand. This may be down to Moiraine’s team cutting across country (missing out the bends in the Arinelle that Spray has to navigate right around) or may be a sign that Moiraine is again using the Power to enhance the horses.

This also reinforces the idea above that Rand and Mat must have gotten lifts along the way from carts, since on horseback Team Moiraine would have overhauled Rand and Mat pretty quickly. Another possibility is that three travellers on horseback, two of them recognisable as an Aes Sedai and Warder, were too identifiable so Moiraine had them travel off  the road for most of the way, which would have been slower.

On Day 40 (possibly the day before), Moiraine’s group turns off the Caemlyn Road and finds the Whitecloak camp, where they rescue Perrin and Egwene. They arrive in Caemlyn three days later, on Day 43 which is Adar 23rd, 998 NE, roughly corresponding to May 5th in our calendar. We’ll pick up on their adventures in Caemlyn next time.

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