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Merlinscribe: The Journal of James P. Mallory
Re: Dragons gate (Reply)
Re: Dragons gate
2016-06-23 10:58 pm (UTC)
I would love that too, but I don't think Tor is particularly interested. I may attempt it for my own amusement, though my mapmaking skills are truly wretched, and if I do, I will find some way to post them. Meanwhile:
Lerkalpoldara (I had to look it up) is apparently in the Arzhana:
“Lerkalpoldara was the northernmost of the Nine Cities, held in the icy grasp of Winter for more than half the year. It lay between two mountain ranges, upon a vast tundral plain within the valley of Bazrahil that woke to fierce beautiful life in the short seasons of warmth.
In those seasons, the Elves of Lerkalpoldara roamed the plains with their vast herds of horses and livestock -- for Lerkalpoldara was a city only by courtesy. When the snows came, the Elves retreated to their Flower Forest, pitched their tents one last time, and constructed, as the winter deepened, elaborate walls of ice behind which to live until the spring thaws came(…)”
—from WHEN DARKNESS FALLS
So I’m not sure what the “Dragon’s Gate” is doing there. I can't find the name used in DARKNESS, and in CROWN the only Dragon's Gate Pass is in the Mystrals (I really need to get that Wiki up and running).
The terrain which lay between the Feinolons and the Bazrahils was a high plateau, level and inhospitable and cold. The western face of the Bazrahil Peaks dropped sharply into the long lush valley known as Uradabhur that ran for hundreds of miles before climbing once again into the Mystrals, jagged and snow-crowned and nigh-impassable. Beyond the Mystrals lay the West, and Great Ocean.
Thadan could have, if it chose, claimed nearly all the land that lay between the Feinolons and the Bazrahils and made itself the largest, if not the greatest, of the Hundred Houses, for those domains which chose to make their place here were few. Their princes were those who had lost the West, and could not push aside those Houses which claimed the Uradabhur, and yet did not wish to dare the Grand Windsward, and its eternal battle waged against monstrous misshapen Beastlings instead of Lords Komen. Despite having no mouth for such battles, the Houses which claimed some portion of the Arzhana as their own produced the most fearsome and unconquerable warriors of all the Fortunate Lands. It was said in jest the Less Houses of the Arzhana bred up knights because nothing else would grow there, and in truth that the Great Houses vied to claim those houses as their clients, for the Less Houses of the Arzhana sent their knights into the west to fight, and the Houses for which they rode sent grain and silk and horses to the War Princes of the high cold desert, and no one spoke of buying or trading or a traffic in hired swords.
And in a day now long past, when many of the Trueborn who now ruled the Hundred Houses were but Princes in waiting, the Less Houses of the Arzhana looked to Nantirworiel's farmlands and forests and rivers, her broad lush pasturage, and her trade-wealth, and sought both enrichment and revenge, for Lord Hurchelgalad had said to them—when it was the beginning an undertaking that would be years in the doing—that he would use the spells of his Lightborn to open broad passes in the Bazrahils, so that the wealth of the Uradabhur could come over the mountains and spill across the Arzhana. And when that work was done, Lord Hurchelgalad had gone to his rest and Methothiel was War Prince, and there were broad passes cut from the Arzhana side deep into the mountains, but on the Uradabhur side all passes had been sealed save one which was directly under Methothiel's eye, and all wealth coming from Uradabhur would go to Nantirworiel, not to the Houses of the Arzhana. And when the Less Houses of the Arzhana meant to cast Nantirworiel down, the whole of the battle—victory or defeat—turned upon one element, and that element was Foxhall Free Company.
Lord Hurchelgalad had said to Methothiel as he lay dying that only a fool kept a pack when he did not hunt, and the wealth of the land was better hoarded so it could be spent at need, not spent to keep a household of knights that Nantirworiel might never need. And Methothiel turned his father's words over in his head, and sent to Captain Voldionas to make a contract. And all through the fighting that followed, he thought of how he might protect his domain without expending his wealth, and when the fighting had ended, Nantirworiel's wealth was still Nantirworiel's, and one valley of its vast and scattered domain was Foxhall's.
—from the uncut version of BLADE OF EMPIRE
So it seems that to the west the only way through the Arzhana (at least in Vieliessar’s time) is the Nantirworiel Pass. To go east, you have your choice of two passes which cross the Feinolon Range: Traitor’s Gate, and Oblivion Gate. Traitor’s Gate will be the one the tribute wagons take to reach The Sanctuary of the Star (and I suspect it has a different name on the Windsward side): Oblivion Gate is much narrower. Oblivion Gate is blocked from late spring to early summer, but some know its secret: there is a period of a few sennights in early spring where it is passable: it is the first pass westward to clear, though the melting ice soon blocks it again. (Jermayan, of course, is not restricted by such petty details, being an Elven Mage.)
Oblivion Gate, too, once had another name, but I am afraid it will be a few books before you find out what it was…
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James P. Mallory
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The next book in the "Dragon Prophecy" series is
Blade of Empire
. It will be published by Tor Books at the end of 2017.
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