home | contents | previous | next | index


Chapter 53 - Kliuev

When Morrolan et al travel from Blackchapel to Southmoor, it appears they leave Blackchapel in the summer of 244 or shortly thereafter (I'm guessing around the 109th day based on my estimates of the seasons).

We will now advance in time by something like a year from the time of our previous chapter ... As we look upon the village [of Blackchapel] now in full summer of the 244th year of the Interregnum (The Paths of the Dead, Chapter 6)

In the winter of 245, around the 253rd day of the year:

it is well known that if one travels far enough south, one eventually reaches the sea [they are skirting the Eastern Mountains, on the Eastern side] ... it is winter ... I must remind you that when we left, well over a year ago--indeed, closer to two years--we were in no small hurry. And, moreover, we had no way of knowing that we would be unable to cross the mountains, but rather would be forced around them ... should we see about procuring horses, now that we have completely abandoned all thought of finding a pass? ... As we are skirting the mountains, we should find no ground that will be too difficult for the animals. (The Paths of the Dead, Chapter 27)

They stop at the village of Kliuev and procure horses:

they arrived in Kliuev, a small village nestled into what here were called the Mountains of Faerie, although only fifty or sixty miles to the west they were part of that great chain called the Eastern Mountains ... the nearby roads that connected to the waterways which ... connected to what the Easterners called the River of Faerie, which eventually made its way to the Shallow Sea ... Let us turn here ... we will soon strike a road that will not only bring us south, but, moreover, will lead us to a bridge over whatever the next river is in these lands where it seems one crosses a river, or at least a deep stream, twice each day. (The Paths of the Dead, Chapter 27)

Paarfi goes on at length about how having horses ultimately increases their pace (see the lengthy explanation he goes into in Chapter 27 of The Paths of the Dead). His basic argument goes something like this:

The naive observer might believe that Morrolan, Teldra, and Arra would, in fact, slow down upon procuring mounts ... instead of traveling ten or twelve hours a day, as they had been accustomed to do, they now began, without anyone making a decision to do so, to make stages of eighteen or nineteen hours a day, with the result that, though at no time did they consider themselves to be in a hurry, nevertheless they significantly increased the pace at which they made their way toward [Southmoor]. (The Paths of the Dead, Chapter 27)

5 days later they arrive at Keybrook:

after a good week of riding [from Kliuev] the village of Keybrook [on their way to Southmoor] was entirely different from Kliuev. It was, for one thing, rather lower in the mountains ... Yet the most significant difference was simply that, as the mountains were lower here, and contained many passes and valleys, it was hardly a barrier, and hence, like Mount Bli'aard far to the north, there was more commerce than is usual between human and Easterner. (The Paths of the Dead, Chapter 27)

And then, after "weeks" plus "nine or ten days", they round Tiren's Peak and nearly encounter Zerika et al traveling north:

[After leaving Keybrook] They traveled in this way as the days and weeks wore on, and the mountains, which were ever upon their right hand, began to seem lower and lower ... It was eight or nine days later that they awoke to discover that the ... Eastern Mountains, were no longer upon their right hand, replaced with only the most harmless-looking hills. Morrolan and his friends looked back to the north, and saw, as it were, the trailing edges of the mountains. ... I nearly imagine ... that I can smell the sea, although it is yet more than fifty leagues distant ... [they spot Zerika and friends between two hills heading north] Southward, and a bit to the west [to Southmoor] (The Paths of the Dead, Chapter 27)

I'm not sure why Zerika would have journeyed as far east as Tiren's Peak; while it is certainly possible that Paarfi made up the "near miss" to interject some drama in an otherwise uneventful bit of traveling, I will assume that for reasons unknown, Zerika's path was from Dzur Mountain to Tiren's Peak, then to South Mountain, and from there to Deathgate Falls.

She began her journey in the late winter of 246, around the 277th day of the year:

It was on a Farmday in late winter of the 246th year of the Interregnum that [Zerika and friends] set out from Dzur Mountain (The Paths of the Dead, Chapter 26)

by the time ten or twelve days had passed (The Paths of the Dead, Chapter 26)

After which they sped up:

We have been making five leagues a day, have we not? ... The Lady Zerika ... pretends we can now make ten leagues a day ... in the old days, we made ten leagues a day without ... using the posts. (The Paths of the Dead, Chapter 26)

I calculated that from that point to Tiren's Peak was about 650 miles. At 10 leagues a day (30 miles a day), it would have taken her about 22 days to get to Tiren's Peak. That would put her (and therefore Morrolan, since he was near enough to see her) at Tiren's Peak around 277 + 11 + 22 = around the 21st day (early spring) of 247.

Alexx pointed out that I missed a passage between the 10-12 days and the speed up:

they stayed wet for several days, as spring in Luatha is not a dry season; yet they continued, and eventually the rains ceased. (The Paths of the Dead, Chapter 26)

Adding in those missing days, he calculated her arrival a few days later:

The average quantity for uncertain terms like 'several' is 4, so I make it to be a total of about 19 days at their slow speed. 8 more days at slow speed cover 120 miles, leaving (by your earlier calculations) about 530 miles to Tiren's Peak, which would be about 18 more days at the fast speed. So instead of 277 + 11 + 22, I make it 277 + 11 + 8 + 18, or 4 days later.

On his timeline, he goes on to calculate her arrival at Deathgate Falls as being in early summer of 247.

Near Miss
Near Miss

Back to Morrolan:

433 days after he left Blackchapel he arrives in Kliuev.

A week later, around the 258th day of 245, he arrives in Keybrook.

341 days later, he arrived at Tiren's Peak.

This doesn't really fit with the idea that they "significantly" picked up their pace after procuring horses. It seems to me there could be two mistakes:

1. it took longer to get to Kliuev than indicated above

2. they left Blackchapel later than indicated

Of these two, I think the second is more likely. For the first to be true, either Paarfi would have to be wrong about the season (he says winter) or their dialog about how long they've been traveling ("over a year ago--indeed, closer to two years"). It is more likely that they left Blackchapel in the summer of 245, which reduces the travel time from Keybrook to Tiren's Peak to only 52 days, which, less 9 or 10 days, leaves about 9 weeks for the passage "as the days and weeks wore on", which I think is far more likely than the 66 weeks if Paarfi is correct about what year they left Blackchapel.

As to where precisely Kliuev is, note that the mountains are lower near Keybrook, which suggests that they are south of the Wall, which by Vlad's account is quite imposing.

Also, Morrolan is obviously in no hurry, as he covers the 882 miles from Tiren's Peak to Bellows on the eastern border of Southmoor in about 88 days, based on his arrival on around the 109th day (summer) of 247:

It was on a Firstday in the summer of the two hundred and forty-seventh year of the Interregnum that Morrolan arrived in the county of Southmoor, and, more particularly, a small barony called Bellows, located along its eastern border (The Lord of Castle Black, Chapter 37)

That's an average pace of only about 10 miles per day.

I guessed Keybrook was southeast of the Wall, which puts it around 128 miles from Tiren's Peak. Since it appears to have taken him 52 days to get from Keybrook to Tiren's Peak, that works out to be a snail's pace at 2.5 miles per day (though this is faster than the 1.9 miles per day they averaged while walking from Blackchapel to Kliuev).

That would appear to put Kliuev 5 * 2.5 = 12.5 miles to the north of Keybrook.

Kliuev
Kliuev


home | contents | previous | next | index

Questions? Comments? Please contact me at dragaera [at] bryann.net.

Copyright © 2011 Bryan Newell, unless otherwise noted.