Monday, September 14, 2009

The Storm is Coming! #3: A Survey and Map of Arad Doman

As the storm approaches (only 41 more days, as I write this) and what the storm means to be revealed later this week - a lot of what we'll post on the Blog will concern the new material released, and recapitulating what we ought to remember from the first eleven books of the series to better enjoy the new book.

As a part of this, I will re orient the mapping/historical survey projects toward the nations we all expect to play a part in The Gathering Storm, recapitulating the events set in those areas during the course of the series, highlighting the geographical features we already know about, retracing the historical background of the nations or their cities, presenting the main players in the land and, whenever possible, attempt to locate the last known positions of the various groups and characters by the end of Knife of Dreams.

I placed parts of the text under the TGS spoiler tag when it contains direct information from the already released chapter one of The Gathering Storm (available on Tor.Com upon free registration to their site) and, for maps released after September 17th, I will do the same for material from the ebook of the advanced prologue, What the Storm Means.

Occasionally there may be spoilers in the maps' legends too. There is one, of a sort, in this first one. For the next maps it will pretty much depend on what happens or doesn't happen in the prologue! Better not read what the numbers on the maps are about if you don't intend to read chapter 1 before October 27th. Of course, these maps and texts feature spoilers for anything from The Eye of the World to Knife of Dreams, the World of Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time and so on.

The first article is a two-parter, the first focusing on the nation, the second on the characters, of Arad Doman.

It's a Mad, Mad Land : A Survey and Map of Arad Doman

“The little I’ve heard of that land, it’s a madhouse.” - Darlin Sisnera, new King of Tear (in Knife of Dreams)


Tear from Steel spoiler - click to expand

(1) The East of Arad Doman is where Rand is presently located, at Lord Tellean's country manor in a hilly forested area, and it is also the location of Lady Basene (Graendal)'s palace, described by Sammael as "well-known throughout Arad Doman" and "in sight of the Mountains of Mist". This mountain range is so massive, Graendal's palace could be anything from a few miles to dozens or more leagues from them and still be "in sight" of the mountains, but generally speaking, she's in eastern Arad Doman. Rand, also in eastern Arad Doman, muses on the fact Graendal could be "somewhere to the North". He could be right, if he meant northward of him and close to the Mountains. She could however be to the south, or virtually in his vicinity, and if by 'to the north' he imagined her to be located north of the river Dhagon somewhere, closer to Bandar Eban, he is sorely mistaken.

There are no further good clues to narrow down Rand's location. If he is aware that Ituralde is in the south of Arad Doman (if he still is), he may well be to the north or center of eastern Arad Doman. However, if his reports were about what Ituralde has done in Tarabon, he could be much further south than this. He has with him Asha'man and Davram's Bashere's 8000 men strong Saldaean light cavalry. The location of the Legion of the Dragon is unknown and may be they were sent to Illian or have remained in Andor. The Tairens under King Darlin Sisnera and several high lords incl. Weiramon, sent to Arad Doman, are presently unaccounted for.

(2) By the end of Knife of Dreams, Rand had sent the Aiel under Rhuarc and Bael to Arad Doman. Rhuarc's forces, perhaps all, were sent to Bandar Eban with Lord Dobraine Taborwin's forces. After he got reports that the city was in chaos and left to the mob, the Council of Merchants pretending to have no idea of the King's whereabouts, Rand wanted Dobraine to take charge until he found someone else the Domani would accept to be regent. Rhuarc was beginning to bring order back to the city, and according to Logain it was about to devolve into battle. In Tears from Steel, Rhuarc is approaching Tellean's manor with Aviendha for a meeting with Rand. The Aiel camp is not described around, though that in itself is no confirmation as they usually camp miles away and out of sight from Wetlander armies. Otherwise, and all the more since Aviendha could have opened a gateway nearby to bring Rhuarc to this meeting, it's possible the Aiel, estimated to 70,000 or more spears, are still in or around Bandar Eban.

(3) The approximate locations of Ituralde's two Domani armies (white circles) and Turan's Seanchan army (red wedge), as reported to Galgan in Ebou Dar at the end of Knife of Dreams. They "form a long line, north to south". The north Domani army Ituralde leads is 100,000 men strong, the south one is 200,000 men strong. Between them they outnumber Turan's army. Rand in Tears from Steel, some time later (weeks, at most - from internal evidence) mentions Ituralde's surprising successes in his war against the Seanchan "in the south". It is unknown whether he has reports of the most recent developments or only of the raids done in Tarabon. This may indicate Ituralde has suddenly switched direction, now heading south-east, which would give weight to many readers' favourite theory about his plans.


With Arafel, Murandy and Saldaea, Arad Doman is one of the nations of the Westlands we have barely ever visited yet. While some Domani like the Aes Sedai Leane Sharif have played pretty important roles in the series and made us familiar with some of the local culture, fairly little is still known about the land itself.

Arad Doman is one of the smaller nations of the New Era, nested between the Aryth Ocean that borders its western coast and the Mountains of Mist that mark its eastern border. To the north is an apparently unclaimed area of about a hundred leagues, separating Arad Doman from the region of World's End and the Sea Wall that marks the southern border of Saldaea. The two nations are connected by a road running north-east from Bandar Eban. To the south, the border with Almoth plain runs right above Toman Head in the west and then follows the river Akuum, running from its source in the Mountains of Mist in the East, and throwing itself into the River Dhagon in the heart of the land.

Or so tells us the maps found in the books. There are two mysteries/controversies concerning the borders of Saldaea/Arad Doman, and that of Arad Doman/Almoth Plain.

In Crossroads of Twilight (Prologue), Rodel Ituralde mentions "the border with Saldaea". On the map, there is no such thing, Saldaea and Arad Doman having no common border and rather being separated by a large band (the stretch of road between the two is over 400 miles long) of unclaimed land. It seems likely to be either an error with the Saldaean border, the mention its existence by Ituralde or Robert Jordan decided to make changes that aren't reflected on the map. From internal evidence (Rand, in Lord of Chaos), the low mountains above the river Dhagon are not part of Arad Doman but "just above" it. The long corridor between the coastal mountains and the chain above the Dhagon, below the region of World's End, would thus be part of Saldaea/under Saldaean control – which makes some sense as it is a very important trade route for them.

In the South-East, there appears to be a second border error. In Crossroads of Twilight (Prologue) , Rodel Ituralde counts his battles at Katar and Lake Somal among is few successes in the Domani civil war (not the war with Tarabon for Almoth Plain). The Glossary of Crossroads of Twilight seemingly confirms that Katar is a city in Arad Doman itself, not just in Domani control. And a very important city is is. Not only for its wealth and resources, but because west of there are the passes into Andor, an important trade route for Domani merchants (though it is closed to them all winter), all the more important since Almoth Plain is no longer safe for caravans. It appears that Arad Doman's southern border does not follow the Akuum in the east, once it has crossed the road from Bandar Eban as shown on the books' map, but rather follows the road itself, down to Lake Somal.

The Gathering Storm may provide additional evidence to solve these two points (and hopefully perhaps even a map of the nation, or one of its cities). In the meantime on the present map, the borders as placed by Elisa Mitchell on the books' maps are put in white (the scale of the map allowed me to follow the Dhagon river closer for the northern one - Mitchell moves them out of the way of rivers etc. - I suspect it's strictly to avoid illegibility), the possible real borders, implied from Jordan's text, are shown in yellow.

Tear from Steel spoiler - click to expand

In chapter one of The Gathering Storm, we learn that the eastern area of Arad Doman is a hilly region, sparsely covered by pines and cedars. This area is remote from the major cities, and favoured by the nobility and the wealthy for their country retreats, that seem to range from lavish but rustic manors built of thick-logged pine and cedar and decorated in comfortable but rustic style, like the manor of Lord Tellean - a friend of Lord Bashere and most likely a Dragonsworn, where Rand currently resides, to the far more elaborate estates such as Lady Osana's abandoned "hunting lodge" - described by Ituralde as
"a mass of pale towers and slender, pointed domes that would have fitted well among the palaces of Bandar Eban itself" (Crossroads of Twilight, Glimmers of the Pattern)
- and of course, the palace seized by Graendal herself, also in the countryside, in sight of the Mountains of Mist.

Much of the east of Arad Doman appears to be forested: evergreens, conifers and oaks have been mentioned – it may have a climate and look similar to western Canada.

A few Domani cities have been mentioned, most of them by Rodel Ituralde: Bandar Eban, of course, and then Solanje, Maseen, Kandelmar – and "at Lake Somal" (where there may be an unnamed town, since the road goes there) – sites of recent victories. Ituralde's comments suggests all those victories are part of what taught the Lords of Katar not to sell their products to the nation's enemies, which could mean those cities are all in the same area in the south-east. Ituralde's comment may be interpreted differently and is not sufficient confirmation, however. Another speculative city may be Aldamar. Alsalam is referred to as the Lord of Aldamar and High Seat of House Aldamar. The neighbouring Saldaean nobles also bear the name of (one of) their lands. Lord Davram of House Bashere is the Lord of Bashere and Sidonia - cities, regions or fiefs in Saldaea.

The only two Domani cities which can be surely located at the moment is firstly the capital, Bandar Eban, that lies near or at the mouth of the river Dhagon, on the coast. We have no description of it. Bandar Eban is, with Illian, reputed for its grandiose celebrations of festivals, and like all the big cities, have its share of impressing palaces. It is also home to the Terhana Library, which according to Demira Eriff is the third greatest of the land, after Tar Valon's and Cairhien's Royal Library (This opinion could be tainted by a bit of national pride or nostalgia, Demira is Domani).

The second city is Katar, that lies near the Mountains of Mist in the south-east, on the road to Lake Somal. Katar is wealthy city ruled by Lords whose wealth gives them an independent streak. As mentioned already, Rodel Ituralde recently fought and won in this area a series of victories that taught the Lords of Katar they are Domani and to not sell their products "to the enemies of Arad Doman". Katar's wealth is derived from its mines and its forges, their products mentioned by Ituralde almost certainly related to military purposes (from weapons to armor and all the blacksmithing necessities for armies in the field, and perhaps precious metals), though "the enemies" mentioned could be indifferently Domani rebels, Dragonsworn, people of Almoth or Taraboners. Katar's economy is probably similar to Baerlon's and its ironworks, probably competitors, right on the other side of the Mountains of Mist.

There are a few stedding in the area. Stedding Wenchen is occupied by Ogier and located in the mountains above the River Dhagon, just north of Arad Doman. Another unnamed stedding is located above Baerlon in the Mountains of Mist, apparently on the western side (the Waygate was used by Fain, in TEOTW). Stedding Chinden, Jinsuin, Madan, Shangloon, Tsofan, Yandar are all settled and located in the Mountains of Mists, though it's unknown which, if any, are under the latitudes of Arad Doman. There are more in the Mountains, which are abandoned. There is another abandoned stedding "near the Paerish Swar", deep on Almoth Plain. Some believe it's the location at which Ituralde is trying to lead the Seanchan and where he intends to turn around and force a battle.


Arad Doman is a non-hereditary monarchy, though the ruler has legally and theoretically absolute authority. The ruler is chosen for life by the Council of Merchants, formed of the heads of the great Merchant Houses from the Merchants' Guild, almost always women. The Merchants' Guild holds a great deal of power and influence in the land. The Council itself has the power not only to elect but also to depose the King by a three-quarter vote - and wouldn't hesitate to do so if the ruler is endangering trade. According to Lord Ituralde, the Council has the habit of interfering too much in royal affairs, though in recent years they've remained curiously silent despite the chaos in which even the capital is plunged and the fact the King's policies and orders have indeed damaged trade - not doubt a mystery explained by the activities of Graendal. The higher nobility of Arad Doman (referred to by Joachim Carridin as The First Blood, and bloodborn) doesn't involve itself in trade. The King or Queen chosen by the Council of Merchants is by law from the noble class, not the merchant class.

The nobility of Arad Doman is divided in two classes, recalling a similar division among the Seanchan. The Houses that trace back their ancestry to the early days of the nation are distinguished from those who have been raised to the nobility since (such as Rodel Ituralde, the first lord of his line) and are called the Bloodborn, also referred to as the Highborn, and the First Blood. The bloodborn are reputed for their great pride.

Most of the nation's wealth comes from trade by the Great Merchants, which is mostly handled by women, trained in all the arts of seduction from youth. The reputation of Domani women for grace and wiles is second only to that of the Sea Folk women - and many a trade partner lost their mind, been ensnared by Domani merchants (RJ built Arad Doman to suit the character of Graendal he hid in the middle of it like a glove) . Domani women favour thin, almost transparent gossamer dresses and move with a provocative grace deemed scandalous and even indecent in most circles outside the nation. A great deal of the trade in Arad Doman rests on moving Saldaean goods, such as furs and ice peppers) south from Bandar Eban, and moving Taraboner and Sea Folk goods into the Borderlands. Trade going through Bandar Eban (timber, furs, ice peppers, precious stones found in the Banikhan Mountains) is very important to Saldaea's economy, though in the course of the civil war and anarchy, and with the Seanchan making the Aryth too dangerous for the Sea Folk to navigate, it was eventually diverted by river to Ebou Dar. This is a temporary solution at best, made possible by the unnaturally long summer of 999/1000 NE new era. Normally, Maradon is unreachable by riverboats all winter. The importance of the trade route to Bandar Eban is such that the Aes Sedai had reports that Queen Tenobia's rule has been seriously destabilized by riots in Maradon when the trade had to stop because of the crisis in Arad Doman.

Domani merchants have been seen everywhere across the land. We have heard of a few goods produced in Arad Doman itself, but they include very expensive carpets with floral or scrolls patterns, very fine bright tapestries - forests, flowers and grazing deers are known Domani themes on those, expensive perfumes in elaborate crystal flasks (Moiraine had some she gave as a gift to Rhuarc's second wife), beauty products like paints, metals from the mines in the Mountains of Mist, furniture in various styles, including pale striped wood inlaid with pearlshell and amber. Crystal mining and crystal works may be a local speciality as beside the flasks of scent, many crystal objects are described in Graendal's palace. Fine cutlery might have to been added, as Harral Luhhan has got into a partnership with a refugee Domani cutler recently.

Like Tarabon, Arad Doman is not much of a seafaring nation, preferring to use the Sea Folk ships to move their goods, or go inland, using merchant caravans (some of which we saw in the late series near Ebou Dar). The Sea Folk archipelago of Aile Dashar is located about 130 leagues north-east of Bandar Eban, while the Aile Somera and its Cantorin harbour are located 200 leagues south-west, at the latitude of Falme. A third archipelago of the Sea Folk, the Aile Jafar, is located due west of Tanchico. The Sea Folk have stopped navigating these waters and servicing the West Coast harbours altogether by the late series, no ship from these parts having been seen in some time, while those sent to the area have vanished. This is due, of course, to the fact the Seanchan have seized Cantorin and the Aile Somera (which the Sea Folk know, as of KOD. At the time of TPOD, Harine had been evasive about it when Rand asked her to patrol the Aryth, probably just an attempt to hide the truth, as she was negotiating the Bargain with the Coramoor at the time) and their marine controls the Aryth on the West Coast, as well as the harbours of Tanchico and Ebou Dar. It is unknown whether they've also seized the Aile Dashar. though in the unlikelyhood they did, the Sea Folk have not mentioned it.

We do not know yet for certain any Domani merchant house, though House Sharif (if the merchant houses are actually referred to in this fashion), in which her (deceased) mother, her aunt Resara and her female cousins are all involved, could be one of them - its standing unknown. The Sharifs deal mainly in furs from Saldaea, and timber.


Not much is known of the history of Arad Doman and the nations that have preceded in the control of this area in previous eras, though it is evident from the old maps that the region has had a long history of division, its present territory once shared by many nations. It is also one of the regions that suffered the most from the Trolloc Wars, where they even began. Later on from the Free Years, not even the name of the city located at the site of Bandan Eban has survived. It seems that Robert Jordan extended the theme of chaos surrounding Arad Doman even into its history.

Domani bloodborn claim to have descended from the makers of Avendesora in the Age of Legends (a garbled legend at best, since Avendesora wasn't unique nor even a proper name in the Age of Legends - the name is probably a deformation of aviende chora, ie: Chora Tree - which was an Aes Sedai bio-engineered construct), the neighbouring nation of Almoth claimed to have possessed at some point a branch or even a sapling of Avendesora, the Tree of Life. while the Taraboners to the South call themselves the Tree of Man and claim descent from nobles and rulers from the Age of Legends - another unlikely legend. The origin of the area's association to Chora Trees is unknown, but they may originate with the passage of Da'shain Aiel in this area at some point. In The Shadow Rising, we see the wandering Paraan Disen Dai'shain in the years shortly after the Breaking in a region with seas to the West and further to the South (they then followed the second coast east, all the way to the Spine of the World, where they lost the Doorway ter'angreal the Mayeners later found, and then travelled north up to the area of Cairhien and took the Jendai pass into the Waste). If the area is identified correctly, a great city of the AOL, Comelle, used to stand west of this region, before it seemingly sank into what is now the Aryth Ocean during the Breaking (a parallel to Atlantis?).

In the years of the Compact of the Ten Nations, the northernmost territory of Arad Doman belonged to the nation of Jaramide, which covered most of Saldaea and down to the river Dhagon. The nation was ruled by the High Queen Egoridin. Another ruler of Jaramide, from around 325 AB is known: High Queen Comaelle. With exception of the capital Deranbar, on the site of Maradon in Saldaea, and Allorallen, on the site of Bandar Eban, we do not know the locations of the three other cities of Jaramide still known: Nashebar, Barsine and Canaire'somelle. All those cities were destroyed. Allorallen may not have been Ogier-built – at least Elder Haman did not seem to locate a Waygate there or inscribe the ancient name of the city, for Rand in Lord of Chaos. Of potential interest, given Jordan's love of repeating historical patterns and the fact both Lan and Rand are now in this area, the fall of the unlocated city of Barsine is the event that marked the beginning of the Trolloc Wars.

The heart and south of what is now Arad Doman, with Almoth plain and a part of Tarabon, however, belonged to the nation of Safer, against which Manetheren fought many wars. The nation joined the Compact of the Ten Nations during the reign of King Eawynd. The capital of Safer, Iman, stood at the present location of the Domani city of Katar. The city of Miereallen stood at the site of Falme. A third city, Shainrahien, was situated at an unknown location, though its Old Tongue name suggests it was in one of the hilly areas, and the hills at the end of the bay below Toman Head is a possible location (there are other areas with large hills on the Plain, however). Another possible interpretation of the OT name (as we do not known enough about the order of words and the grammar to be sure) would link it not to hills but to the setting sun. These cities of Safer were all destroyed in the Trolloc Wars. The capital city of Iman was Ogier-built and had a Waygate still existing near Katar. Little of the History of Safer is known: before the Trolloc Wars, King Aedomon of Safer destroyed the forces of Buiryn of Manetheren at Midean's Ford (unknown location, possibly near the source of the river Eldar) in a series of wars between the two nations. According to Mat, years later Aedomon died at the hands of a young Manetheren boy with a spear.
During the Free Years, after the Trolloc Wars had ended, the north-west area of the territory (all that is below the river Akuum) became the nation of Darmovan. Again, fairly little of its history is known, though it is famous as the nation in which Guaire Amalasan, an educated man with great knowledge of the Karaethon Cycle, falsely proclaimed himself the Dragon Reborn in FY 939, as a black plague scourged the land from East to West, adopting as his banner the ancient Symbol of Aes Sedai on Blue (later copied by Logain). Within a year, he had proclaimed himself ruler of Darmovan and had seized the nation of Elan Dapor (southwestern Almoth Plain) and Balasun (Tarabon). By FY 941 as he advanced and conquered the southwest, every nation had sent armies and generals against Amalasan in what became known as the War of the Second Dragon, (a testimony to Amalasan's importance as False Dragon, that he was considered 'the second Dragon' after the Kinslayer) including the man that would eventually be his nemesis: Artur Paendrag Tanreall of Shandalle.

Tear from Steel spoiler - click to expand

It is a very good example of Jordan's love of cyclical historic patterns that at the end of the series, the Dragon Reborn is in Arad Doman, about to face diplomatically or in the field of battle the heir of Artur Hawkwing, Tuon. There may be a hint about the origins of Rand's new mysterious sword in there, or in earlier history somewhere.

The north-east of Arad Doman during the Free Years, and an coastal area north of it – including the region of Bander Eban, formed the nation of Abayan. The eastern triangular area between the Dhagon and the Akuum formed the nation of Oman-Dashar. Neither has been mentioned in the series so far, and are only known from the map of the Free Years found in The World of Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time.

Very little is known about the rise of the nation of Arad Doman in the New Era, though like the other current nations, it must have emerged during or shortly after the War of Hundred Years The capital Bandar Eban itself was built on the site of a city destroyed during the War. The name of this earlier city is, according to Moiraine, a matter of speculation even for historians. Three names are known (by them, but not us!) and Moiraine considered all of them suspect. Considering that this site stood at the border between Darmovan and Abayan, two of those names may have belonged to twin cities on each bank of the Dhagon.

Cadsuane Melaidhrin reputedly once kidnapped a King of Arad Doman and a Queen of Saldaea to stop a war. Speaking of Aes Sedai meddling in politics, Faile Bashere also refers to one Isebaille Tobanyi of Arad Doman who

"delivered the brothers she loved to their enemies and the throne of Arad Doman with them"
(A Crown of Swords).

For the last three hundred years, the nations of Arad Doman and Tarabon have laid rival claims to the territory, resources and population of Almoth Plain and Toman Head. The diplomatic struggle lead to five Treaties of Falme, the last of which was negotiated and signed in 961 NE under the guidance of the Grey Sister Merana Ambrey, but it failed almost immediately. It is still unknown why control of Almoth Plain is so important to both nations. The nations of the Westlands are under populated and not lacking room. It may have to do with the resources of the Mountains of Mist. Faile will get reports of gold, silver and iron found by surveying the mountains beyond Emond's Field. More likely, it has to do with trade routes: Arad Doman and Tarabon are merchant cities and both are major centres of Sea Folk trade. Almoth would give Arad Doman or Tarabon better access to the central and northern heartland, and let them control taxes on goods exported through the passes.

In 998 NE, the conflict finally led for the first time to open war between Arad Doman and Tarabon, in the midst of which the Seanchan Forerunners landed on Toman Head and along the coastline, seizing Falme and killing harshly one by one the members of the Watchers Over The Waves for obscure reasons related to 'not having watched for the right thing'. Though the details were never explained, it seems likely the Watchers failed to recognized the Seanchan as Hawkwing's returning armies, perhaps refused to swear the Oaths or accused them of being impostors. Arad Doman became involved in the conflict, forces by Ituralde fought to push the Seanchan back on Almoth, giving the great captain insight on Seanchan military tactics and strategies.

In the early winter 999 NE, following the events of Falme concluding The Great Hunt and that proclaimed Rand al'Thor as the Dragon Reborn and pushed back the Seanchan to the sea and forced them to regroup and consolidate their forces at Cantorin, groups of scattered Dragonsworn sprouted all along the West Coast, from Arad Doman to Tarabon and on Almoth Plain. The situation rapidly degenerated into chaos and madness during the winter, while the conflict over the plain continued and civil wars erupted in both Arad Doman and Tarabon. It is still unknown what role Graendal, who placed herself in a country palace of Arad Doman as 'Lady Basene' - and Moghedien who went to Tanchico, played early on in the Dragonsworn crisis and the civil war. According to a comment by Asmodean, Graendal was around before the situation degenerated - Asmodean even foolishly believed Graendal cared too much for her comforts and would have left the area. It is also quite possible Ishamael played a role, creating or infiltrating groups of Dragonsworn to lure Rand out of his hiding place and kill him - as Moiraine pointed out in The Dragon Reborn, young men vaguely matching his description were murdered by Grey Men on the Plain. Whatever her speculative early role, it is known that Graendal has since worsened the conflict very badly, kidnapping several members of the Domani nobility including members of the Domani royal line and making King Alsalam 'vanish', compelling numerous leaders of the Dragonsworn and Domani Lords and giving conflicting orders that prevented Lord Ituralde from restoring order. Despite this, Lord Ituralde has managed already mentioned military triumphs at Katar, Lake Somal, Solanje, Maseen and Kandelmar.

As the war erupted between Tarabon and Arad Doman, Lord Commander Pedron Niall of the Children of the Light conceived a plan to secure Almoth Plain and resurrect the sovereign nation of Almoth as a puppet state under the control of the Children of the Light, a first step in creating an empire for the Children in the West. His plans, put in the hands of the Inquisitor of the Hand of the Light Jaichim Carridin came to naught: a darkfriend, Carridin had conflicting orders from Ba'alzamon, including keeping the landing of the Seanchan and what was beginning in Arad Doman secret from Amador. Lord Commander Geofram Bornhald who brought his legion to the plain, was appalled by the methods and actions of the Questioners and, intercepting rumors of the Seanchan, he managed to fool Carridin and bring a large group of soldiers all the way over Toman Head to Falme, where he launched a suicidal attack against the Seanchan and perished with his troops in the Battle of Falme. After the failure, Niall ordered Carridin to keep Rand and the Dragonsworn crisis alive on Almoth Plain, in an effort to paint the Children as the only saviours and unite the area behind his leadership. Carridin had conflicting orders to find and kill Rand from the Shadow. These plans of Niall also came to naught, and he then turned his eyes and his spreading of chaos using proxies and provocateurs to the East.

As the crisis worsened and trade ground to an halt, the eyes-and-ears of the Tower in the region became increasingly vague in their reports or went completely silent. While most of this is no doubt the result of war and chaos, it may also have to do with Graendal's visit to the Head of the Black Ajah (and by then Elaida's Keeper) Alviarin. The purpose and timing of this visit were never given, but it's conceivable Graendal ordered Alviarin to keep Aes Sedai out of the country, and keep too detailed reports from reaching Elaida's hands.

More recent developments: The plans of Rodel Ituralde

In the late autumn of 999 NE, Rodel Ituralde managed to vanish and go hide from the King's orders near Coron Ford (unknown location in Arad Doman, but perhaps in the south-east, near the Akuum) after receiving orders from Alsalam to attack the Seanchan (orders actually coming from Graendal, who meant Ituralde to believe the Shadow had an interest in stopping those orders from reaching him. Ituralde has not made the connection desired by Graendal between Seanchan and Shadow, brushing this confusing aspect off. This may resurface, if he ever meets Rand).

Ituralde managed to get a truce under what the Domani call the White-Ribbon, negotiated at the abandoned "hunting lodge" of Lady Osana (a pet of Graendal) seemingly in eastern Arad Doman, between some of the important Dragonsworn, Domani Lords and Taraboner Dragonsworn and conceived a plan in which the Taraboner Dragonsworn would infiltrate Tarabon disguised with the striped-armor used by Taraboners fighting for the Seanchan and attack the Seanchan supply/military bases in Tarabon to force them north in pursuit. This happened in early spring 1000 NE, Ituralde and a small group of his personal retainers accompanied the Taraboners. A first raid struck on the fifth of Aine on a supply base/camp near Serana, a small town situated on the road between Tanchico and Amador, halfway between the city of Elmora and the border with Amadicia. A series of successful raids followed. As news of these events reached Ebou Dar, the High Lady Suroth ordered General Turan to pursue Ituralde and bring her back his head. Rakens from Amadicia and Altara were committed to this venture. Ituralde's small group of Domani then headed northwest at all speed, pursued by General Turan's forces, leading them all the way north-west on Almoth plain to the mountains on the south coast of Arad Doman, where his first trap sprung.

As he infiltrated Tarabon, Ituralde had left orders to the Domani lords of all allegiances to assemble the forces of Arad Doman and hide in the mountains on the south-coast. When Ituralde reached the location some forty days (around Aidar 15) after the raid in Serana, a first Domini army, one hundred thousand strong, came out of the mountains to join his small company – pursued by Turan's forces, while a second Domani army two hundred thousand strong came out of hiding behind the Seanchan army. Turan's army is reported to the Seanchan has being outnumbered by this combined force, though the Seanchan believe the damane still stand a chance to even the odds. Seemingly alarmed by events in northern Altara (and perhaps planning ahead for the secret plans for Tar Valon), Generals Galgan and Yulan have however recalled to Amadicia and Altara most of the rakens Suroth had commited to Turan. Not only will this remove a lot of Turan's capabilities for scouting and seeing Ituralde's further traps ahead, but this means his reports to the Seanchan headquarters in Ebou Dar might slow down or cease. As of the end of Knife of Dreams, the Seanchan report that Ituralde's two armies and Turan's caught in-between are now stretchd in a long line running north-south in Arad Doman. Ituralde's further intentions are unknown, but he mentioned a campaign that would last months and had many traps and fall back plans. Many readers believe Ituralde intends to turn south-east suddenly and head for the Paerish Swar, beyond the border of Arad Doman, where there is an abandoned stedding near the woods. His plan may be to force the battle there, catching the Seanchan between hammer and anvil, which combined with the loss of saidar for the damane could signify a slaughter of the outnumbered Seanchan.

Tear from Steel spoiler - click to expand

The chronology of Tears from Steel is for the moment vague, the scene with Rand set 'a few weeks' after the capture of Semirhage, so some indefinite time, no more than two weeks most likely, probably less than that, after Ituralde entered the South of Arad Doman. Rand has gotten reports of Ituralde's surprising successses against the Seanchan in the South. While this may refer to his trap in Arad Doman, this could also indicate Rand has heard only of the successful raids in Tarabon at this point. Rand is contemplating the possibility of getting involved to stop this conflict, to prove his good faith to Tuon Athaem Kore Paendrag.

This completes part 1 of the recapitulative survey of Arad Doman. Stay tuned for the second part tomorrow, a comprehensive who's who of the players we know in Arad Doman and many Domani characters presently outside the nation


Phil said...

I always thought that Ituralde's comment about Katar only meant that the city was dominated by, but not part of Arad Doman, and had laws which prevented them from trading with other countries. Which would make it a sort of protectorate or 'vassal state'. I didn't read the glossary entry, apparently.

Dominic said...

I was certain too that Katar was an independent city, probably one that remained and grew after the time of the nation of Almoth, and that it was under heavy Domani infuence because it stands on the road to the passes.

It's what I had written as my guess on what Katar has been in the Almoth article. town on Almoth, Domani dominated.

Then I saw the KOD glossary entry as I was researching AD. It could rather be the glossary entry than the map or text that's in error, I guess.

Rajeev said...

Do you think there might be a naval battle in TGS and might we get to see it through a sea folk POV, maybe Harine's?

I wondered about this because the Sea Folk will be sending all their ships to Bandar Eban and they would have to pass through Seanchan-controlled waters.

Anonymous said...

Nice overview, thanks.

Dominic said...

To Rajeev:

I suspect the worst for the Sea Folk and the food resources they carry, especially if they make the mistake of sailing in the direction of Cantorin to avoid the coast and Tanchico).

Tuon could also decide to send the fleet from Cantorin, which neither Rand nor the Sea Folk know about, to catch the Sea Folk at harbour in Bandar Eban.

Confusion may also happen: the Sea Folk fleet sent to Bandar Eban, very large, may be mistaken for an attack fleet meant to free Cantorin or Tanchico harbours, if the Seanchan spot it.

I do expect a naval battle of some kind and, at least with what we know now, the sole role the Sea Folk might play at sea in Tarmon Gai'don is to carry food or bring refugees to their Islands, so that RJ intended to have them involved in the pre-TG events with the Seanchan, the other naval power, fighting or avoiding it at the last minute, would not surprise me at all.

old salt said...

To Rajeev and Dom:
I rather doubt there will be a naval battle between the Seanchan and the SF. I personally think that the large Seanchan presence on the SF islands in the Ayrth Ocean is no more. Here are my reasons:
1) We saw a large presence there at the time of POD. Since then the Corene has occurred and I think that many of the vessels would have been diverted to convoy the Seanchan merchant vessels to Tanchico and Ebou Dar.
2)For sure the news of the assasination of the Seanchan Royal family has reached Cantorin etc and it is highly likely that vessels have been dispatched to Ebou Dar to be in attendance of the new Empress, may she live forever, in case she wants to sail back to Seanchan.
I don't think that the Seanchan have completely abandoned the SF islands, but I wouldn't be surprised to find that their presence has been diminished greatly, certainly to the point where they cannot adequately patrol that area of the ocean.

Anonymous said...

Is it clear that that second army is Domani? If so it means Arad Doman has 300k men under arms, which is 50% more than Elayne thinks Andor can muster. Of course, civil war has been raging for some time, and every man available has been mobilized so I suppose it's possible.

However I always thought that second army was the one that Rand had sent.

- Rurouni_Kenshin

Dominic said...

The second army has to be Ituralde's too (Turan reported it as two Domani armies). The Wolf's plan made no sense otherwise (without an anvil behind the Seanchan army, he would have achieved nothing - and have merely invited 100k-200k Seanchan into Arad Doman. They could have stopped pursuing him (or split their forces) at any time and while Ituralde ran around, he would have lost Bandar Eban before he knew it).

He lead Turan to pursue him and when he reached the mountain a first army came out of hiding. Turan rushed after them and a second army, twice as big, came up behind him (actually, the first army may even be not 100k but 150,000 men strong, according to Turan's report).

It seems to be pretty much every able man the Domani nobles could muster. Galgan in Ebou Dar thought so - that the whole strength of Arad Doman was involved.

This explains why Rand's people found Arad Doman virtually empty: no king, no dragonsworn, no lords. Rhuarc and Dobraine couldn't find anyone "in charge of more than a village" - the Council in Bandar Eban is left to using bands of strongarms to keep order. Ituralde got all most lords from all factions to agree to a truce and gather in the mountains.

The army can't be Rand's. He doesn't mention it when he speaks of Ituralde's war, first, and secondly he would have needed to know Ituralde's plans to get involved with such perfect timing and purpose. Thirdly, his plan is to bring peace - he even muses about interferring with Ituralde's war to prove himself to Tuon.

Anonymous said...

Well, regarding the timing issue, I assumed it was just tavareen luck, but I suppose you're right.

- Rurouni_Kenshin

Pelumi said...

I've always thought that the second army that came out after the Seanchan was the Taraboner army.

I thought the plan was Ituralde would lead the Taraboner Dragonsworn in raids in Tarabon then "flee" across the Almoth Plain to Arad Doman. Then when the Seanchan came, he'd have all of Arad Doman's strength with him in the mountains with the large Tarabon army blocking the Seanchan's retreat.

Dominic said...

The second army came out of the mountains after the Seanchan army had passed them in pursuit of Ituralde and the first army that joined him.

Basically Ituralde was bait, and the first army a big incentive for the Seanchan army to rush even harder after them, thinking to destroy all Ituralde got together and finish AD, while the second huge army was the trap.

I seriously doubt these are Taraboners.

Taraboners went South and they agreed to fight in Tarabon. It was heavily implied in KOD that the scattered Taraboner Dragonsworn wouldn't last long in the campaign, that when Ituralde rushed back north, the Seanchan would easily finish them off and feel safe to send a big army north. In fact, it seems to have been part of Ituralde's scheme: the Taraboners were useful as the 'spark' in the South, and he pretended to agree to join them to lead the raids at their demand (when in fact this was his plan all along) but they were not big enough of a threat to the Seanchan that they wouldn't let Ituralde flee north and remain south to fight the Taraboners.

If you notice, Ituralde's "plans within plans' is nowhere as simple as just crushing the Seanchan.

His true genius is that he ended Taraboner Dragonsworn interference on Almoth by sending back south and using them as cannon fodder - most likely to be destroyed by the Seanchan, insured the Seanchan remaining south would further undermine Taraboners south and be busy bringing back control, eliminating this way the first half of the war between Tarabon and AD, and then he ended the Domani civil war by reuniting Domani Dragonsworn and loyalist lords from all factions again, ended the Domani half of the war for Almoth at the same time - and finally intends to crush the Seanchan.

All of this with one campaign, one masterplan. Great Captain, indeed! This is how Ituralde hoped it would go. Of course, between Graendal, Rand, and Tuon, his campaign might take extremely unexpected directions now, with the outcome that he will bring most of his united force alive to Rand for TG being only the most optimistic outcome, while the possibility his forces split up by the combined effects of Rand and manipulations from Graendal, the war with the Seanchan taking a bad turn etc. is most pessimistic one.

Personally, I believe Graendal will manage to turn this into an Ituralde vs. Bashere and Rand vs. Seanchan conflict. My theory is that Rand's storyline will end with him defeating the suddenly weakened Seanchan in the South and all the way to Ebou Dar, having lost Bashere but ultimately gained Ituralde and the remainder of his forces, while Tuon fools him sacrifying part of her south-east forces in a decoy defense while she moves the greater part of her armies north to the newly conquered Tar Valon (I believe the Shadow will arrange for the Seanchan to discover Travelling to make this happen).

IMO, by the end of TGS Tuon will hold Tar Valon while Egwene leads the reunited Tower... in exile. I think she and the AS will join Rand, either at the end of TGS or through ToM. Rand and Egwene in ToM will be planning on reconquering the White Tower and putting an end to the Seanchan, meanwhile the Shadow will manipulate the Seanchan into striking at the BT and Caemlyn. The climax of ToM will have the massive battle in Caemlyn: Seanchan as surprise non-Shadow foe attackin Caemlyn, Taim and behind him Demandred as main Shadow foe attacking both Seanchan and Caemlyn, vs. all the main cast and their armies, incl. Band/Bordermen/AS/Asha'man etc.. This will mark the start of the "second war of Power", and a huge victory for the Shadow, including Rand being all but dead.

After this, IMO, Tuon will finally join the 'alliance of the Light', Perrin will be sent north with the Bordermen to join Lan and fight the invasion, while Mat supervise the War of Power all over the Westlands from Tar Valon, and Rand "comes back from the dead", whatever that means in the end.

Pelumi said...

Oh, okay. You're explanation for Ituralde's armies makes sense. Thanks for clearing it up.

Your theory is pretty interesting. I like it (except for Bashere dying). I do think that the Seanchan won't be easily forced into a treaty with Rand because like Tylee's (treasonous in her opinion) thoughts, the Seanchan came to conquer the land not to make allies. It'll probably take something drastic for Tuon to ally with Rand.

However, what do you think will be the Seanchan reaction to the attack on Tylee's army, assuming the survive (which I think they will)? An attack by the Shadow so near to the Seanchan capitol has to give them pause.