Sartlar Kraals

There are countless sartlar kraals across the Guarded Land, each constructed according to a precise plan specified by the Wise (as is shown in the epigraph that begins the third chapter of The Standing Dead). It is in these kraals that the sartlar are kept when they are not labouring.

The diagram above shows how a kraal is placed at the intersection of the earth roads or tracks whose grid covers the whole of the Guarded Land. Also shown is how this arrangement interacts with the roads with their watchtowers.

The diagram to the right shows a plan and end elevation of a typical kraal. A circular space enclosed by a high, thick fence of woven hri-wicker, having at one end a gate enclosed in an overseers’ tower. The whole construction is surrounded by a wide ditch which acts as a fire-brake during the burning off of the stubble (which occurs every year at the end of the 6th and 12th months). I used this diagram when I was writing the scene in The Standing Dead which shows Carnelian and Osidian’s first night in a kraal. Their positions and that of the sartlar are shown. To help me get a feeling of the scale I included a 2m high man as well as a small rectangle which represents the study I was writing in at the time.