In ancient days, ere they sank beneath the waves, the Elder Isles were the last remaining source of magic in the world and the home of the ancestors of Uther Pendragon, long before his son created the great kingdom of Camelot in the south-west of Britain.


A map of the Elder Isles and surrounding lands. Please click for a larger version.

The archipelago lay north of Galicia; west of Armorica and Aquitaine; south-west of Kernow, Ennor (that flooded island now called Scilly) and Britain; and south of Ireland. The largest island was Hybras, recorded in some histories as Hybrasil or Hy-Brasil, larger than Ireland but smaller than Britain. To the north lay small Achlach; to the west Skaghane and the other islands claimed by the Ska (Frehane, Hoar, Noar, Bregma and Maushelda); the Isles of Terns to the south; and to the south-east lay the great islands of Troicinet and Dascinet (and small Scola between).

Hybras was chief of the Elder Isles in size and the most divided in political power. To the west, along the coastal plain, lay North Ulfland and South Ulfland. These kingdoms were much-ravaged by the Ska, especially in the north. The tall Teach Tac Teach Mountains divided the coastal plain from the interior, which was dominated by the vast and forbidding Forest of Tantrevalles, where for centuries uncounted dwelt the fairy folk and other creatures of magic.

The southern half of the forest was claimed by Lyonesse, the most militarily powerful and populous of the all the kingdoms of the archipelago. Lyonesse extended to the south coast, along the sea known as the Lir, and far up the east coast to north of Balt Bay. North-east of Lyonesse lay the small kingdoms surrounding the Gulf of Caduz: Blaloc, Pomperol and Caduz itself. North of these kingdoms lay the great nation of Dahaut, rival to Lyonesse, with its capital at storied Avallon. North of Dahaut lay Godelia, a large and powerful kingdom whose ambitions were oriented to the north, where constant raids by the Ska and the Celts concerned them.

Troicinet was the chief naval power of the Elder Isles, much concerned with trade. Dascinet was its great rival, but both nations combined were no match for the land might of Lyonesse. However, as long as their navies ruled the Lir, Lyonesse (whose own naval power was modest) was no threat.

The rise of King Casmir to the throne of Lyonesse, and his well-known intentions to unite the kingdoms under his rule, sparked a major period of unrest, of which more is related in Jack Vance’s excellent historical chronicle, The Lyonesse Trilogy (Suldrun’s Garden, The Green Pearl, Madouc).


The Kings and Their Courts

King Oriante of South Ulfland, ruling (nominally) from the castle Sfan Sfeg near the city of Oäldes.

King Casmir of Lyonesse, ruling from the castle Haidion in Lyonesse Town.

King Milo of Blaloc.

King Deuel of Pomperol, ruling from his summer palace at Alcantade and the city of Gargano.

King Audry of Dahaut, ruling from the castle Falu Ffail outside the city of Avallon.

King Dartweg of Godelia, ruling from the city of Cluggach.

King Gax, former ruler of North Ulfland from the castle Jehaundel in the city of Xounges, but now in hiding from the Ska.


Orders of Fairies, in levels of power and influence


Fairies, Falloys, Goblins, Imps, Skaks.

Halflings, Giants, Ogres, Trolls.

Merrihews, Willawen, Hyslop, Quists, Darklings.



The Lyonesse Trilogy omnibus published by Gollancz and the 1994 paperback editions from HarperCollins, which have their own maps.

Daniel Hasenbos’s fine map of the Elder Isles for the Design Mechanism’s Lyonesse Roleplaying Game.

Spatterlight Press’s great, if more stylised, colour map of the setting.

I am currently rereading the trilogy and will update the map once I’m done with new locations.

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