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Chapter 15 - Elde Island

[Elde Island] can be found some twenty-five miles off the coast to the southwest ... some seventeen hundred square miles of rich, fertile plain in the central and southeastern area; rocky coastline to make fishing a challenge to the east, and a few modest mountains ... across the neck of the northern "staffhead", which effectively makes the northernmost section its own country ... this northern region, about two hundred miles across and ninety or ninety-five miles from the mountains to the coast, has only two cities ... the first ... is the port of Salute ... the other city is called Kripna ... placed at the inner bend of a river (named Cideen...) that runs from the mountains to Salute ... the clams and culls of the northern coast of Elde (or the southern coast of the Empire) are justly famed, the longfish from the Cideen have a reputation extending across the channel ... an inn [the Silver Goblet], some ten or twelve miles from Kripna (The Lord of Castle Black, Chapter 52)

The reference to the northern "staffhead" suggests Elde is long and thin, like a staff, and the northern section is at or near one end of it (the "staffhead"), so I asked Steve how long Elde was and in what direction it ran:

Elde sort of curves southwest. The southwestern (longest) dimension is about a thousand miles. Directly north-south, it is maybe a bit over 600 miles.

I think he's describing a bounding box around Elde that is 600 miles north/south, and 1000 miles across the hypotenuse, which means that the east/west distance is 800 miles.

Paarfi mentions four regions: fertile plain in the central and southeastern areas, rocky coastline to the east, and the northern staffhead. Steve mentions one region, the southwest, which he says is the longest dimension.

The presence of mountains separating the northern part of Elde from the southern part suggests a north-south collision of plates. Since the plate the Empire is on is moving east, Elde was probably formed by the oceanic plate to the south moving north and impacting the Empire. The northern part of Elde would appear to be a part of the continent (and thus the channel that separates Elde from the continent would be a shelf sea).

Since the southwestern dimension is the longest, and yet there is also a southeastern dimension, I guessed that this collision was off-center:

Elde Island
Elde Island

This northern section only has two cities worth Paarfi's acknowledgement: Kripna and Salute. Salute is somewhere along the north coast, but no further details are given, so I guessed "right in the middle."

Kripna is located in an inner bend of the river that runs from the mountains that separate the northern section from the rest of Elde to the coast. I extended the mountains along the northern/western coast of the stafflike portion of Elde since subduction in that direction is the most likely explanation for what formed Elde in the first place.

I placed the Silver Goblet Inn between Kripna and Salute.

Northern Elde
Northern Elde

It appears that Elde is separated from the mainland by a channel about 25 miles in width, and this channel apparently runs mostly east/west (since Paarfi refers to the northern coast of Elde and the southern coast of the Empire).

Steve also told me where Elde Island was relative to the mouth of the Elbow River:

From the Elbow River to the closest point of Elde you would travel southwest about 200 miles.

We even have a description of a voyage across this channel:

Illista ... packed all of her belongings ... into three small trunks ... They stopped that evening at an inn [between the Silver Goblet and Salute] ... The next day, around noon, they arrived in Salute ... Before dark that night they had embarked across toward the mainland [from Salute] ... by the ... morning ... they had already reached a small natural harbor, which has no name that we know of, but is found some twenty or twenty-five miles southeast of Ridgly; which is to say, at one of the nearest places to Salute upon which to make landfall. They were met there by a wagon ... It is full night, and I should prefer travel by day; hence we will rest at the Cliffside, which is not five miles from here ... They arrived within a few hours, and there passed the remainder of the night, as well as ... several hours the next day, after which they made their way further up the coast, stopping next ... at the town of Merinna ... we at last leave the coast, and make our way inland to meet with [Kana] ... where are we going .... Hartre, or, rather, a small village not far from Hartre ... that is a tolerably long journey ... They spent that evening at a run-down hostelry on the road ... and the next day they continued on the road. (The Lord of Castle Black, Chapter 52)

Ridgly is a very descriptive name; I decided to guess that Ridgly is a town on a ridge running near the western coast of the Empire.

I located Merinna on the southern coast of the Empire about a half a day (25 miles) east of the landing point. I chose east because that's the direction they would have traveled to get to Hartre.

Merinna
Merinna

Elde is 200 miles southwest of the mouth of the Elbow River, but only 25 miles from Merinna. This suggests one of the following:

Which Southwest Coast fits best?
Which Southwest Coast fits best?

I guessed that the Elbow River emptied into the ocean to the south (the version on the right in the image above).


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Copyright © 2011 Bryan Newell, unless otherwise noted.