After updating my Wheel of Time maps with new maps of the main continent and of the entire world, I’ve now updated my previously-published city maps to the new standard and added a new one of Ebou Dar. I’ll be going through the old atlas entries over the coming days and weeks and replacing the old maps on each entry, but I thought it might be useful to have all the existing maps in one place.
Tar Valon is an independent city-state located in the north-east of the Westlands. It is located on a large island in the middle of the River Erinin, roughly thirty miles from the towering, solitary peak known as Dragonmount which rises to the south-west. The island is fortified by massive curtain walls which are painted a white that is so dazzling it glares in the sun, the infamous Shining Walls of Tar Valon.
Tar Valon is the most populous and richest city on the continent, although not the largest (at least, not if only the island city itself is counted). More than half a million people are to be found in Tar Valon or its surrounding towns at any one time and the city is the most important trade hub in the known world. Vast amount of goods and travellers pass through the city from the Borderlands to Andor, Cairhien and Tear on a daily basis.
The city is also the home of the Aes Sedai sisterhood, who are based in the 600-foot-tall White Tower, the tallest artificial structure on the continent (although the Stone of Tear occupies a greater volume). The Aes Sedai rule Tar Valon and project an air of stability and confidence which ensures the city’s continued prosperity.
Caemlyn is the capital and largest city of Andor and one of the oldest cities on the continent. The city rises on a series of hills out of the flat plains between Braem Wood and the Tunaighan Hills. Unusually, the city is not located on a major waterway and relies on natural springs, cisterns and daily imports of water from the River Cary to the west and the Erinin to the east.
The city is divided into two regions: the inner city or Hai Caemlyn (Old Caemlyn) was built by the Ogier shortly after the Breaking. Besieged many times in the Trolloc Wars, it nevertheless survived. The city later expanded beyond the walls, with the New City established some two thousand years ago. This part of the city was walled off centuries ago, but the city has again expanded beyond their boundaries. The current permanent population of Caemlyn is estimated at 300,000, but this increases dramatically during the peak trading season.
Caemlyn is defended by formidable walls and is the home of the Royal Palace of Andor, from where the Queen on the Lion Throne issues her commands.
Cairhien is the capital city of the nation of the same name, located on the River Alguenya some miles south of its confluence with the Gaelin. It is roughly equal in size and population to Caemlyn, but where Caemlyn is natural curves and graceful roads built to accommodate the shifts in the landscape, Cairhien is a rigid geometric square, with its streets built at right angles for maximum efficiency.
The city’s most notable feature are the “Topless Towers.” These are seventy-one tall, slender towers rising into the sky, several exceeding 300 feet. The towers are in varying states of disrepair, many having been set ablaze during the Aiel War. Noble families hold some of the Topless Towers as a sign of prestige, whilst others have been abandoned and others are in the control of the crown.
The other main notable landmarks are the Royal Library of Cairhien, the grandest and most impressive library open to the general public in the known world (although the Tower Library in Tar Valon is both larger and has many more esoteric and rare texts, but access is more strictly controlled by the Aes Sedai), and the Sun Palace, the seat of the Cairhienin monarch.
Tear is the capital city of the nation of the same name, located on the River Erinin just north of that river’s enormous, marshy delta, known as the Fingers of the Dragon. Tear is a hugely important trading hub, well-situated at the mouth of the Erinin where it can influence trade from other port cities and the major ports on the river, most notably Tar Valon (roughly 1,600 miles upriver).
Tear is divided into several districts, with the nobles living near the city centre in impressive villas and the poorer folk crowded out beyond the walls in the unwalled port and warehouse districts, the Maule and the Chalm, or the Tavar farmer’s district. The city skyline is dominated by the massive Stone of Tear, the largest enclosed space in the Westlands. The Stone is located in the north-west of the city, immediately overlooking the river, and extends well over a mile inland. Over 300 feet high, the Stone has never fallen in battle and is defended by additional walls and a formidable military unit known as the Defenders of the Stone.
Tear is considered one of the great cities of the land for its wealth and importance as a trade hub, although it is somewhat smaller than Tar Valon and Caemlyn.
Far Madding is an independent city-state located on an island in the midst of a broad lake nestled in the foothills of the Hills of Kintara. The city is roughly equidistant between Caemlyn and Tear, and not much more from Illian, and benefits from land-based trade between the three great cities.
Far Madding is dominated by the broad, domed structure known as the Hall of the Counsels. The structure is the home of the Guardians, powerful and ancient devices which block all channelling in the city. As such, Far Madding is considered a secure place to do business away from the prying eyes of Aes Sedai.
Far Madding is a trading city with no less than three great markets and many places of business and commerce. It is a bustling and thriving city, although not one of the larger cities of the land.
Illian is the capital of the nation of the same name and is located at the mouth of the River Manetherendrelle. Illian’s bay is one of the largest and most impressive on the continent, rivalled only by Ebou Dar’s, and is usually full of ships. Illian is an important stop for ships headed east for Tear and the Erinin, west to Ebou Dar and the Aryth Ocean ports, and north upriver towards Murandy, Altara, Andor and even distant Saldaea.
Illian is built on a series of large islands and is almost unassailable from the landward side of the city, which is effectively a huge swamp with only a single access point, the heavily-defended Causeway of the Northern Star. Illian has never fallen in battle and has almost never been attacked, the last offensive being mounted by Shadowspawn during the Trolloc Wars.
Illian is ruled from the Square of Tammaz, with the King’s Palace and Great Hall of the Council (identical in every respect apart from being two feet smaller in every dimension) glaring at one another across a pleasant plaza. The Palace of the Assemblage and several notable noble villas are other landmarks of interest in the city.
Ebou Dar is the nominal capital of Altara, although the power of the King or Queen of Altara waxes and wanes with every generation; some monarchs struggle to control even all of the city, whilst others control several hundred miles of surrounding territory. The King or Queen of Altara rules the city and the nation (at least in name) from the Tarasin Palace, located on Mol Hara Square near the heart of the city.
The city is quite large and is located on the mouth of the River Eldar, between the Cordese and Rhannon hill chains. It commands arguably the greatest port in the Westlands, a vast, sheltered harbor which can contain thousands of ships at a time. The shelter is important during the autumn, when massive storms known as ceranos batter the Sea of Storms, forcing ships to take refuge. Two great lighttowers flank the entrance to the harbour.
Ebou Dar is riddled with canals and waterways, many more than Illian (although not as wide or impressive), with buildings crowding one another to the point where some of the waterways are barely even visible.
The city is divided in two by the wide Eldar. The eastern half of the city is known as the Rahad and is considered ruder, more vulgar and more lawless, with criminal gangs holding sway over much of its territory. This part of the city used to Barashta, the capital city of Eharon before and during the Trolloc Wars. Barashta was captured by Shadowspawn during the fighting, representing the maximum southward penetration by Shadowspawn armies, but they were driven back in a counter-offensive. The fighting left Barashta in ruins. The city was rebuilt west of the river as modern Ebou Dar, but old Barashta eventually recovered and started rebuilding (the remains of the old city walls being dismantled as a source of stone). The Eldar is too wide and fast-flowing to be easily bridged, so ferries shuttle travellers and traders back and forth between the two halves of the city.
Located several miles to the north-east of the city is a large farm complex, which serves as a retreat and place of contemplation for a society of women known as “the Kin.” They are afforded great honour in Ebou Dar.
Falme is a large trading town and port on the Aryth Ocean, located at the far western tip of Toman Head on an enclosed bay. Falme is not very large, with only a few thousand residents and no walls, but it is an important waystop for ships headed further north to Arad Doman, west to the Sea Folk isles or south to Tarabon and the Sea of Storms ports.
Falme is also the home of the Watchers Over the Waves, a society whose headquarters and lighthouse overlooks the bay from tall clifftops. The Watchers supposedly keep watch for any sign of the return of the fleet Artur Hawkwing sent over the Aryth Ocean some 1,141 years ago, but in practice are now merely a society keeping watch over the ocean to benefit the town’s trade prospects.
The town, small as it is, is a hotbed of political intrigue as it serves as a useful, neutral point of contact between the normally antagonistic nations of Arad Doman to the north and Tarabon to the south.
Whitebridge is a fortified town on the River Arinelle in Andor. It is Andor’s second-largest and most important port (after Aringill on the Erinin) and is a vital trade link to the more remote, far less populous western parts of the nation.
Whitebridge is also the site of arguably the most impressive human-made structure in the world, after the Stone of Tear and the White Tower. The White Bridge is a mile-long structure built of some kind of crystal or glass-like substance, spanning the width of the Arinelle. The structure is believed to be a remnant of the Age of Legends. Despite being well over 3,500 years old, it has survived the passage of time and even the Breaking without a single spot of age, wear or stress on its frame.
The Caemlyn Road passes through Whitebridge, linking the capital to the east with the remote mining towns in the Mountains of Mist to the west, making the town a vital communications link.
Emond’s Field is the largest settlement in the Two Rivers, a rural and farming district in the far south-western corner of Andor. Remote and bucolic, the Two Rivers has not seen a tax collector from Caemlyn in several generations and is only nominally part of the realm. It has no lord or lady, with the administration of the district being handled by village councils of the four major towns and villages: Emond’s Field, Deven Ride, Taren Ferry and Watch Hill.
Emond’s Field is built around a central green, with the impressive structure of the Winespring Inn rising to the east. The buildings in the town are a jumble of shacks, well-built townhouses, older stone buildings and even entire farms which have gradually accumulated over the passage of two thousand years. The town is located on the site of Aemon’s Field, the site of a great battle during the Trolloc Wars.
The town is favourably placed for trade, with tabac and wool from the Two Rivers being sent north to Baerlon. However, a potential route south across the Manetherendrelle into Ghealdan is blocked by the thick, unruly Forest of Shadows and the fast-moving rapids of the White River (as the Manetherendrelle is known locally).
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