topic: maps /


Nothnaralan is Quyan for ‘the ladder to the sea’. This city was built by the Chosen when they constructed a new route from the Guarded Land to the Naralan and the sea. This is where Carnelian and his companions come up onto the Guarded Land. It is in the semi-circular space, against the cliff edge, that they make their camp for the night.

The Canyon of the Three Gates

The Canyon of the Three Gates is the only way in and out of the crater of Osrakum. It is a narrow defile running between sheer, cliff walls. Three fortresses have been built along its length, the three ‘gates’: the Green, the Red or Blood or Ichorian, and the Black or Death Gates. The Cloaca—a channel cut anciently in the floor of the Canyon—allows excess water to be carried out of the lake that fills […]

The City at the Gates

The City at the Gates is so named because it lies at the gates of Osrakum. Built on land reclaimed from the Gatemarsh, it has at its heart the great market of the Wheel. From here the five raised roads radiate out across the Guarded Land. The habitations, of its almost three million citizens, spread out along the causeways that carry the roads with their watchtowers. From the Wheel, the Canyon of the Three Gates […]

The Guarded Land

The Guarded Land plateau, with the Osrakum caldera at its heart, showing the network of raised roads with its watchtowers. The road that runs around the edge of the plateau links cities, such as Nothnaralan and Makar, into the defensive system called the Ringwall. Each city is garrisoned by a legion. The cities in the interior are each garrisoned by two. The greatest city of all is the City at the Gates lying at the […]

The Hold

The Hold a fortress built on the shore of an island in the far north where Carnelian and his father, the Ruling Lord Suth, live in exile with their household.

The Naralan

The Naralan is the corridor of land connecting the Guarded Land with the northern sea. Two of the Cities of the Sea lie on the shore of the Naralan. The greatest of these is Thuyakalrul. Access to the Guarded Land is up the cliff to Nothnaralan. [In Quya Naralan means: “Towards-the-Sea”]

The Purple Factory

This lies in a valley a little west along the coast from Thuyakalrul. A purple dye, prized by the Chosen (especially the Wise), is extracted here from the bodies of ammonite shellfish. This industrial process uses a system of vats that scale the sides of the valley. Products and residues are flushed down through the vats by a river, diverted by means of sluices. Labour is supplied by sartlar. The resulting effluent running into the […]

The Three Lands

This is what the Masters call their world. The three Lands are, in order of importance, Osrakum (also known as the Black Land), the Guarded Land (also known as the Red Land) and the barbarian lands which lie around the Guarded Land (and that are known, collectively, as the Green Land). The Earthsky is one of the ‘barbarian’ lands that form part of the Masters’ Green Land. The Commonwealth consists of Osrakum, the Guarded Land […]

The Tower in the Sea

This is a fortress formed from a section of the rock wall of Thuyakalrul that is hollow and contains open water. Barans, can pass into this natural port from the Grand Harbour. Shiphouses cut around its edge, allow the barans to be drawn up out of the water. Storerooms, the barracks for the sailors, chambers suitable for Masters, as well as those used by the Legate of Thuyakalrul, have been hollowed out of the rock […]

The Wheel

Five great radial roads bring a constant flood of travellers from the rim of the Guarded Land to pour them finally into the Wheel: the greatest market of the Three Lands and the heart of the City at the Gates. More than 100 000 people can throng this vast plaza. Here all the world bring their goods to offer to the Masters in their Mountain. From the Wheel, the Canyon of the Three Gates leads […]