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Chapter 46 - The Collier Hills

The Collier Hills appear to encircle Arylle:

The westernmost county, called Pitroad, is separated from the Yendi River by the Collier Hills which, in fact, form something like a ring around the entire Duchy. (Five Hundred Years After, Chapter 9)

But they are also located to the north of Mistyvale (the county in which the Deepwell Inn is located), which is itself northwest of Arylle:

Mistyvale County--that is to say, the Mistyvale County between Adrilankha and the Shallow Sea, as opposed to one of the other three--[was] one of the handful of counties nestled between Southmoor and Bra-Moor, south of the Collier Hills, and twenty-five or thirty leagues west and north of Aerich's home of Brachington's Moor. The entire region is hills and valleys, with the Adrilankha River cutting through them like an orange ribbon ... The hills and valleys are all modest, even compared to the Collier Hills (Sethra Lavode, Chapter 76)

Furthermore, there appears to be a hilly region between Arylle and Southmoor that is not the Collier Hills:

Nowhere else that I know of are iron ore, oil, and coal all to be found in the same, narrow region of a few small mountains and valleys. / How many counties are we speaking of? / Five / How much in area? / Perhaps twelve hundred square miles. / ... Where are these counties, exactly? / Just south of the Collier Hills ... I have just promised three of them to [Morrolan] (Sethra Lavode, Chapter 69)

There are three counties to the north I have promised you [south of the Collier Hills] (Sethra Lavode, Chapter 74)

These passages seemed at odds with one another, but when I asked Steve about it, he replied:

Hmmm...actually, that sounds right on all counts.

Part of the confusion, of course, is just what exactly constitutes the "Collier Hills." Do they refer to only that set of not-quite-mountains in the southwest of Arylle? Or do they refer to the entire hilly region from which coal can be mined? Depends on the mapmaker.

The most obvious elevated position in the southeast is Dzur Mountain, which appears to be located to the southwest of Arylle, and may or may not be the most prominent peak in the "not-quite-mountains" mentioned by Steve, which are also located to the southwest of Arylle.

These latter hills appear to be mentioned again when Khaavren travels from Adrilankha to Bra-moor:

they [left Adrilankha and] made moderately good time, achieving fifteen miles on the first day, and nearly twenty on each of the next two. They slept out in the open, under the sky, taking turns watching. There being only four of them, and there being as well a need to keep one on watch at all times as they slept, by the fourth day they were all sufficiently exhausted as to get a late start, and to decide to retire early; which they repeated on the sixth day ... in this way ... it happened that by early evening of the sixth day they had passed the Collier Hills, and [saw] Brachington's Moor. (The Lord of Castle Black, Chapter 36)

The references to "miles" in the above should probably be "leagues", since Bra-moor appears to be closer to three hundred than the one hundred miles suggested by the above.

Southwest of Arylle and North of Mistyvale
Southwest of Arylle and North of Mistyvale

There are a few more places in this area that are either hilly or flat, including the area between the Laughing River and the Shallow Sea, which is described as a "vast plain":

South Mountain has ... quite vanished behind them, and they are making their way along the vast plain occasionally dotted with forests between the Shallow Sea and the Laughing River ... Near the end of the day, they found a small village called Barleytown, which is in the southern portion of the district called Agate... There was not much to this village--that is to say, it consisted of what had once been a posting station ... and a small inn ... the only one for fifty miles in any direction. (The Lord of Castle Black, Chapter 49)

Which suggests the hills are not to be found in this area.

The Vast Plain
The Vast Plain

However, there are apparently hills (or at least coal) just to the east of Arylle:

[Arylle] was settled ... by ... a certain Lyorn named Corpet ... the area had been unsettled for countless years except for coal-mining not far away because, when viewed from the hills, the district had an ill-favored look, appearing at once marshy and barren. Yet when Corpet, who had been driven from his lands to the East by certain political and economical pressures which originated with the Emperor's desire to have more direct control of the lines of coal in Corpet's old land (still known as Corpet County), the look proved illusory, and the region proved to be wonderfully rich farmland, at least as excellent as those lands on the Great Plains which surrounded the Collier Hills, with soil and climate ideally suited to wheat, maize, and various obscure but nutritious legumes. (Five Hundred Years After, Chapter 9)

Corpet County
Corpet County

I think Corpet County is being referred to here as well:

the iron-rich regions of the Southeast, and, as most of the smelters were near the Shallow Sea (Sethra Lavode, Preface)

And is home to Lottstown:

the iron center of Lottstown, far to the east [of Adrilankha]. (The Paths of the Dead, Chapter 8)

Numerous roads crisscross Mistyvale County: from Riverwall to Steps, from Brambles to Crossway, from Nacine to Gridley, from Hillcrest to Ripples, from Lottstown to Gorge (Sethra Lavode, Chapter 76)

and Tirenga:

He caused black marble and obsidian to be imported from the far north, white marble ... to be sent from the near north, silver from the Canthrip, brass and good steel from the forges and foundries of Tirenga to the east (The Lord of Castle Black, Chapter 65)

But unfortunately, there is not enough information to locate either with sufficient precision to include in the map.

There also appears to be a level swath of land to the immediate north by east of Dzur Mountain:

there was a remarkable sight some five hundred leagues to the south and a little west [from Deathgate Falls] ... [The Necromancer appears] in a grove of trees in a small wooded area in the western part of the duchy of Arylle ... She had covered twenty leagues before three hours had elapsed ... the twenty leagues between where she arrived upon the world and Dzur Mountain ... three hours after she had arrived she was upon the slopes of Dzur Mountain, where she slowed down ... perhaps because that means of travel could not be used except on level ground ... She came to Dzur Mountain from the north and the east, which permitted a more gentle, gradual ascent up that part of the mountain that resembled the tail of the great cat, and then along its back until, reaching its head, she came around to the west in order to climb that which can be called its face ... The [entrance] the traveler came to was as much of a "front door" as Dzur Mountain boasted ... facing west and near the northern edge of what, seen from a distance, would appear to be the left ear. (The Paths of the Dead, Chapter 31)

I located the Necromancer's arrival 85 miles North by East of Dzur Mountain, based on the assumption she arrived 60 miles ("twenty leagues") from the slopes of Dzur Mountain (which extend at least 25 miles).

While Paarfi may be incorrect in his assumption of why the Necromancer adopted a different mode of travel upon arriving at the slopes of Dzur Mountain, his basic argument makes no sense unless the terrain between the slopes and where she arrived was, in fact, level.

The Necromancer
The Necromancer

As previously mentioned, Southmoor received its name from the one moor located within it, in the northeast corner.

It appears the northern slopes of Dzur Mountain is as far north as Southmoor extends, and Bellows is on the eastern border, so that only leaves a very small area for this northeastern moor.

Further, Bra-moor (short for Brachington's Moor) is located almost due north of this moor. My guess is that these two moors are part of one geographic region, which suggests another region of relatively level ground.

Moors
Moors

Northwest of Dzur Mountain is the Deepwell Inn in Mistyvale County. As described above, Mistyvale County is all hills and valleys "even compared to the Collier Hills."

Regardless, Mistyvale County appears to be a hilly region, and further, the Adrilankha River appears to wind throughout it. My guess is that the hills are located primarily to the east of the Adrilankha River, as I am unaware of any geologic process that would allow a river to flow along and within a ridge.

I centered the hills around the Deepwell Inn and extended them in either direction until they ran into the level patch the Necromancer presumably followed to the east and the Adrilankha River to the west.

Mistyvale County
Mistyvale County

Another reference to elevation in this area is the "wide valley" between the Laughing River and Yendi River:

the village of Newmarket, some sixty leagues from Dragaera City ... during the War of the Barons, in which the district had been much involved ... [it] was located in the wide valley between the Yendi and the Shallow Rivers ... [and] was in that portion of this valley ... within the County of Sorannah [in] the Duchy of Luatha (The Phoenix Guards, Chapter 1)

Wide Valley
Wide Valley

Since rivers run downhill, it is likely that the source of the Yendi River is an elevated position.

Source of the Yendi River
Source of the Yendi River

However, when I suggested to Steve that the Collier Hills "started" near Dragaera City, he corrected me with,

The Collier Hills are nowhere near Dragaera City's former location; they are about six or seven hundred miles east by southeast of there.

This suggests that the source of the Yendi River is far enough removed from the Collier Hills that no one would mistake it for being a part of them.

Relative to Dragaera City
Relative to Dragaera City

The only problem with the above is that it appears the Yendi River and Collier Hills cross, a difficult circumstance to imagine.

Since Steve previously suggested that the Yendi River does a lot of twisting, my guess is that, on its eastward journey, it flows north around the northernmost identifiable point in the Collier Hills.

I also extended the Adrilankha River a bit to the southeast to bring it closer to Mistyvale County.

The Collier Hills
The Collier Hills


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