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Chapter 19 - Southmoor

It appears that both Vlad and Paarfi agree that Dzur Mountain is located about 200 miles northeast of Adrilankha:

Some two hundred miles to the north and east of Adrilankha there lies a mountain, shaped ... into the form of a crouching grey dzur [Dzur Mountain] (Taltos, Chapter 1)

Dzur Mountain, a distance of some sixty-five or seventy leagues [from Adrilankha]. (The Paths of the Dead, Chapter 10)

They also appear to mostly agree on how far Castle Black is from Dzur Mountain:

[Morrolan] lives about a hundred and fifty miles inland, in a floating castle [Castle Black] ... Technically, Dzur Mountain is part of his fief. It's about fifty miles from where his castle usually is. (Taltos, Chapter 1)

The distance from [the future home of Castle Black] to Dzur Mountain was not long--only some forty or forty-five miles (The Lord of Castle Black, Chapter 50)

And they even appear to agree on the relationship between Castle Black and Adrilankha:

By then I'd be at Castle Black, some two hundred miles to the Northeast [of Adrilankha]. (Jhereg, Chapter 6)

[Castle Black is] seventy leagues away [from Adrilankha] (Sethra Lavode, Chapter 72)

Then we have this passage, which challenges a number of those observations:

We stood in the courtyard of Castle Black, which floated above a small village about 175 miles northeast of Adrilankha. The tip of Dzur Mountain could be seen to the east, which was a more pleasant view than looking down provided. (Yendi, Chapter 14)

For one thing, it locates Castle Black only 175 miles from Adrilankha. For another, it seems to put Dzur Mountain (or at least its tip) to the east of Castle Black instead of to the north, as Paarfi would have us believe.

My initial thought was that perhaps Castle Black (which is, after all, a flying/floating castle) had moved between the time it was first raised (when Paarfi is writing about it) and the time of Vlad's novels. I asked Steve, and he replied,

Castle Black moves, but its usual location is near Nacine, which is thirty or forty miles southwest of Dzur Mountain.

While this did not directly answer my question, it did provide the solution: Nacine is 30-40 miles southwest of Dzur Mountain, and Castle Black appears to be west northwest of Nacine based on these two passages:

Zerika had entered Nacine... from the south [they find it occupied by Kana's men, so] the captain ... led them back out of Nacine [where they stumble across Morrolan fighting] ... Khaavren led his small command ... around the fighting, and as straight as he could toward Dzur Mountain ... a mile outside the city [they are forced to turn] along what seemed to be a crude road, or perhaps a new but well-trod path, running west from Nacine .... [Chapter 55] Khaavren setting out in a northwesterly direction, hoping to stay parallel with the road [and they stumble upon the future home of Castle Black] (The Lord of Castle Black, Chapter 54)

not fifteen miles from [Nacine] are the ruins of a castle that once floated above this district [future home of Castle Black] ... once past the west gate continue for three or four leagues until the road curves left to avoid a pond. After following it to the left, you will almost at once see a smaller trail also going to the left. Take this trail up into the hills, and, from the top of the hills, you will see the ruins of the castle spreading out before you. (The Lord of Castle Black, Chapter 37)

The first passage suggests Castle Black is west northwest of Nacine. The second that it is north northwest. Normally I would split the difference and put it due northwest, but when I attempted to find a set of points that satisfied all of these observations with the least amount of error, west northwest was by far the better solution, so that's the one I used.

This puts Castle Black southwest of Dzur Mountain, which satisfies both Vlad (who can see Dzur Mountain to the east) and Paarfi (who says Castle Black is south of Dzur Mountain).

Furthermore, since the distance from Adrilankha to Dzur Mountain is at most about 210 miles to the northeast, and Castle Black is at least 30 miles back to the southwest of Dzur Mountain, that only leaves about 180 miles between Adrilankha and Castle Black, which is very close to the 175 miles given in Yendi.

Southmoor
Southmoor

Based on the above, I believe that when people talk about where Castle Black is, they are referring to where it usually is, which is where it was originally raised. That is, any references to the crashed floating castle, Morrolan's encampment, or Castle Black are all referring to the same physical location.


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Copyright © 2011 Bryan Newell, unless otherwise noted.