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Chapter 35 - Dragaera City

Vlad tells us a little about Dragaera City when he visits the Lesser Sea in Issola:

We stood now on a small rock ledge, overlooking the Lesser Sea of Amorphia, where the greatest city of the Empire used to be ... The old city of Dragaera had grown up in what once, I'm told, was a fertile plain, fed by several streams and rivers coming down from a range of mountains that has more names than peaks. The mountains, which were west of the city, were now behind my left shoulder, except for bits of them that spread out in the form of sharp, ugly bits of greyish rock, one of which I now stood on. There were no signs of any river from where I stood, and what had been the city and most of the plain was a swirling mass of colors (Issola, Chapter 14)

Note that "most of the plain" had been consumed by the Sea, which probably means there wasn't much of a plain to begin with (that is, the plain upon which Dragaera City was built was surrounded by non-plains).

Paarfi tells us a little more:

this suite, located on the east side of the Imperial Wing, featured an extension which had been grafted on above the Jhegaala Wing to provide a sort of balcony or parapet or porch where Her Majesty could sit on fine days and look down on the Dragaera River or the hills of Eastend. (Five Hundred Years After, Chapter 17)

Based on my work visualizing the Imperial Circle, the Jhegaala wing projects almost due southeast of the Imperial Palace; from this balcony, she would have a clear view of the east and the south (and the southeast).

Since she can see the hills of Eastend or the Dragaera River, I guessed that Eastend is to the east, and the River is to the south (that is, it runs from the west (the mountains) to the east and passes south of the Palace).

When Khaavren et al journey from Dragaera City to Redface, they appear to start out going south or southeast, even though their ultimate destination is far to the east.

[Dragaera City to Redface] We are going east, are we not? / We must also go north or south, unless you intend to travel through either the desert of Suntra or the jungles. / I have chosen to travel south around the desert through the pushta / But then there are mountains (The Phoenix Guards, Chapter 17)

a measure of time spent riding ... through the beautiful Ironwood Gap of the Boiling Mountains ... the diverse mountain springs that rushed ... through the mountains, anxious to join together to form the northern Yendi River ... Adron's Disaster ... took these [places] away forever. (The Phoenix Guards, Chapter 20)

From the Gate of Flags our friends had traveled down the mountain to the small town of Everdim where they took their rest, and proceeded early the next morning, at a good yet not frantic pace, through the Flowering Valley, crossing the Yendi River at Flatspot about noon of the following day, after which they began the trek through the pushta ... At last they took the barge across the Adrilankha River at Guilrock Crossing and began to make their way slowly uphill again, as, even here, they were in the lap, as it were, of the Eastern Mountains. (The Phoenix Guards, Chapter 22)

The middle passage is a description of locations that were destroyed by Adron's Disaster, whose point of origin is just outside of Dragaera City, near the Gate of Flags and Dragon Gate:

the Dragon Gate ... stood open to the world, there was a promise of a breeze from the east ... [the Lavodes left] out of the Palace and so out along the Street of the Dragon toward the [Dragon] gate ... Adron ... drew his forces up before the Dragon Gate and watched the approaching dawn. (Five Hundred Years After, Chapter 30)

the Gate of the Seven Flags, or else the Dragon Gate, which are ... near each other. (Five Hundred Years After, Chapter 7)

The Disaster was lethal to life within five leagues (fifteen miles), so I'm going to guess all of the locations mentioned in the middle passage are located within fifteen miles of Dragaera City, to the southeast.

the small communities that existed outside the walls of the city (or, at any rate, those to the north and west) heard a low, continuous rumble .... no one who was closer to the site of the explosion than five leagues survived (Five Hundred Years After, Chapter 34)

The reference to the communities in the north and west is further indication that the disaster occurred to the south and east of the city proper.

I drew a number of conclusions from these passages.

The first is that the Dragaera River was probably one of the "mountain springs" that came together to form the northern Yendi River. My guess is that this Yendi River is the same one Khaavren et al later cross at Flatspot.

Second, that the "plain" upon which Dragaera City was built is probably a plateau. If not, I don't really know what to make of Paarfi's assertion that Khaavren et al traveled "down the mountain" from Dragaera City to Everdim.

Third, Khaavren et al reached Everdim at the end of the first day, but between it and Dragaera City there were two major time-consuming encounters, the first being the introduction of Mica, and the second the introduction of Uttrik, so they probably traveled much less than the usual "50 miles per day" that first day. I guessed Everdim was about halfway between Dragaera City and the first post on Undauntra's Highway (so about 15 miles to the southeast of Dragaera City).

From Everdim, they travel to Flatspot, where they crossed the Yendi River and entered the Pushta. Since they arrived at noon of the following day, I'm going to guess Flatspot is a day and a half (75 miles) from Everdim. 75 would be 2.5 posts (since each post is 30 miles apart), or approximately at the unnamed third post along Undauntra's Highway (a total of 90 miles from Dragaera City).

Finally, with mountains to the west, hills to the east, and the southeast "down the mountain", Fosson's Well is probably to the north, within or bordering the desert Suntra:

Men have invented various names in which to measure distance ... yet, for all of this measurement, it is understood by those who travel and by those who listen to travelers that the meaningful unit by which distance can be measured is time. It is true, for example, that the distance from the Gate of the Darr to Ripple Point is scarcely a league, while it is a good thirty leagues from the Gate of Iron to Fosson's Well, yet, because the latter is over level ground with a good road laid on it, while the former is nearly straight up a mountainside covered in loose and crumbling rock, we may in justice assert that each of these places lies the same distance from the heart of Dragaera City, that distance being about thirty hours, or a full day and night. (The Phoenix Guards, Chapter 20)

Dragaera City
Dragaera City


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