This section of the site is dedicated to the different groups of people in the world be it by nation or cultural group. Information as to cultural practices, how the groups are ruled, the trade they engage in etc may be found here.
Tear Tear’s flag is three white crescent moons across a half red, half gold field.
Tear is thought by many to be based in part on Spain during the height of the Spanish empire; the nobles and soldiers of Tear bear a particularly strong resemblance, while the common people more closely resemble the peasants of China and Korea.
south-east corner of Randland
To the North is ‘Haddon Mirk’
To the East is ‘The Spine of the World’
To the South is ‘The Sea of Storms’
To the West is ‘The Plains of Maredo’
Balance of Power
Tear functions solely on Class. It is lead by the High (Great) Lords in concert, governing the land and its economy, while whoever holds the Stone of Tear is the Lord of Tear (or Land (LotL)). There are at least 8 High lords governing at a time along-side the LotL. Tairen’s don’t like the idea of being ruled by a single man or woman, which initially set the stage for the Higher Classes. Similar to Cairhiens, the Tairen’s play the Game of Houses (Daes Dae’mar) in a cruel fashion to gain power and prestige. They are well known to be schemers. For example, Tairen High Lords had held First of Mayene as prisoner in all but name for several months to try and bend her to their will. Because of this Mayene dares not anger Tear too openly. However, Tear and Andor have a good relationship.
Tear is the greatest port located in the ‘Sea of Storms’, as well as one of the richest nations in the land. The majority of this wealth comes from the oil produced on the countries many olive farms, there is also a great deal of trade in grain and fish which brings money into the nation as well. They also have excellent horse breeding and they take a lot of pride in this. Unfortunately Tairen lords tax according to their own needs and wants, not taking into account crop failures or other such problems. Some feel that the Tairens rule poorly, as the poor have little dignity or pride and bitterly resent the rich.
There is nothing larger than a village in Tear outside of Tear and Godan (See Below). The Tairen High Lords keep towns small by heavily taxing new construction. They allow the city of Godan to thrive on the Bay of Remara to threaten Mayene.
Tear and the White Tower Channelling is outlawed in Tear, though Aes Sedai are tolerated as long as they don’t Channel while within its borders. If a woman known to be associated with the Tower will be watched as long as she’s in Tear. If a Tairen girl displays the ability to Channel, she is shipped off to Tar Valon that very day.
Facts and Numbers
Wisdoms are referred to as either Wise Women or Mothers. Tairen Wise Women don’t listen to the wind, that is too close to the use of the One Power and would draw negative attention towards them and they advertises her shop by hanging herbs in window. Also, Ogier are not an uncommon sight in Tear. Tairen use woven, dyed straw mats as coasters and low-backed chairs are quite popular and commonplace. The men dance to a clapping rhythm, with their arms around each other’s shoulders and stepping quickly. Tairen women are considered “forward” by some other cultures, (possibly including Saldaea).
| Appearance |
Taller than an average Cairhien (by at least a good head taller), Tairen are not overly tall but have slightly thicker build. They are known for their darker skin hair and eyes. It is rare for a Tairen to have either fair hair or blue eyes.
| General |
Because of the muddy ground around the city, the people (especially the poor) often wear raised clogs over their shoes. Widows can be spotted by shimmering white clothing. Women usually wear thick curls down the sides of their heads. Although some women like to wear their hair braided and coiled about their heads.
| Upper Class |
The Middle and Upper Class men wear heavy coats made of padded silks and brocades with satin strips, the sleeves are often puffy and striped. Breeches are usually worn tighter and are topped off with peaked hats and silver-worked boots (very common with the High Lords).
The Women’s dress is usually of bright colors with broad lace ruffles and close fitting caps sewn with pearls or gems and longer skirts. Their cloaks are similar to the Men. They are also known to carry small porcelain bottles of smelling salts and painted silk fans.
| Lower Class |
The poor dress similarly to the Upper in style but lack in the fineries like Silks, Satins, and Lace. It is more often that they use ties to fasten their clothing instead of using buttons.
| Occupational |
Innkeepers are known to wear Blue.
The servants in the Stone of Tear are found to where either red and gold livery, or black and gold livery. Outside the Stone servants wear clothes of wool.
The Defenders of the Stone wear rimmed helmets, breastplates and plump coat-sleeves striped black and gold. Officers and under-Officers of the Defenders are to wear coloured plumes on their helmets, and the rest of them wear colors of their lords on their sleeves. A Captain of the Defenders has two short white plumes in his helmet to indicate his rank.
Officers and nobles both carry gilded cuirasses, and have white plumes on their helmets.
Crime and Punishment
Channelling is outlawed in Tear, though Aes Sedai are tolerated as long as they don’t Channel while within its borders. A woman known to be associated with the Tower will be watched as long as she’s in Tear. Justice in Tear usually depends on class, with the lower classes being persecuted where the upper classes wouldn’t be. One of the punishments for criminals would be working the channel dredges in the Fingers of the Dragon.
Only the Defenders may go armed within the Stone. No one may enter the Stone of Tear without the permission of the High Lords, and only the High Lords themselves may enter the Heart of the Stone itself. Only foreigners passing through the city, the wealthy and the lords may go armed within the city of Tear. Tairen lords couldn’t be summoned to a magistrate by a commoner but after the Dragon Reborn, this has changed.
High Lords have ice packed in sawdust brought from the Spine of the World. You can also find sausage, fruits and vegetables (that are not seen in the north) olives, nuts, and cheese served as snacks in the Stone.
Phrases and Sayings
- By the Stone (III: 361)
- or I don’t know a bar knot from a running hitch (V: 596)
- squealing like a spawning grunter (V: 596)
- catch minnows (catch flies - for having one’s mouth hang open) (VI: 265)
- Lurks (Fades) (IV: 189)
- An anchor is not demeaned by being used to hold a boat. (II: 130)
- A full net on the first cast. (III: 179)
- Mudfish don’t school with silversides. (Birds of a feather flock together.) (III: 566)
- Do not trouble trouble until trouble troubles you. (Maule) (IV: 289)
- A flapping tongue can put you in the net, instead of the fish. (V: 33)
- Caution gets the boat home, but boldness brings back a full hold. (V: 171)
- as sulky as a fisher-bird in winter (V: 314)
- A fish in the boat is worth a school in the water. (A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.) (V: 326)
- An Aes Sedai is ten women in one skin. (VI: 592)
- When there are fishheads and blood in the water, you don’t have to see the silverpike to know they are there. (???)
- Trust is as slippery as a basket of eels. (???)
- If you are going to gut a fish, no need to wait until it rots. (???)
Many Tairens think that Trollocs and how many Shienarans become warriors to fight them are stories. Also, Tairens think that Aiel live in “caves”. The general consciences is that anything a Borderland would say, a Tairen would not believe it and consider it a ‘myth’ or a ‘tall Gleeman tale’.
Commonly Used Names
| Female |
Ailhuin, Alteima, Anaiyella, Arie, Belyne, Cian, Dara, Fionnda, Ines, Ivara, Leitha, Majhere, Mara, Medore, Meralda, Rasoria, Rosana, Salita, Sareitha, Selame, Siuan
| Male |
Alger, Aracome, Astoril, Baran, Bili, Carleon, Carlomin, Cavan, Darlin, Dermid, Edorian, Estean, Estevan, Furen, Guyeam, Harnan, Haviar, Hearne, Huan, Istaban, Juilin, Jurah, Leuse, Lopin, Maraconn, Meilan, Melanril, Nalesean, Perelean, Reimon, Rodrivar, Rovair, Simaan, Surnamon, Tedosian, Tirhira, Tolmeran, Torean, Weiramon
| Surname |
Admira, Ajala, Alharra, Domanche, Guenna, Haellin, Haret, Lopar, Mallia, Mandair, Mulan, Novares, Sanche, Sandar, Tarou, Tihera, Tirado, Tomanes, Tomares, Toranes
| Nobility |
Andiama, Aldiaya, Annariz, Asegora, Damara, Emares, Medrano, Mendiana, Saniago, Selorna, Sisnera
- Almost everyone in Tear suffers from nightmares because Be’lal doesn’t shield his dreams.
More info on the History can be found here
Places of Interest
City of Tear
The location of the city of Tear is unclear. At the beginning of Chapter 48 of The Dragon Reborn, the city docks are said to be on the west bank of the River Erinin, but at the beginning of Chapter 50, Perrin, Moiraine, and Lan arrive by ferry from the west. At the beginning of Chapter 22 of The Shadow Rising, Rand leads the Aiel “out of the Stone and eastward.”
Tear is Ogier-built, although the Stone is Aes Sedai built, and is the greatest port on the Sea of Storms. Tear is as large as Tar Valon or Caemlyn, built on flat land. Near the warehouse district, the houses are built of wood and stone on muddy streets. Deeper into the city is a wall of dark grey stone, and beyond that towers, balconies and white-domed palaces. The city wall is only a pace wide, but ten spans high, with stone buttresses supporting it. Some houses are built right up against the city wall. The city has an outer wall, with simple stone houses and shops built beyond it. Large numbers of ships moor at the Tear docks near their many warehouses. When docks busy, ships have to anchor and wait their turn at the docks. The streets of Tear are not especially crowded or busy. Tavar is the name of the farmer’s market in Tear, and the Maule is the port district, the Chalm is filled with warehouses and inns. There are hundreds of inns in a city the size of Tear, maybe a hundred more outside the city walls proper. The smallest would have only a dozen rooms.Only foreigners passing through the city, the wealthy and the lords may go armed within Tear. The Ogier stay in the Stone when they come to work in Tear.
More info on the City of Tear can be found here
The Stone of Tear
The city of Tear is dominated by the Stone of Tear, which towers above the city like a small mountain. It is believed to be the oldest stronghold of mankind, erected shortly after the Breaking of the World. It was built by Aes Sedai using the One Power, Earth, Air, and Fire fusing stones together without joint or mortar.
More info on the Stone can be found here
According to Winkipedia
Deep within the Stone is the Heart of the Stone. This is where the crystal sword Callandor sits, waiting for the Dragon Reborn to claim it. No one except the High Lords are allowed to enter the Heart, and even they rarely do so: four times a year for the Rite of Guarding there, and also to raise a Lord of the Land to the office of High Lord. Indeed, if the High Lords could manage to forget that the Heart of the Stone and Callandor existed, they undoubtedly would: Tairens of all classes have an avowed fear of anything to do with the One Power. This is due partly to the fact that it is prophesied that the Stone of Tear will never fall until the Dragon has been Reborn. The High Lords like to think that by protecting Callandor, they are protecting the world from the Dragon Reborn. Ironically, the Stone also houses a collection of angreal and ter’angreal second only to the White Tower. It is unsure exactly why the Tairens have collected such an array; perhaps to prevent their use by Aes Sedai, or maybe to diminish by comparison the knowledge that they possess one of the greatest of them, Callandor, whose drawing by the Dragon Reborn will herald the coming of another Breaking of the World.
This small town is across the Erinin from Aringill. Maerone is unwalled, an overgrown village with brick and stone buildings, with roofs of wooden shingles, thatch, slate and tile, most of the streets are hardpacked dirt. The village is a transit point of trade between Cairhien and Tear, and has almost as many inns and taverns as it does houses. There are over 17 inns in Maerone. Inns: the Fox and Goose, The Wagoneer’s Whip, the River Gate, the Erinin Inn, the Three Towers, the Silver Horn, and Golden Stag inn. A well-established road leads south out of Maerone, piercing through forest and open country. It’s about 20-22 days from Maerone to Tear.
A coastal town in far southeast Tear on the Bay of Remara.
Bay of Remara
A large bay at the far southeast corner of the Westlands at the end of the Spine of the World. The Drowned Lands lie to the east. Tear ends at the western shore at the city of Godan. The city-state of Mayene lies on the peninsula to the southeast.
Artifacts of Note
Redstone Doorway (1)
Tairen redstone door ter’angreal - three sinuous lines from top to bottom of each upright. Within the Tairen Redstone doorway, one can get three answers to three questions about the past, present or future. (Two ta’veren within the land beyond the doorway simultaneously could have torn the connection between the two worlds and left both trapped there.)
Rules and dangers of using Tairen doorway:
- Each person can only go through the doorway once. All three questions must be asked and answered before you can leave. Questions of frivolous consequence to the questioner are punished. Questions that touch the Shadow in any way can be very dangerous, with the questioner not returning from the doorway, or going mad. A person stepping through the door sees blinding light and hears the sound of a roar. If you go through the doorway a second time it acts like any ordinary arch.
About the Snakes Within:
The snakes speak in the Old Tongue. When needed, one is brought to interpret, he speaks the way an old book would read. The snakes feed off of people’s sensations and experiences. The answers given by the snake people are true in regards to one’s own future, but they are often obscure in phrasing.
There are 4 known Portal Stones in Tear.
45.0 TEAR - GENERAL CULTURE - http://www.drosi.de/wot/wt_conco.htm
Researcher for Tear
Andrea Collet (Arie Ronshor)
The sign of Kandor is a rearing red horse on a field of pale green.
Little is truly known of Kandor. It is well known for its Stone that is often shipped out for building purposes. The nation of Kandor was formed early in the War of the Hundred Years. The governors of Hawkwing’s five northern provinces met and agreed to form stable nations to preserve the peace and defend against the Blight. Jarel Soukovni was the first King on the Throne of the Clouds.
The Capital of Kandor is Chachin.
Balance of Power
Kandor is ruled by either a King or a Queen. Either holds the Throne of the Clouds in the Aesdaishar Palace in the capital of Chachin and rules along with a smaller body of advisors. Along with the rulers of Shienar, Arafel and Saldaea, they keep the peace along the Border.
- In Borderlands countries, the shatayan or head housekeeper, and the shambayan or head butler are positions of great power.*
They make Stone, but are also well known for their guilds and trades which have an actual guideline for how things are run within the Kandor state.
Facts and Numbers
| Appearance |
Kandori are tall, although not as tall as Shienarans. They usually have light colored eyes and dark eyes, although there are some blondes and dark-eyed Kandori.
| General |
Both genders wear jewelry, particularly earrings; Higher the status or more wealth, the more extravagant the earrings.
| Basic Male Dress |
The men favor short coats to go with their breeches and long-sleeved shirts. They often wear distinctively forked beards, usually well trimmed and groomed.
| Basic Female Dress |
Women wear simple dresses and gowns often decorated with elaborate embroidery. Also, necklaces are made in a pattern known as the Kandori snowflake pattern. These are intricately worked discs, each with a slightly different pattern.
| Occupational |
Guild rank wear from one to three silver chains on their cloak to indicate status within the Guild. Three silver chains looped across the chest mark a man as a Master Merchant.
Phrases and Sayings
- wind in a bucket (IV: 232)
Commonly Used Names
| Female |
Aiko, Ailene, Anya, Avene, Colar, Cosaru, Einone, Elis, Ethenielle, Eselle, Esne, Ines, Jarene, Jerid, Jorelle, Jurine, Kamile, Kareil, Kirukon, Nesune, Lira, Nazelle, Nedare, Pevara, Racelle, Serailla, Shimoku, Silene, Surasa
| Male |
Alin, Antol, Baldhere, Brys, Bulen, Cal, Caniedrin, Dirys, Eurian, Ismic, Kazin, Jarel, Josef, Jurad, Lomas, Mahiro, Migel, Paetram, Rahien, Varan
| Surname |
Arovni, Bihara, Dorelmin, Helvin, Marishna, Mondevin, Najima, Noallin, Posavina, Ramavni, Romera, Sahera, Satarov, Seroku, Shakosa, Shiman, Soukovni, Tolvina, Tomichi, Tuval
| Nobility |
Demain, Marcasiev, Materasu, Noromago
- Coming Soon*
25.0 KANDOR - GENERAL CULTURE - http://www.drosi.de/wot/wt_conco.htm
Researcher for Kandor
Andrea Collet (Arie Ronshor)
Cities of Kandor
Chachin is the capital of Kandor. It is a city in the mountains with the Aesdaishar Palace atop the highest. The city is surrounded by three ringwalls and a drymoat spanned by two dozen bridges. The road from Canluum enters at the Bridge of Sunrise. The buildings are roofed with colorful glazed tiles. The banner of Chachin is a prancing Red Horse.
Royal Palace of Kandor located in the capital Chachin. It sits atop the highest peak in the city.
Other Places of Note
- Bridge of Sunrise - one of the main entrances to the city
- The Blind Pig - (It is a dirty, dingy place.)
- The Evening Star - (A respectable establishment catering to middle rank merchants. It is a sprawling three story stone building.) - Ailene Tolvina - innkeeper
- The Ruffled Goose - (It is a dirty, dingy place.)
- The Silver Penny - (It is better kept than other inns in the area.) - Nedare Satarov - innkeeper
Canluum is a large town in a hilly area south of Chachin. The buildings are stone and brick. The city is surrounded by a drymoat fifty paces wide that is crossed by five bridges. Local gem mines make the city wealthy. The castle of the ruler Lord Varan Marcasiev sits on a high hill, Stag’s Stand. The area inside the north wall is called the Deeps.
Other Places of Note
- The Blue Rose - (It is a slate-roofed cube of gray stone with a bright sign out front.) Racelle Arovni - innkeeper, Lira - serving girl
- The Gates of Heaven - (The largest and finest inn in Canluum. It is four sprawling stories of green-roofed stone.) Master Helvin - innkeeper, Kazin - stableman
Manala is a town in Kandor on the road between Chachin and Canluum south of Ravinda. Manala is a sprawling collection of stone houses with tile roofs and three inns. It lies at an east-west crossroad so there is a lot of merchant traffic.
Other Places of Note
- The Plowman’s Blade - (It is two stories with a red roof. It has arrow slits instead of windows on the ground floor; Borderlands inns are often strongholds in defense of Shadowspawn.) - Mistress Tomichi - innkeeper
Ravinda is a small town in Kandor on the road between Chachin and Canluum north of Manala.
Other Places of Note
- The White Tower (Inn)
A city-state in the east central part of the Westlands. It lies at the north end of the Plains of Maredo near the borders of Andor, Illian and Tear. There is a Waygate nearby.
Far Madding lies on an island in the center of a lake. There are three gates and three bridges connecting the city to the mainland. The Caemlyn Gate leads to the Ajalon Bridge and the village of Glancor. The Illian Gate leads to the Ikane Bridge and the village of Daigan. The Tear Gate leads to the Goim Bridge and the village of South Bridge.
Balance of Power
Hall of the Counsels
The center of government of Far Madding. It is a great palace in the Counsels’ Plaza. It is all white except for a blue dome. Massive fluted columns surround the upper two levels below the dome.
Counsels (Book Based)
Aleis Barsalla - First Counsel
Far Madding is a center for trade. There are three main markets: The Avharin Market, the Amhara Market and the Nethvin Market. The largest of these is the Avharin Market. The central focus of the square is a statue of a woman called Einion Avharin which points toward Caemlyn. The city acts as a meeting place for Andoran, Tairen, and Illianer merchants; consequently, its inns are always full of such folk. However all the more important people in Far Madding have large houses or palaces in an area called the Heights that overlooks the Hall of the Counsels.
Facts and Numbers
There are three Strangers’ Markets in Far Madding where foreigners are allowed to trade. They are the Amhara Market, the Avharin Market and the Nethvin Market. They are named after the three most revered women in Far Madding history. At the center of the city is the Counsels’ Plaza and the Hall of the Counsels.
| Appearance |
| General |
Influence on dress mainly comes from the outside. A lot comes from Illian, Tear, Cairhein, and Andor. Higher class women's dress is a silk dress that is lower cut with a curved neckline. Embroardery is usually found, expeccially with the upper classes, and gold is used mainly. Common women wear the same form of dress, only in a coarser wool, with an apron on top. Embroardery is also seen on occasion.
Men wear trousers with fitted shirts and highcollared coats. Upperclass have the sleeves striped with their house colors and are made of silk and brocade. Lower class men would just wear simple garments of a duller color in wool.
Commonly Used Names
| Female |
Aleis, Cadsuane, Cumere, Cyprien, Einion, Milsa, Narvais, Savion, Sybaine, Verin
| Male |
| Surname |
Avharin, Barsalla, Gallger, Keene, Maslin, Mathwin, Melaidhrin, Nahera, Powys, Shimel
| Nobility |
In the time after the Breaking, the city was known as Aren Mador and was the capital of Essenia. After the Trolloc Wars, the city was known as Fel Moreina. After the War of the Hundred Years, Far Madding was the capital of Maredo until the nation fell apart. Far Madding is now an independent city-state and a major center of commerce.
Places of Interest
- The Counsel’s Head - An inn in Far Madding. It overlooks the Nethvin Market. Mistress Keene is the Innkeeper.
- The Crown of Maredo - An inn in Far Madding. Mistress Nalhera is the innkeeper
- The Golden Wheel - An inn in Far Madding. Mistress Gallger is the innkeeper
- The Heart of the Plain - An inn in Far Madding.
- The Three Ladies of Maredo - An inn in Far Madding.
- Amhara Market
- Avharin Market
- Nethvin Market
- Hall of the Counsels
Artifacts of Note
In the Hall of the Counsels there is a ter’angreal known as the guardian. This ter’angreal acts as a shield to the True Source for women, starting at the city’s border, and for men at a much greater distance. It also acts as a direction finder for anyone who channels nearby. It consists of three cloudy crystal discs a span wide. Each disc has a narrow clear crystal wedge and gradations around its circumference. The guardian creates three zones around the city. The innermost zone ending at the bridges to the city cuts off women from the True Source. A larger zone that cuts off men from the True Source extends about a mile outside the city. A still larger zone detects a man or woman channeling outside the other zones. When use of the One Power is detected, the three wedges point toward the source allowing the channeler’s location to be determined by triangulation. The wedges turn red for saidar and black for saidin.
Researcher for Far Madding
Andrea Collet (Arie Ronshor)
Groups that are outside regular society like the Tuatha’an, or hide themselves within nations like the Kin may be found here.
Hunters of the Horn
Tia mi aven Moridin isainde vadin… The grave is no bar to my call. These words are ones that every Hunter of the Horn is familiar with. Inscribed upon the Horn of Valere, the object of the hunt, Hunters dream of the day they may find the true horn with these words upon it.
The Great Hunt is not often called, indeed the last one was called over four hundred years before the current day. Yet on the feast of Teven in 997 NE, the hunt was called in Illian once more. Nearly two thousand people from all nations and walks of life answered the call, be it with true hope of finding the Horn of Valere or simply for the chance to win a name for themselves. Sworn to the Great Hunt at the Square of Tammuz, these adventurers have spread through every nation in the land. Unfortunately, while most Hunters are given to doing good deeds and winning themselves fame through such acts, there are some which seek glory at the cost of all others and have little concern for those around them. This leads to mixed welcomings depending on where one goes and what other Hunters who have traveled that way have done before you. In some places one may be welcomed with celebration and eagerness to hear the latest stories of one’s adventures. In others, one will be greeted with stones and abuse.
Nevertheless, the Hunters persevere in their Great Hunt, and Illian continues to wait for the Horn to be brought back to the city.
Of all the groups that exist in the land, the Illuminators are both amongst the most famous and most secretive. The Guild of Illuminators has existed since the Breaking, though it has been known by different names. Its current incarnation was founded in 458 NE by several families in Tarabon who rediscovered the art of making fireworks, though how is unknown.
Being the sole producers of fireworks, the Guild of Illuminators over the centuries has become incredibly wealthy in its own right. In order to maintain its monopoly, all Guild members are sworn to secrecy, indeed Guild members don’t often interact with those outside of the Guild. If anyone is kicked out of the Guild, they are sworn to secrecy on the matter, and it hasn’t been unheard of for the Guild to ensure such secrecy with a blade if any proved to have loose lips.
The Illuminators, while being founded in Tarabon, also established a second chapterhouse in Cairhien (that was then lost when the Aiel took Cairhien for the Dragon and drove the Shaido away). They are rumoured to be looking at other places to establish Chapterhouses such as; Amadicia, Andor, Illian and Tear, but there has been no move as of yet to do so. Each Chapterhouse is run by a Master or Mistress that is answerable to the Guild if anything within their Chapterhouse goes wrong.
In addition to their services, the Illuminators also sell lesser fireworks that, while incomparable to what can be seen in shows they perform, are nevertheless quite valuable in their own right. Such fireworks come with warnings against tampering, as exposing the ingredients to the air can lead to a lost hand or eye. As is often said in Tarabon, ‘The best secret to reveal is the face behind a lady’s veil, the most deadly is that of an Illuminator’s spark.’
The Kin is an organisation of women who can channel, which is not allied to the White Tower. Many of its members were put out of the White Tower at some point, usually for failing one of the many required tests Aes Sedai put their Novices and Accepted through; although there are a few exceptions to this truth. Other members are runaways, or wilders that are discovered by the Kin. Our Kin vary a bit from those in the books and those interested in playing a member of The Kin are encouraged to look over the helpful information on our website.
The Tuatha’an, also known as the Traveling people and Tinkers,are a people of simplicity adhering to the strict proscriptions of the Way of the Leaf. A life without resistance, without violence, only acceptance of what the Wheel weaves for them. To this life of simplicity is added purpose, the quest to seek the Old Song, in the hope that it will bring renewal and peace to the lands.
The Tuatha’an are without lands, yet they are not without homes. Traveling in bright and sometimes luridly coloured wagons that barely outdo their clothing, they move in caravans led by a Mahdi or seeker. It is each Mahdi’scharge to seek out the Old Song wherever they may hope to find it. Along the way, they learn any new songs or dances that they can in hopes of finding the Old Song, so it is little wonder that many forms of music and dance are to be found. Indeed, if one were seeking to learn the history of songs and dances from many of the nations, would could most likely find those answers ata Tuatha’an’s caravan.
To pay their way as they go, the Tuatha’an often work as tinkers be it with metals, timbers or any other material, though they refuse to make or repair any sort of weapon. When that work cannot be found, they can be found performing other tasks as long as they do not violate their beliefs. When a person first arrives at a Tuatha’an camp, a Mahdi will first ask whether one knows the song. Once the ritual is done, one is welcome throughout the camp as most Tuatha’an are friendly with outsiders, if slightly wary. That is especially true of anyone bearing a weapon, and its not unheard of for a Mahdi to refuse a person the fire if they seem violent.
Those who aren’t Tuatha’an usually do not hold the highest opinion of them. Regarded as thieves, kidnappers and brainwashers of children, Tuatha’an as a result do not stay in cities for fear of being attacked. When confrontations do occur, Tuatha’an are left with no choice but to run, which simply confirms their guilt in the minds of those who despise Tuatha’an.
The Aiel outright avoid them, which is why the Tuatha’an are amongst the few who still have access to the Sharan silk trade along the land route. Why was once unknown except to the Clan Chiefs amongst the Aiel. With the arrival of the Aiel into the lands of the light once again, and those who have become lost to both the Shaido and those loyal to the Car’a'carn, some have taken up with the Tuatha’an in order to rediscover the ancient heritage of the Way of the Leaf. With that in turn has come the Tuatha’an’s rediscovery of their heritage though the news is slow to spread between caravans. How this will affect the Tuatha’an is unknown, though there is little doubt they shall continue the quest for the Old Song.
Curious about what kind of trees and shrubs one is bound to come across? What predators exist and what game there is to catch? What sort of fish do people have a liking for? How long would it take you to walk from Tar Valon to Caemlyn? Or ride from Amador to Ebou Dar? This is the sort of information you may find here.
Distances and Travel Times
Always wondered about how long your character took to get from point A to point B? Wonder no further, because thanks to a mixture of frustration and boredom one night, these questions have been roughly answered, almost. The land section is complete, the sea/ocean is still being worked on at the moment (speed of ships indeterminate). Rivers will get done, maybe. At anyrate, the info that is up is there for you to use.
One of the questions that tends to get asked with traveling in Randland is how long it takes to get from one place to another. So, the questions for land travel are are; How quickly can a person move with/without transport? What are the distances between cities? Bear in mind that mph means miles per hour, kph means kilometres per hour, and a mile is 1.6 kilometres. And yes, unfortunately randland uses miles in character. Also, these only use the highways as a measure, if you go offroad be sure to take that into account.
Keep in mind that the higher end of the jogging/running range is most likely your Aiel who runs everywhere. Maintaining either is for characters that have a lot of stamina.
Walking: 2-5 mph/ 3-7 kph
Jogging: 6-9 mph/ 9-14 kph
Running: 9-13 mph/ 11- 20 kph
Keep in mind, there is a wide variation in particular as the speed increases to take into account different breeds of horses. A horse that can reach a gallop of 50 mph is a sprinter for example and that kind of speed wouldn’t last long, and the horse wouldn’t be good for distance travel. And of course, remember the limits such as horses can sustain a trot for hours if they are in condition, but anything faster will drain a horse.
Walk:2-5 mph/ 3-7 kph
Trot: 7-11 mph/ 7-17 kph
Canter/Lope: 10-20 mph/ 16-32 kph
Gallop: 20-50 mph (on average 30 mph)/ 32- 80 kph
Distance on Highways
Amador to Ebou Dar : 380 miles
Amador to Elmora : 240 miles
Amador to Jehannah : 300 miles
Aringill to Caemlyn : 150 miles
Aringill to Cairhien : 300 miles
Baerlon to Emonds Field : 70 miles
Baerlon to Whitebridge : 465 miles
Bandar Eban to Katar : 400 miles
Bandar Eban to Maradon : 810 miles
Bandar Eban to Tanchico : 670 miles
Caemlyn to Far Madding : 240 miles
Caemlyn to Four Kings : 50 miles
Caemlyn to Lugard : 300 miles
Caemlyn to Tar Valon : 470 miles
Cairhien to Jangai Pass : 450 miles
Cairhien to Tar Valon : 180 miles
Chachin to Maradon : 350 miles
Chachin to Shol Arbel : 300 miles
Chachin to Tar Valon : 440 miles
Ebou Dar to Illian : 630 miles
Ebou Dar to Jehannah : 510 miles
Ebou Dar to Lugard : 560 miles
Elmora to Tanchico : 230 miles
Fal Dara to Fal Moran : 45 miles
Fal Moran to Shol Arbela : 290 miles
Fal Moran to Tar Valon : 480 miles
Far Madding to Illian : 480 miles
Far Madding to Tear : 260 miles
Four Kings to Lugard : 265 miles
Four Kings to Whitebridge : 430 miles
Godan to Tear : 420 miles
Illian to Lugard : 520 miles
Illian to Tear : 540 miles
Maradon to Tar Valon : 735 miles
Shol Arbela to Tar Valon : 345 miles
This section is incomplete. While we do have the measurements between places (in nautical miles, not land), we still need to determine the average speeds of ships be they SF (sort of done, being verified), mainland and Seanchan. But, the info we do have is interesting nevertheless, so the measurements will be up here until such time as the rest of the work is done and then that’ll be chucked up as well.
Bandar Eban - Aile Dashar = 334 miles
Bandar Eban - Falme = 361 miles
Cindaking - Land of madman = approx. 3910 miles
Ebou Dar - Illian = 647 miles
Ebou Dar - Tanchico = 1057 miles
Falme - Tanchico = 535 miles
Illian - Tear = 382 miles
Mayene - Cindaking = 83 miles
Mayene - Godan = 133 miles
Mayene - Tear = 480 miles
Seanchan - Southern Isles of the Sea Folk = approx. 6300 miles
Seanchan - Tremalking = approx. 7390 miles
Southern Isles of the Sea folk - Tremalking = approx. 1720 miles
Tanchico - Tremalking = 542 miles
World Herbs and Properties Herb Name
Alleviates fatigue, clears the head, and eases tired muscles
Concentrated extracts or dried and ground into powder
Poisonous in it’s pure form, calming or healing effects when mixed
See mixed herbs table for healing qualities.
Boiled in water (1:10), as hot as can be stood. Replaced as soon as steaming stops, and continued for the entire day.
Knits the bone twice as fast as boneknit alone, and twice as strong.
Brewed into tea
Cures sulkiness or anything else a wisdom finds unfavorable.
Incredibly bitter and foul smelling
Boiled in Tea
Settles the Stomach
Helps bones mend more quickly.
Mixed with food or tea, dried or whole
Settles stomach, especially the nervous stomach
Boiled and added to powdered Mavinsleaf in tea
Foul tasting and smelling. Green and scummy
Boiled in tea.
Thins the blood
Poison. Paralyzes the one it is administered to. Unsure if the effects are temporary or permanent.
Ground as a paste, apply directly to the wound
Different kinds of fennel are explained in this list
Five finger Ground Ivy / Sunburst root
Boiled into an ointment
Treats heavy bruises, causing them to fade rapidly
Feels both hot and cold in flashes
Make tea out of fresh leaves
Gives energy, adrenaline & nutrients
Best for aging people
Brewed into tea. Chop off the root of the plant, and allow to dry for three days. Grind and keep in a jar where precise amounts can be extracted.
Puts one to sleep and prevents a channeller from touching the Source. Effective painkiller that numbs the nerve ends
A faint minty taste. Deceivingly sweet
Extracts from dried petals. (tea)
Stops further spreading of a disease. Increases immunity to a disease.
Best taken regularly.
Aids in sleep with no grogginess.
Powdered and taken by mouth
Relief of heartpains and a good poison killer.
See mixed herbs table
Hang the blossoms to dry, and prepare into a tea sack within a week.
Goatflower strengthens the system against damage. It boosts the body’s immunity and provides more adrenaline.
Mixed with chopped Willow tree bark, it can be used into most teas since it does not do otherwise effects, and also has no real taste
Sleep aid, sovereign for stomach cramps.
Settles a burning stomach
It’s sap is deadly when taken in orally or through open wounds
Evident discoloration of the eyes of the deceased.
makes you sleep, but sovereign for stomach cramps
Chop the fresh leaves finely and work into a paste with warm water or Juniper oil. Massage for quick relief, and take orally for more effeciveness in the long run.
The local Ground Ivy is a good remedy for aching and tired muscles.
Leaves a strange hot and cold feeling when mixed with finely chopped Sunburst root, and actually repairs slightly torn muscles and flesh.
Used on open wounds to make them heal quickly
Works on almost any illness, is a good alternative when the specific herb is not available
Boiled in tea.
Prevents pregnancy when taken before consummation
Pure honey, is useable as a sweetener that does not damage the properties of herbs. It can be used in tea or bad tasting potions to soothe the taste
Has properties which clear up the respiratory system and other allergic reactions.
the juice when warmed over a fire is used to indicate pregnancies as the color change suggests
Juniper Berries are useable as acid indicators.
The juice extracted from the berries is strangely intoxicating, allowing nerves to relax and tensions to soften
The beans are brewable into a strong, bitter tea.
Awakens the body’s senses, causing one to be quite energetic even when tired
Used on bruised; Stings
Sleep aid with no grogginess.
Leaves are boiled in tea
Keeps very well, and gains potency with time; tastes very bitter
Leaves can be ground, and made into a poultice or paste
Leaves can be ground, and made into a poultice or paste
See mixed table
Poison, like Grey Fennel
Ground and used like shampoo
Removes dyes from hair, normally used for toothaches and sore gums
Very foul tasting
probably tastes awful
Brewed into Tea
Settles the stomach
Mild, and therefore suited for children. Too much use might cause flatulence.
Can be used to induce vomiting, also used to soothe the eyelids.
When ground and made into paste it’s the perfect cure against misbehaviour.
Prepared in tea
Alleviates extreme headaches
Taste has been compared to the inside of boots.
Grind to a poultice and mix well with food or drink
Clears headaches and makes a person drowsy
Made into a tincture.
Thread can be made out of the fibers of the root, which are used to sew up wounds
Also allows blood to clot faster. Poultices, salves and teas made from the root are quite effective with inner bleedings
Oil or Liniment
Used on heavy bruises.
Same as Silverleaf
Dried leaves in tea.
Dried leaves cause wonderful essences. Vapors cause relaxation and clear the nose and lungs
Helps ease pains of labor in giving birth.
Only used in very severe cases when labour was very hard.
Soothes a toothache, but can also dye your hair black.
Leaves can be dried and made into a relaxing tea
Relieves mild fevers and sicknesses, as the aromatic vapors from the steaming tea are inhaled while being taken. Willow can clear up children’s fevers from growing or toothing, and can also be used by adults who wish to improve their health and strength.
Helps end a fever.
Combinations and their Effects
Flatwort tea and andilay root
clears the head and dims the burn in tired muscles
Foxtail, marisin, and something else
will help sleep but not make you groggy
Ground ivy, five-finger, and sunburst root
Can be used on bruises
Timsin root and Silverleaf
Good for headaches
Boiled catfern and powdered mavinsleaf
Tastes very foul. Does nothing useful other than that.
Nightsbane and sheepstongue
Clears blurring or darkening visions, eye infections, or failure of sight due to sudden bursts of light, or infectious poisons. Futile against the effects of being blinded by the One Power. Gheandin blossom with dogworth and/or willow bark worked into a paste
The taste is rather perplexing, spicy and bitter at the same time, so a little honey will be of no harm. Use regularly to relieve heart or inner side pains; constant treatment has lead to remarkable healings of malignant tissues and heart problems
Belladonna powder from dried berries with twice the amount of Gheandin powder and a lot of white healall powder. Add hot boiling water and work into a paste.
Simply massage the pink paste gently all over the broken limb after it has been soaked in boiled Goatflower. The effects of these four herbs seem miraculous with boneknitting. One can also dry a precise amount of berries and ground with a few intoxicants, can mixed into something to calm nerves.
What is meant by this? The armies of the time? What sort of weapons and armour are in use? The fighting styles of different nations? Strategy and tactics employed?
All of these things and more are to be found in here, well, when they get written up anyway. This is so you are aware of what sort of military presence is in each nation if your character is traveling there, if you’re planning a battle RP what numbers there are and how people are liable to fight, what groups are loyal to whom and the like. Or if you encounter bandits, are they going to be a relatively weak dragonsworn rabble as can be found in Tarabon and Ghealdan? Or are they going to be a far more proficient band of Murandian marauders raiding the Andoran countryside?
Also, if there are questions that you wish answered, details that you feel have been left out, by all means email Freecastle@gmail.com so that we may get answers up here for you and everyone else.
Fighting Styles of the Different Lands
In the books, we notice that there are some differences between different nationalities and their fighting prowess, or indeed the style in which they fight. Shienaran soldiers often use heavy armour and weaponry, relying on their heavy cavalry’s force to punch through a trolloc fist. Saldaeans on the otherhand pick away at a foe, relying on quick attacks with their sabres and using horse bows to whittle a trolloc fist away.
From that we can extrapolate a few things. Shienaran style is aggressive, direct, and uses strong forms. Saldaeans on the otherhand or not as direct, they use quick attacks to wear an opponent down, and given their fondness of sabres (which is infered from the fact they are light cavalry), their sword work would involve more slashing as opposed to thrusts.
This is still somewhat guesswork as you can see, but for the purposes of the RP its handy. It helps to create a greater depth in the RP with the detail, and creates a wider range of options for those who like combat RP as opposed to everyone using longswords because every third book character does.
Altaran fighting is often as aggressive as the temperament of its people. In a country where everyone will have fought at least one duel by the time they reach adulthood, the emphasis on one vs one combat as opposed to a battlefield is telling in the style that is common to the nation.
All Altarans wear curved dueling ‘daggers’ at all times, and often such weapons are paired with rapiers, short swords or a second dagger. The emphasis is on speed, and closing with an opponent and blinding them with quick movements that pierce their defences. Indeed, it is rare that you will find an Altaran using heavier blades simply because such weapons would not be able to keep up. Altarans are usually quite mobile, and will dance around their opponents in an attempt to find an advantage when they are not in their opponent’s faces. When using both weapons, an Altaran will usually hold their dagger to stab rather than thrust, so they may use it to parry more easily as well as slash. Of course, the disadvantage for the style is that while it is quite effective when facing a single opponent, or even a few, on a battlefield the lighter weapons and the mindset of a dueler instead of a soldier regularly come off second best, which is one of the reasons that the Altaran forces were no match for the Children of the Light during the Whitecloak War of 957 NE.
While Amadicia has a King, the true power of the land is the Children of the Light led by their Lord Captain Commander. The Children receive many people from different nations to take on the white cloak and golden sunburst and not all of them are young pups. Many older warriors have gone to join them as well, and as they have done so they have brought their own training and styles with them which has enriched the Children’s fighting techniques which have in turn spread throughout the nation.
Having said that, the distinctive hallmarks of Amadician fighting remain. As most fighters from the nation are trained (or learn through their own experience) to fight on horseback, there is a strong propensity for blows that come down from high. The Courtier Taps his Fan and The Boar Rushes Down the Mountain are particularly common forms amongst soldiers. This is also reflected in their higher guards that they adopt, striking from high with power. Power and control are key to Amadician fighting, and while they might not be the quickest on their feet they make up for it in strong attack and defence that often disdains feints in favour of more substantial combat.
As far as different national styles go, Andor would certainly rank among the more basic, flexible and balanced. There are feints in their technique yet it is not dependent upon them, slashing and thrusting are employed in equal measure and solid footwork along with mobility is to be found. There is no particular overarching philosophy that dominates the swordwork, like in Altara where the mindset is that of a duelist, or in Mayene where one focuses on moving with an opponent rather than against them.
In terms of weapons, Andorans tend to favour the classic longsword, some of which may or may not be slightly curved. Much like their technique, the weapon offers no particular strengths or weaknesses and leaves the wielder capable of a full range of slashes and thrusts. If there was a criticism to be leveled at Andoran fighting, it would be that it has no defining characteristic. At the same time, there are no defining characteristics to take advantage of, no glaring weaknesses shared by fighters across the country. That in itself is its own strength.
The Domani martial arts are in many ways a reflection of the way their country developed. Formed by strong merchant families that became the nobility, the soldiers that were retained often served the capacity of caravan and warehouse guards as opposed to conquering and holding lands. Despite the use of lighter weapons (including the adoption of the Saldaean sabre for cavalry), the Domani focus on defensive techniques and weathering attacks as their primary job was to protect first and foremost. Combined with this defensive focus is a great deal of mobility, unlike Altarans with their light weapons who move straight towards an opponent the Domani are more apt to dancing around an opponent. This tends to make them very hard fighters to catch out until they commit themselves. This is perhaps the only weak spot in Domani technique, but only if a fighter can survive long enough to take advantage of it.
Arafel of all things is most famous for its warriors often using two long blades, one in each hand. Unlike their Shienaran neighbours, Arafel’s soldiers are of the belief that two blades are better than one, and that one can just easily defend themselves with a blade as they can a shield. Yet most people who tend to wield dual blades tend to use shorter blades for easier control, yet such blades would have little use for Arafellian soldiers as they spend a good deal of time in the saddle as well as on foot. Instead, Arafellian bladesmen use the momentum of the blades so they never cease attacking, one attack prepares the next one, and in this way they try to overwhelm their opponents. Like the Shienarans, their bladework is quite strong and is designed to batter at an opponent, yet the dual blades give Arafellians an extra versatility.
The trade off of course is the fact that using heavier blades can slow them down. If their momentum is ever disrupted it can leave them off balance and vulnerable. Arafellian hand to hand combat is similar to the Shienaran, though not as well developed due to the fact that Arafels only enemies are from the Blight, and not people.
It is interesting to note that unlike most nations, there are two particular styles that seem to hold sway in Cairhien. The nobility and those trained in the military are taught a way of fighting very similar to their Andoran neighbours. They work on everything in balance but unlike the Andorans tend to place too much emphasis on the weapon which, while making the bladework itself a little more refined is often to the detriment of the fighter because they fight only with the blade and do not think to use the rest of the body.
This is what makes the second style to be found in Cairhien so important. Before the Aiel War, Cairhien used to be a great trading nation. Not only did those who visited while trading influence the development of Cairhienin martial arts, but so did contact with the Aiel. Cairhienin merchant guards amongst others would observe Aiel training and fighting and bits and pieces of it returned with them to Cairhien. The style is very aggressive but furthermore calls for the entire body to be used as a weapon.
Emphasing closeness to an opponent, anything and everything will be used ranging from eblows to knees. Unlike Andoran boxing which requires fighters to use fist alone, Cairhienin boxing on the otherhand has no such limitations. Added to this is a certain gymnastic element influenced by Aiel dancing over bonfires where different Aiel throw themselves in the air across the flames and try to kick as high as they can, more practical applications have been integrated into the style giving it a certain aerial capability. The two styles are often mixed by soldiers, the results ranging over various degrees of success. The difference between wielding a weapon and being one can be found in Cairhien between the two styles.
The fighting style that calls Ghealdan home is often unrecognised, especially since the fall of the Guardians of the Gate. Yet despite their small stature amongst the nations, their fighting style is rather interesting insofar that it is based not so much on its own personal strength but on the weaknesses of an opponent. Rather than try and outdo by going pound for pound, the Ghealdan swordsman will try and force a mistake out of their opponent to take advantage.
A good deal of their swordsmanship based on deception, they will try and create opportunities for themselves through feigning weakness. Or alternatively, in a more aggressive approach they will test a person constantly and offer opportunities for an opponent to riposte specifically to take advantage of it. The idea of the style is to match oneself to their opponent and use their confidence against them. The strength of this is that a Ghealdanin fighter is more likely to analyse and use their opponent’s strengths and weaknesses against them. The downside of course is that beyond this, there is no particular oustanding feature to Ghealdanin swordsmanship beyond their aptitude for playing to an opponent.
Illian is one of the strongest military powers of the Westlands and has been so for some time thanks not only to its profitable trade but also to the quality of its fighting men, the pinnacle of which may be found in the Companions. Illian has many opponents; Tear to the east whom they feud with over the Plain of Maredo, Altara and Murandy who occasionally attempt to raid their land, the Children of the Light who they fought during the Whitecloak War and piracy upon the seas that tries to plunder Illian’s merchant fleet. With all of these opponents constantly testing Illian, it is little wonder that its fighting style is so well developed.
Mobility and flexibility are the cornerstones of Illian technique. Of course, while this means their technique has no apparent weaknesses, it also means there are no particular strengths either. Despite this, there is a certain preference for heavier weaponry amongst Illianer warriors because they are more likely to be fighting on a battlefield where a weapon can easily break than in a duel unlike their neighbours in Altara. This leads to the last point to be made about Illian fighting technique. Those who receive proper instruction in Illian fighting learn to think of combat as a circle or arena, the centre of which is the middle of the space between the two fighters. In this way they are taught how to focus on one opponent, yet still be aware of others around them and also that there is space to move other than forward.
The Mayener style of fighting is in many ways a reflection of their position in the world. They are a small nation with the threat of Tear ever looming, so by nature are not an aggressive nation and reluctant to take to the field unless forced to. Their fighting style is likewise similar, indirect and designed to an absorb an attack rather than rebuff it outright. In the books we get a glimpse of this when Faile attacks Berelain and finds herself on the ground very quickly.
Mayene fighters tend to slip around opponent’s attacks rather than parrying them, and indeed rather than try and outdo the speed of an opponent’s attacks, a Mayener will move with an opponent rather than against then. Swordplay is similar, if an opponent were to perform The Courtier Taps his Fan, a Mayener might respond with the Tower of Morning to flick the blade to one side with its own momentum as opposed to Low Wind Rising to catch and force the blade away, and thereby leave their blade high and ready to return The Courtier Taps his Fan while their opponent is disadvantaged.
Of couse, with this focus on taking advantage of an opponent’s movement, less focus is given to aggressive fighting. The result is that Mayene fighters tend to be more reactive, leaving the initiative with an opponent to set the pace of the fight.
While some nations have kept their martial traditions alive through passing their skills down the generations, in Murandy it is kept alive by constant practice on one’s neighbours. Despite being a small and disunified nation with powerful nations such as Andor to the north and Illian to the south of it, their intense suspicion of foreigners has led to a lack of influence by foreign styles. That which remains is distinctly Murandian, though others would say it smacked of brigands and cutthroats. Most Murandians fighters are either retainers for a lord, or thieves trying to eke out a living and if one were to appraise them honestly then one would find they are rather similar. As raiders, their objective is to strike hard and fast. Their fighting style mirrors this as a Murandian will throw themselves into the attack and continue to do so until they win or are forced to run. ‘The best defence is a good offence’ is the prevalent philosophy here, not to say that Murandian can’t defend themselves but their technique is designed to overwhelm an opponent and leave them no space to breath or counterattack. For this they prefer lighter weapons that allow them to attack more quickly, and they will use both the edge and point of a blade with equal ease.
While the other borderland nations employ heavy cavalry of one form or another, the Shienaran lancers the finest amongst them, the Saldaeans employ light cavalry. With that their tactics are different, rather than using the weight of their force to punch through a Trolloc fist, Saldaeans prefer to whittle away at their opponents, wearing them down until the time is right to strike. The same can be said of their fighting style.
Saldaean bladework, being as dominated as they are by sabres for their light horse, is for the most part slashing and hacking, and as such is relatively weak on thrusts and stabs compared to the bladework of other nations. The result is a style that is more speed than strength, testing an opponent’s defence constantly and wearing them down until the chance to end it presents itself. Saldaean bladework is also somewhat gymnastic compared to the majority of other styles, due to the practice of horsemen practicing such tricks that only gleeman perform in other nations as ways to test their horsemanship. This lends the style a certain flair, with forms such as Thistledown Floats on the Whirlwind being more natural for Saldaeans. The weakness of the style, apart from its smaller emphasis on point work compared to the edge, is its focus on wearing an opponent down rather than finishing them quickly, one doesn’t always have that time to play with.
Shienaran fighting style has developed according to its primary need to defend itself against the Blight. Even in the days of Malkier when Shienar didn’t have a border on the Blight, Shienaran lancers traveled north to help maintain the border. For fighting Trollocs, Shienaran soldiers not only utilise longswords and lances, but tend to make use of other weapons such as broadswords, axes, flails and maces. These heavy weapons combined with a horse’s charge can easily cleave or crush an opponent.
This in turn has influenced their fighting style on foot. Strong strokes are often used to either batter aside an opponent’s guard of kill them outright, there is little middle ground in Shienaran weaponwork. The same can be said of Shienaran hand to hand combat, with most blows designed to disable or cripple an opponent quickly with powerful punches and kicks. Some say that there are certain similarities between Shienaran and Aiel fighting styles in this respect, which is of little surprise considering that the Aiel have raided the Shienarans for hundreds of years.
In a nation where everyone wears a veil, it is perhaps of little surprise that the Tarabon martial arts emphasis speed and trickery over strength in stark contrast to their neighbours to the south. Alot of this is perhaps due to the style of weaponry they use. While traditional longswords that are standard across the Westlands are widespread in Tarabon, it is Tarabon where the scimitar and similar weapons can be found in abundance. Being as curved as they are, weapons such as scimitars do not encourage point work but instead focus on many feints interspersed between a constant string of slashes and parries in order to confuse and overwhelm an opponent until an opening presents itself. Added to this are Tarabon spearmen. While they might lack point work in their swordwork, their spearmanship doesn’t suffer in the slightest from this problem. Spears and pikes are a natural choice for Tarabon soldiers considering the Amadicians with their heavy cavalry to the south and the Domani who they feud with over the Almoth Plain who, like their Saldaean neighbours, favour lighter cavalry. Like their swordwork, there is a similar emphasis on feints and misdirection along with quick thrusts and slashes. As far as the nations go, their spear work is by substantially superior to all others. If Tarabon fighting was to be summarised, it would be; Misdirection, quick footwork and constant movement.
Tairen swordwork could in many ways be described as archaic. For three thousand years, the Defenders of the Stone have stood regardless of nation and the entire time their fighting style has remained fairly true. This isn’t to say that the style hasn’t developed over time and has remained untouched by its neighbours. But Tairen swordwork follows the philosophy of doing the basic things and doing them well. They are less likely to use the more advanced and complicated forms such as Bundling Straw or Wind and Rain in favour of those that are single movements like Low Wind Rising or paired movements such as Lightning of Three Prongs.
What really stands out about the Tairen is their stavework. Only nobles, their retainers and foreigners are allowed to carry swords and other weaponry in Tear. As commoners are banned from owning such weapons, they have adapted other items and the stave is foremost amongst these. The bamboo staves often required along with clogs to traverse the unpaved streets of Tear, and is therefore a natural weapon for those commoners who wish to defend themselves from thieves and the like. Strong stances and and blows with a minimum of footwork characterise the style due to the mud of the streets restricting their ability to dance about an opponent.
While it is often glossed over, there are times when siege weaponry has made an appearance in the Wheel of Time books. Catapults are utilised by Alanna and Verin Sedai in the defence of Emond’s Field, Mat mentions weaponry on a couple of occasions, ballista are raised in another part of the books still. Mat even uses fireworks to blow a hole in the Stone of Tear (though inadvertently, the fireworks were intended to serve as a distraction).
Ballistae: These come in two forms, the traditional ballistae that hurl javelins and scorpions that hurl loads on relatively flat trajectories compared to catapults that toss them. The former are relatively unknown, though there are rumours on a design being worked upon in the Academy of the Rose in Cairhien.
Scorpions on the otherhand have seen use over the years. Seafolk ships that are outfitted for combat usually have at least one of these for use on pirates, and large mainland armies have made use of them in pitched battles and sieges. Either to toss flammable contents or, as often used in large battles, to toss caltrops into the ranks of an advancing force to slow their advance. The books note these loads can be up to ten pounds usually, though no doubt they could manage a bit heavier if they tried (though the resulting catapult would be even more cumbersome).
Battering Rams: One of the oldest pieces of siege weaponry, its definitely in though there has been no real mention of them (that I can think of, then again my memory when it comes to the books is usually hazy).
Catapults: While there are no onagers as such, field catapults can most certainly be found.
Trebuchets are an unknown as they have had no mention in the series, but its a possibility. A possibility which has yet to be approved. At anyrate, they do exist and are put to use from time to time by, once again, larger armies. Like scorpions, they are noted to usually throw ten pound loads.
Sapping: The art of digging tunnels under walls to collapse them. Although there is definitely the technology, there are doubts to whether its actually known. Certainly, the sieges that have been seen have made no mention of them. It is most likely it was known in earlier periods during Hawkwing’s time and the Ten nations, but for now it is considered forgotten.
Siege Towers: No. Why? Because. No. Ok, yes there is a mention of disassembled siege towers with Elinde Motheneos when she went with Maculhene to free Guaire Amalasan from the White Tower before he was stilled. But like sapping, its considered a forgotten art for the meantime.
Common Ammunition for Siege Weaponry
Arrows: Bundles may be loaded onto scorpions to be flung into enemy ranks.
Caltrops: Possibly one of the cruelest things that can be used next to flames, caltrops are four pointed stars that are tossed by either scorpions or catapults onto an open field. Caltrops always land with three points down and one point up for the enemy to tread upon. Either an enemy has to charge regardless and maim themselves on caltrops, or take their time and be cut down by archers instead. Neither option is pleasant.
Flammable materials: Anything can be used, though oils are not uncommon, flung in pots designed to break on their target. Of note was the development of ‘wildfire’ in Arad Doman many years back, though within the year of its discovery the secret to producing it was mysteriously lost again. Rocks: The cheapest form of ammunition, either to be hurled at enemy troops or larger rocks to batter at enemy walls.
Availability of Siege Weaponry
Now that we’ve addressed some of the main siege weapons that can be brought to bear in Randland, how widespread are they? The truth is, not very much. Siege warfare is expensive, and the engineers who have that sort of knowledge are far and few between. Professional armies like the Queen’s Guard of Andor and the Children of the Light would undoubtedly have siege engineers in their pay, but when you get to smaller and more disorganised forces to be found in Murandy or Ghealdan, you’re not likely to find such.
Seafolk have adapted some weapons to their ships, but only ships intended for combat actually have them as their ships have little to fear (or at least didn’t until the arrival of the Seanchan in their waters).
The major cities that existed as far back as the Ten Nations often have walls that far outshine the weaponry of the current time. Walls that are reveted (Continue going under the ground aways to give more stability and block sappers), crenelated walls (the bits on the top of the walls for people to hide behind), etc are standard fare. The Stone in Tear is the perfect example of a fortification which sneers at the siege weaponry of the period.
Relatively newer cities, such as Elmora in Tarabon, are still considerably fortified in their own right. Enough so that siege warfare to take a city is a costly endeavour. Hence why sieges are rare, especially in the current period with the Dragon’s forces being able to ‘travel’ within an enemy’s walls, or Asha’man simply destroying walls with earth and fire.
The sword forms, while not necessary for describing a fight, are quiet a flashy way of doing it and reflect the Oriental influences that can be found throughout the Wheel of Time. A number of years back, a guy who used the pseudonym of Mahiros Shukosa (a minor WoT char) did a great deal of the work in interpreting the sword forms using his own experience in martial arts as a guide, his site can be found here where his original work can still be found. When these sword forms were adopted at Dragonmount, the forms were organised into three tiers of difficulty (beginner, intermediate, advanced) though who did that I’m unaware.
Other than that, little has changed, and the new forms that have been introduced in the past couple of books remain uninterpreted, to my knowledge at anyrate. What we have on this page is the organised set as currently hosted by the Warders Division, and also any invented forms that were made during RP’s that were worthwhile keeping. We would also put up the Cray Torr and Shae Tan bar brawl forms such as The Flying Walrus and Back meets Barstool but we’re meant to be relatively serious :) At anyrate, here is the info:
Leopard in the Tree
A preliminary form, begun with both hands on the hilt of the sword, knees bent, and leaning forward in a ready position. This form is used to prepare for Unfolding the Fan or another such drawing technique.
Unfolding the Fan
The exact opposite of Folding the Fan. Can be used as an opener, since this form can unsheathe the sword and stroke at the same time. Can also be used if caught off guard or in an awkward position.
Folding the Fan
The sword sheathing technique. The blade is smoothly swung around from guard stance and sheathed, all in one motion Lion on the Hill A basic guard stance, with the sword held at shoulder height ready to battle. Arc of the Moon A simple slash, meant to take off an opponent’s head. Probably begins at midbody level, arcs to neck, and ends back at guard stance The Courtier Taps his Fan A quick, powerful overhand blow, meant to split the head. A good move for anyone to have in his repertoire. The Falcon Stoops An abbreviated version of The Kingfisher Takes a Silverback. A quick overhand thrust, returning to a guard position just as quickly. The Grapevine Twines A circular motion when blades are locked, used to disarm an opponent. Heron Wading in the Rushes IMPORTANT: This form should only be used for practicing balance. It is possible to use this form in combat, but it is highly likely you will receive your opponent’s weapon in your chest before you take his head. A horizontal, pivoting slash done on one foot. Begun at shoulder or head height. Parting the Silk A more controlled slash, probably used as a precision block or strike. Directed at the abdomen, a good move to draw first blood or inflict nonlethal damage to an opponent. Hummingbird Kisses the Honeyrose A quick thrust in the face. Will at least deter an opponent, and will usually kill a charging opponent outright. Blade should start from shoulder height, though it may be performed from any level less quickly. The Kingfisher Takes a Silverback Begun while the sword is at shoulder height or higher, a downward stab for the abdomen. Begun when the sword is lower than shoulder height, a downward stab meant to cripple a leg or the groin. Intermediate The Boar Rushes Down the Mountain A verticle slash, but one that can alter course in midswing quickly. Starts high and ends low. Try this with Tower of Morning. The Creeper Embraces the Oak A slow, circling stance. The blade goes from high to low and back to constantly offer a new threat and to guard against others. Forms to use out of this: The Falling Leaf, Lightning of the Three Prongs. The Falling Leaf A more exaggerated and slower version of The Boar Rushes Down the Mountain. Starting high, the blade sweeps back and forth before reaching its lowest point. Can be used to parry effectively against multiple opponents, or just one. Move from this straight into The River Undercuts the Bank, and you’ve got an effective pair. The Heron Spreads its Wings The operational version of Heron Wading in the Rushes. A tighter cut, concentrated in one sector of the arc of the sword. Leaf Floating in the Breeze A horizontal guard position with a form similar to The Falling Leaf. The blade will move up and down according to the threat while moving horizontally to offer new threats. A good basic form. Attacks from this position should include Lightning of Three Prongs and Lizard in the Thornbush. Lightning of Three Prongs Beginning from a basic stance like Lion on the Hill, a thrust that can either continue as a thrust or slash to either side. Can also be used to parry. Low Wind Rising Can be done from almost any stance even sitting. A diagonal slash, beginning low and rising cleanly. May be used to return to a guard stance after a form such as The Grapevine Twines or Lightning of Three Prongs. Moon Rises Over the Water A vertical arc after a horizontal, tentative slash. The blade should begin and end in the same position near the waist. Ribbon in the Air A horizontal slash that may change direction up or down at the tail end. Should be begun just below chest thrust. Both feet should be used in this form, unlike Heron forms. The River Undercuts the Bank Can be done from a kneeling or standing position. A horizontal slash, used to disembowel or behead. The Swallow Takes Flight Basically, Low Wind Rising followed by a short thrust. The form is angled more toward the opponent, though, so that the opening slash is more a guard for the thrust. The Swallow Rides the Air The usual followup move to The Swallow Takes Flight, though it does not need to be done that way. A fast, short swiping motion that won’t behead someone but might slit their throat. Tower of Morning A verticle slash, starting low and ending high. I’d pair this one with Board Rushes Down the Mountain or The Courtier Taps His Fan. Advanced Apple Blossoms in the Wind A versatile technique, intended for use against an ambush by multiple opponents. The blade is held low, but ready for use in a number of strike forms. Keep loose and move slowly. Bundling Straw Several quick chest-level thrusts, followed by an arc and a paired return arc that should return the blade to a guard stance. Try this against a quarterstaff opponent. The Cat Dances on the Wall A feinting, tentative series of short slashes, thrusts, and parries. The swordsman must have good wrists and quick feet for this to be effective. Useful for buying time. Cat on Hot Stand A faster, less tentative version of The Cat Dances on the Wall. Better for multiple opponents. Lizard in the Thornbush Used expressly against two opponents. One thrust to the chest, then pivot and kneel with either a thrust or a slash, usually a thrust. Good mid-level technique; most veteran-level soldiers have mastered this form. Stones Falling from the Cliff The medium difficulty version of Boar Rushes Down the Moutain. A good mainstay of a battle, this form is useful for both parrying and attacking. The sword should begin at least at shoulder height and come down. Striking the Spark A rapid series of powerful overhand blows, best begun on the return swing of a slash like Low Wind Rising or The Heron Spreads Its Wings. If you’ve got stamina this can win a battle for you. Thistledown Floats on the Whirlwind A short-range jumping spin-swipe, used for beheading. Best if done by surprise. An opening move in most cases. The sword should not move more than a foot or so; the main force is provided by the spin of the body. The blade should be close to the body, approximately chest high. Twisting in Wind For use in a tight situation, when one is outnumbered. A quick, continual rotation of the body, using slashes and short thrusts to counter or attack as the situation dictates. Water Flows Downhill A more complicated form of The Boar Rushes Down the Moutain. This form can and will change direction in midstroke; only the more advanced swordsmen use this form. Like its name, it takes the easiest route from high to low, avoiding contact with the other weapon while seeking its target. Whirlwind on the Mountain A form of Thistledown Floats on the Whirlwind, except done while remaining on the ground. Can be modified for use for striking uphill or downhill simply by changing the angle of the spin. Wind and Rain Another complicated form. Begun with either Low Wind Rising or Parting the Silk, this form follows throught with multiple short thrusts or quick overhead blows. The Wood Grouse Dances Similar to the Cat Dances on the Wall, but from a more stationary point. Mainly to feel out an enemy, more than to do serious harm. Specialised Sheathing the Sword More of a concept than a sword form, this is used when what you can gain is greater than or equal to what you may lose in the process of gaining it. This might be using Heron Wading in the Rushes like Rand Al’Thor, or it might be using Lizard in the Thornbush to take down two major opponents when you know a third, less important one is coming up behind you.